Anoka Attorney adds Overnights to Child Custody Issues

For a long time, child development specialists have disagreed on the role and place for overnights for non-custodial parents for children under the age of 4.  Some have raised true concerns about the ability of a young child to bond when he or she has two homes instead of one.  Now, a soon-to-be released article, tentatively titled: Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report By Richard A. Warshak University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center   This study appears to assume an absence of studies demonstrating any risks of overnight parenting time but does make a valid point about the ‘vulnerability’ of the father-child relationship if the father is not a significant factor in the child’s life at an early age.   While the latter is an interesting and very good point, I have difficulty with the statement that there are no such studies.  There are a couple of seminal studies, including those done by Jen McIntosh in Australia, that a child’s sense of security is clearly affected and that they behave differently if being bounced from home to home.  Instead of blindly deciding that all three year olds would benefit from an equal overnight parenting time, it may be better to look closely at each child-and at each case and determine how the child reacts to such a situation.   Likewise, instead of blindly assuming that no 12 month old should spend overnights away from home, it will be better to look at the relationship between the parents, the father’s level of commitment, and the child’s overall adjustment to the separation.  There is no one-size-fits-all.  This is...

Protected: Anoka Attorney Promotes ‘Touchy Feely’ Language To Save CoParenting Relationships

Everybody makes mistakes.  Everyone has hurt someone they love (or used to love), whether intentionally or unintentionally.  The dividing line comes with what happens next.   I love the below blog post: http://www.heartfeltleadership.com/blog/2014/2/15/dr-gs-relationship-tool-box.html   The idea is to Focus on a Future where nobody has screwed up yet.  The person who can honestly ask and take listen un-defensively to their co-parent’s answers to the following questions has a terrific chance of being a terrific co-parent: At my worst, how bad am I capable of making you feel? If I committed to fixing that, what would be the effect? DO NOT expect the same questions in return.  DO NOT expect the answer to come right away.  But if a parent can put their own feelings if hurt, anger, and loss behind what their children need, the child will also learn to do this.  The child has a great chance of loving and respecting both parents but (knowing that we are all competitive) will eventually see and respect the parent who is working harder.   I often tell my clients that they have successfully raised a child in a blended and/or non-traditional family if the child’s reaction to their other parent’s dysfunction is an affectionate eye-roll.  Think about it....

New Technology in possibly to be used Anoka and Minneapolis Schools may figure in future Custody Cases

School districts in the Minneapolis and Anoka areas are considering purchasing software from Tenorshare.com that would restore lost, deleted, or damaged photos, texts, etc from an ios or Android device.  While it is being marketed as a ‘restore’ mechanism whereby a school could restore iPad data from a school-owned device if the device is damaged, it is essentially the same type of software used by the FBI and government investigators for searching hard drives for evidence. Very old messages and photos re-appeared when this restore software was used on iPhones, and it is available for Android devices as well.  This means, as we attorneys have long suspected, that all digital activity becomes an imbedded footprint and is never truly “deleted”.   Now this deleted information is available for recovery at a relatively low price. As a family law attorney, I know that this sort of information can be very useful, and I know of cases where one parent has ‘restored’ another parent’s iPhone to find texts that are compromising.  Those texts were then used against the compromised parent in a hearing to establish custody and parenting time.  I mention this to my clients...

Anoka Family Law Attorneys and Cost/Risk Calculations

There is an excellent series of articles about risk that begin at this Blog: http://lexician.com/lexblog/2014/02/an-introduction-to-calculating-risk/ This is a lengthy, intelligent discourse on risk management spread over a series of blogs.  Good divorce attorneys have been using their own version of this for years. For example, a client comes in because his spouse has left him and two children.  He tells me that his spouse refuses to pay any support until a Court orders her to do so.  I start the below questions: How long has she been gone? It is good to look at when the separation occurred.  Did she leave last night, last week, last month, or last year? Has she paid any bills? Many times, a spouse will leave but will still make various household payments, such as mortgage, school tuition, utilities, etc.  The challenge is balancing what she is paying/the chances of these payments continuing , and the amount of support my client can expect to receive, if he prevails at a temporary hearing. What are your incomes? I calculate the amount of child support and projected maintenance against what is being paid   What is your rent/mortgage? Reality check for client—will he be able to afford the home even receiving support?  If not, we have a discussion about selling the house OR Is there equity in the house? If there is no equity in the house, the pros and cons of continuing to make a mortgage payment. Is there money you can borrow to make it for 3-6 months? I tell him the projected amount of fees for a temporary hearing versus filing and getting...

Protected: How can some Minnesota Family Courts help families to separate

In my perfect world, ‘other lawyers’ and judges would be required to receive intensive training and ongoing continuing education in the mental health behavior patterns which drive most high-conflict divorce cases.   Many of the high-conflict cases I have handled have involved, on one level or another, personality disorders and/or substance abuse.  And, if one party in a family case suffers from one of these, the family system itself does. With change comes pain, and even in fairly functional families, one or both parents find that the goal of moving the children from an intact to a separated family as softly as possible cannot be met without help.  However, this is especially difficult when personality disorders or substance abuse is involved. Often these cases include domestic violence, verbal abuse, alienation, and even false allegations of child abuse.  Parties are wrapped up in their own hurt and anger and each feels the other is more at fault.  It is often not possible for people in such pain to see that their family as a system continues, albeit in a different form.   The nuclear family, as a closed system, is being changed, not eliminated. This concept can be difficult for any families, and families in the process of separating are no longer an intact family and can no longer be viewed as a closed system.    The family unit, formerly a tight, closed system where secrets and pains are kept silent, becomes a bright star at the center of a much larger solar system.  The bright and shiny private pains act like gravity, and can pull unwary attorneys, evaluators, teachers, relatives, and judges...
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