Anoka Family Law Attorneys and Cost/Risk Calculations

There is an excellent series of articles about risk that begin at this Blog: //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...

Transition realities-Minnesota resources

Parents must take care to avoid bleeding their own personal pain and hurt onto their children when separating.  In many cases, one partner is leaving and has ‘left’ the relationship emotionally months or even years previously.  This leaves the other partner bewildered and angry.  It is torture to be going through your own grieving period and then to have to look at a child who wonders why the other parent left.  This is where true parenting comes into play.  A parent’s role is to set aside their own feelings, albeit briefly, and address the issue as neutrally as possible. Although evaluators and judicial officers truly understand that there is a natural inclination to lash out and to tell children exactly why (in that parent’s view) the other party left, it is fundamentally bad for children.  I have several handouts I give to clients that address this issue.  However, another good resource is a Minneapolis-based therapist who has a set of free tools on her website, //www.betsysansby.com/pages/freetools.php.  I am especially fond of the STOP...
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