Bowden Cyr, PLLC - Attorneys At Law

Oakdale Minnesota Legal Blog

Do you believe you are the better parent?

As your marital relationship began to crumble, your priorities in life may have shifted. Where you once may have held your spouse and children as the most important aspects of your life, you may now only think of the well-being of your kids. Your mind might be reeling thinking about how you can go about achieving the custody outcomes you desire.

If you feel that gaining sole custody of your kids would be in their best interests, you will likely have a difficult road ahead of you. Many courts are beginning to give more favorable judgments toward joint custody so that each parent has a more equal part in the kids' lives. However, you may not feel that your children would benefit from such an arrangement. If so, you may need to prove that you are the better parent.

Why wealthy parents may want their children to sign prenups

Some children in Minnesota may feel pressured by their parents to have a future spouse sign a prenuptial agreement. However, this often has little to do with how the parents feel about that spouse and more to do with their concerns over protecting the family wealth.

Their children might not see it this way, and this is why it can be important for parents to start this conversation with their children while they are young adults. Planning ahead helps to keep the focus on the legacy and diverts it away from a focus on any one person. Parents may also frame the issue as being about making sure their children's children receive that legacy as well.

Study breaks down distracted driving rates by state

It's well-known that drivers distracted by mobile devices are more likely to cause vehicle accidents. Now, data recently published by Everdrive has identified which states have the highest rates of phone use behind the wheel. According to the data collected by the transportation safety app, Minnesota falls in the middle of the pack.

Drivers in the southeast part of the country are more likely to use their mobile devices while driving. Mississippi sits at the top of the list with more than 47 percent of all trips involving the use of a handheld device. Following closely behind are Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia. Drivers in all three states use their phones for more than 40 percent of their trips. Northeastern states don't fare much better. In fact, when including non-distraction factors like speeding and aggressive driving, Northeastern states are the least safe overall.

Past mistakes lead women to get educated about personal finance

Despite advances toward equality that women have made in the past century, more than half still leave financial decisions up to their husbands. Unfortunately, many Minnesota wives find out too late that not being involved in family finances is a big mistake. Women who don't know the specifics of their financial state may find some surprises when they get divorced.

Not all surprises are bad; some divorcing women learned that they had more money than they knew. Their husbands may have 401(k) accounts, real estate or investments they weren't aware of before they filed for divorce. However, the mere fact that these accounts existed without their knowledge could lead women in this situation to focus on their own financial education.

Dealing with finances during divorce

For people in Minnesota who decide to divorce, the financial aspects of the end of a marriage can be among the most challenging to resolve. Protecting one's assets is important in order to secure a positive financial future after divorce. There are a few steps that people can keep in mind in order to take financial precautions during this difficult period.

Opening personal bank accounts is often an important step. While many married couples rely on joint accounts, individual checking and savings accounts give each partner access to the funds they need to handle their immediate next steps. Similarly, it can be important to close joint credit cards and other joint accounts that accumulate debt. During the divorce, all marital debts will need to be divided; closing joint accounts helps prevent additional debt from being accumulated as divorce approaches.

Is that property really yours, or does it belong to both of you?

One of the primary functions of the divorce process is to divide property. This can get tricky because you may believe that certain assets belong to you alone and are, therefore, not part of the marital estate. If those assets truly are your separate property, they would not be subject to division in your divorce.

Unfortunately, it's not as simple as saying that a particular asset is in your name alone. How you used it during the marriage could affect whether it remained your separate property. Before the division of any property takes place, the first priority involves identifying whether each asset qualifies as separate or marital property.

Drunk driving fatalities: their most common causes

Drunk driving fatalities are all too common in Minnesota and throughout the rest of America. In fact, they make up one-third of all traffic-related fatalities. As blood alcohol content levels reach and exceed the legal limit of .08 percent, the alcohol begins to impair a driver's perception of distance and speed, reaction times and judgment. Drivers under 24, those convicted of DUI in the past and motorcyclists are at the highest risk for DUI-related deaths.

Younger people are generally at a higher risk because of inexperience in driving and their tendency to ride in groups, which can create a variety of distractions. Mixing alcohol with drugs and alcohol will also increase the risk.

Minnesota State Patrol: trucker distracted in fatal Lake Elmo crash

When first responders arrived at the scene of a Highway 36 crash in Lake Elmo, they could not determine the make or model of the car crushed in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Though Minnesota State Patrol officers must regularly deal with the aftermath of highway tragedies, the utter destruction and loss of life in this wreck spurred the head of the Minnesota State Patrol to make an impassioned plea for a renewed effort to combat distracted driving.

“Enough is enough," Col. Matt Langer said. "We see it too often, we see it too regularly."

Divorce + social media = disaster

The number of people who keep their thoughts to themselves may be decreasing as more and more people embrace the world of social media. Whether posting inspirational memes or ranting about incompetent co-workers, social media is an outlet for every point of view. If you use social media, you likely find it is a helpful tool when your emotions overwhelm you.

Perhaps there is no greater time for emotion than when you are going through a divorce. One of your first impulses may be to post your feelings and obtain the support of your many followers. However, family law experts discourage this. In fact, you may not even realize how your social media posts may affect the outcome of your divorce.

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Bowden Cyr, PLLC - Attorneys At Law

7825 3rd Street North | Suite 204 | Oakdale, MN 55128 | Phone: 612-254-6409 | Fax: 651-731-5496 | Oakdale Law Office Map