Bowden Cyr, PLLC - Attorneys At Law

Oakdale Minnesota Legal Blog

Cryptocurrencies may be the future of spouses hiding money

Minnesota residents going through the divorce process are starting to see the role that cryptocurrencies play. Cryptocurrencies are virtual currencies that were introduced in 2009 with Bitcoin. The currency itself lives online and is traded on a blockchain. A blockchain is an encrypted ledger designed to detail different transactions.

It is common for those who invest in cryptocurrencies to have shares in unregulated markets. This increases the challenges that divorcing couples face when attempting to identify the value of and divide cryptocurrency assets. Because of this challenge, divorces involving cryptocurrency may take longer and can be more expensive.

How social media can affect Minnesota divorce proceedings

In light of the modernization of the ways in which people share information about their lives and changing states of mind, divorce attorneys are now introducing social media posts, direct messages and photos as evidence in court. Approximately 81 percent of divorce attorneys discover evidence on social media that they deem to be worth presenting in court. Facebook is utilized as a principle source of evidence in approximately 66 percent of divorce cases. Online affairs are precipitating factors in one-third of all legal action in divorces.

Although social media is a relatively new vehicle of communication, some states have already begun to address the admissibility of social media posts as evidence. A spouse's post on social media is admissible in a divorce case unless the post is obtained illegally as stated by a short list of states. However, divorce attorneys are generally not permitted to create fake profiles in the interest of gaining access to social media posts that may be presented as damaging evidence in court. Nevertheless, public posts and even private posts that are reshared by a mutual friend or acquaintance are all admissible as evidence in favor of or against a party in a divorce case.

Taking steps to limit the impact divorce will have on your kids

As a parent, you likely consider the well-being of your children to be one of the most vital aspects of your life. As such, you may have a desire to shield them from harm, but if you and the other parent decide to part ways, you might be wondering what you can do to prevent your kids from suffering.

While divorce can be difficult on kids, how you handle the process could have a substantial impact on how they cope with the coming changes. While helping your kids find a way to handle what is happening in their lives may appear intimidating, it could also prove imperative.

Traffic deaths top 40,000 for three years in a row

Though the number of traffic deaths declined by one percent from 2017 to 2018, the fact is that the years 2016 to 2018 each saw over 40,000 such deaths. To put it in perspective, traffic deaths have risen 14 percent from 2014 to 2018. This is according to the National Safety Council, which also notes that 4.5 million people were seriously injured in car crashes in 2018. Minnesota saw a 5.8 percent rise in traffic deaths from 2017 to 2018.

Maine, Kansas, New Jersey, Wyoming and Rhode Island, on the other hand, saw a 9.4 percent decline during that same period, so trends vary from state to state as well as from year to year. As for the causes of this upward trend, one factor is the growing number of in-dash infotainment systems. These, along with smartphones, which are also more and more common, pose a distraction for drivers.

How courts make child custody decisions

While it makes sense that family courts want to focus on the needs of children, many Minnesota parents may be uncertain about how they determine the best interests of the child. This standard is used to make decisions about child custody and visitation, and there are a number of factors that the courts keep in mind in order to come to a conclusion about the preferable custody arrangement. In general, family courts want to make sure that both parents have an active role in their children's lives absent a situation of abuse or neglect. However, that framework can look different for various families based on their needs and circumstances.

One factor that family courts assess when making child custody decisions is the parent's ability to meet the children's physical and psychological needs by providing food, shelter, health care and clothing as well as love, support and guidance. This can involve financial calculations, and the parents' mental and physical health and abilities may also be taken into consideration. Providing a safe environment is also important. Courts may be concerned, for example, about a parent living with roommates who cannot provide a separate space for the child.

Divorce game plans for high-net-worth couples

Not many high-net-worth couples in Minnesota or elsewhere in the United States have the kind of assets Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife of 25 years have. Even so, couples with sizeable assets may be able to learn a lesson from the way Mr. Bezos and his wife have handled their divorce so far as they work on their own post-marriage game plan. The couple jointly announced the split and stated a desired to a enjoy a "wonderful shared new life" together.

Another step that may make a high-asset divorce like this one less stressful for everyone involved, including the couple's four children, is to focus on important priorities. For separating couples, this might involve not talking negatively about one another and attending joint school, work and social events without conflict. Soon-to-be-exes are also typically advised not make emotion-based decisions, especially if there's a desire to avoid high-profile disputes.

Distracted driving crashes increase with new technology

A recent study conducted for AAA looked at the impact of new vehicle infotainment systems on the ability to maintain focus. Minnesota drivers with high-tech gadgets in their dashboards might want to note the findings of the study, which indicate that infotainment may increase distracted driving risk. AAA issued a reminder to drivers that the presence of certain technologies in a vehicle does not necessarily mean they are safe to use while driving.

Participants in the study were asked to drive one of 30 2017 model vehicles and perform tasks with the vehicle's in-dash infotainment system. Each of the systems was given a rating based on how much it contributed to distracted driving. Of the systems tested, 12 demanded very high levels of attention, 11 high levels and seven moderate levels, according to the study.

Divorce and the family home

When a couple divorces in Minnesota, some of their primary concerns revolve around finances and property division. Even in situations where there are only modest assets to consider, mistakes can be made when it comes to deciding what happens to the family home. The decision-making process can also be impacted by the presence of minor children in the family.

It is extremely important for the couple to receive an accurate appraisal of the home's value. This will assist attorneys in determining the value of the marital estate during the process of property division. What is also important is developing a strong understanding of what it will cost to maintain the home over time as these expenses can be considerable in the case of an older home or a house with out-of-date heating, plumbing or electrical systems. An understanding of maintenance costs can help spouses decide whether it is worth it to try and remain in the home or whether it should be sold.

Gray divorce describes your age, not your hair color

When you think back on the day of your wedding, does it feel like yesterday or as though it occurred a lifetime ago? If you're one of many Minnesota residents who have encountered serious problems in your marriage, the latter likely better describes how you feel. A lot of time has passed since you got married and a lifetime of changes and situations have occurred that have affected your relationship with your spouse.

In 20 years, the number of people getting divorced after age 50 has more than doubled. Known as "gray divorce," such situations often include unique issues that younger couples who divorce may not deal with, such as situations involving retirement benefits or long-term care planning issues. You may not even be able to place your finger on the exact issues that formed your decision to divorce; however, you may be able to relate to one or more problems that others cite as causal factors in their own break-ups.

External air bags could improve driver safety

Minnesota residents may be interested in learning more about the potential safety benefits of external airbags. Testing has shown that the technology, which is designed to protect against side-impact collisions, has the possibility of reducing passenger injury by up to 40 percent.

These statistics could be a driving force in making external airbags standard on automobiles in the future. However, there are a few hurdles that automobile manufacturers will need to overcome before external airbags are standard on all vehicles. One hurdle is the technology involved. Unlike standard airbags, which deploy a split second after a crash, external airbags need to deploy a split second before the crash. This means that the automobile will react based on the information it gets from sensors.

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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