Family law matters are undeniably stressful, emotional, and overwhelming. There are a lot of decisions to make along the way – decisions that could impact you, your partner, and your children for years to come. If your family is facing a contentious dispute, a complex divorce, or any other type of family matter, rest assured that the AMA Law Group, PLLC can help you through this difficult time.
Over the last decade, our law firm has helped countless families, so you can rest assured that the AMA Law Group, PLLC has what it takes to resolve your case in a fair and favorable manner.
Our lawyers make sure every client receives the one-on-one attention and personalized service they deserve, no matter the situation. We are sensitive and responsive to our clients’ needs, and adept at crafting effective trial and negotiation strategies to achieve our clients’ desired results.
Minnesota is a “no fault” divorce state. “No Fault” in this context means that the reasons why either spouse wants the divorce (i.e. infidelity, gambling problems, drug addiction, etc) will not be considered when the court determines whether to grant the divorce. However, some of these factors may be relevant when the court determines other portions of the divorce, such as asset distribution, custody, spousal maintenance (alimony), and child support. Simply put: if one spouse wants a divorce, the other spouse does not need to agree to it for the parties to obtain the divorce.
In Minnesota, two of the elements that must be met for the court to grant a divorce are:
- At least one spouse lived in Minnesota for 180 days or more immediately prior to the commencement of the divorce; and
- The marriage is “irretrievably broken”
Property Division in a Minnesota Divorce.
Minnesota law categorizes property as marital or non-marital.
Marital property is typically divided equally while non-marital property is allocated entirely to the spouse who maintains the non-marital interest. Non-marital property involves the interest a spouse has in property obtained prior to a marriage or property received as a gift or inheritance by one spouse only, during a marriage. Marital property, on the other hand, involves any property that the parties accumulate during their marriage, including: home equity, retirement assets, bank accounts, investments, automobiles, boats, business interests, and other valuable property.
Experts are commonly hired to determine the value of property.
These experts include real estate appraisers, actuaries, business appraisers, and other individuals with specialized knowledge in determining the market value of an asset. These experts can be retained by one or both of the parties in the divorce.
Once all property is valued, a balance sheet is created to provide the allocation of property each spouse will receive.
As can be expected, one spouse will typically receive more property than the other as items are divided. When this occurs, a cash payment (equalization) is typically made from the party receiving more property to the party receiving less, in order to equalize the total value of the assets they receive from the dissolution of the marriage.
Debts are usually treated the same as assets.
Generally, the court will distribute all debts incurred during the marriage equally. Debts that remain from a time preceding the marriage are usually given to the incurring the party. The same is true for debts incurred after separation but before the divorce is final. The value of a specific debt is typically verified through a recent statement from a bank or other financial institution. Most often, the party allocated an asset will also take any debt that is attached to it. A prime example involves a car: If one spouse keeps a car, they will normally have to assume responsibility for the debt associated with it.
Child custody and visitation
Often times, the most emotional and challenging aspect of a divorce or family law case addressing the issues that involve the children. At AMA Law Group, PLLC our lawyers know this and provide caring support together with relentless legal advocacy.
Custody affects your child’s long-term well-being. With your child’s best interests at stake, you need an experienced child custody lawyer to fight for the best possible outcome. Our lawyers have a solid success record and are ready to fight tirelessly to ensure that you are able to remain a part of your child’s life.
Minnesota requires that all parents receive reasonable parenting time that is in the best interest of the children. When determining parenting time a Court will look at the age of the children, where they live and go to school, health and safety issues along with both parents daily/monthly schedules. Parenting time is not related to ability to pay child support or which parent has physical custody. Having a parenting time agreement is essential to making sure a parent has regularly scheduled parenting time visits with their children and helps post-divorce communications between the parties.
Minnesota child support is determined by the following factors:
- Each parent’s gross monthly income (from all sources)
- How many children live in each parent’s home (do not count children who the parent has a court order to pay child support)
- Any other child support orders for either parent
- Any spousal maintenance orders for either parent
- The amount of benefits from Social Security or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid to a joint child due to a parent’s disability or retirement
- The monthly cost for both medical and dental coverage
- The amount of child care costs
- The percentage, or amount of parenting time awarded in a court order
- If the parent is incarcerated, the ability to pay/minimum basic support calculation does not apply
- The amount of Parenting Time per child, per parent
Division of property
Minnesota is an equitable distribution state not a community property state. Equitable distribution means that the Court will divide the parties’ marital property in a way that it determines to be fair unless the parties come to an agreement. Often a marital property division in a divorce is close to 50/50. Marital property is property acquired during the time of the marriage. Non-marital property is property acquired outside the time of the marriage or acquired with non-marital assets.
A common concern in a divorce is who will keep the family house. A couple of options exist. One option is the sale of the house by the parties. If the house is sold the parties equally divide the marital interest in the proceeds after all debts are paid. Another option allows one of the parties to keep the house. In this situation the party staying in the house will be required to pay the other party 1/2 of the marital interest in the equity of the house. Equity is determined by taking the value of the house and subtracting any debt, which is often a bank mortgage. The final option requires the Court to decide value and possession. This option often does not benefit either parties’ interest.
Orders of Protection
Domestic violence is a serious threat that no one should have to endure. A victim of domestic violence or abuse may require an order for protection to shield them from their abuser.
AMA Law Group – Minnesota Family Law Attorneys You Can Trust
Family law cases, such as divorces, can be some of the most challenging times in a person’s life. If you are searching for a compassionate family law attorney, the AMA Law Group is here to help.
Even the most amicable of divorces can become very complicated. When a divorcing couple is unable to agree on personal issues, such as division of property and child custody or support, an experienced divorce lawyer can make all the difference.
At AMA Law Group, you will find Minnesota divorce attorneys who are able to assist you with all of your legal needs. We can help you answer questions such as:
- Will I be able to stay in my home?
- How much child support will I have to pay?
- Will I have to pay alimony?
- How will I see my kids?
Divorce doesn’t have to be an ugly experience. A compassionate divorce attorney can get you through the process.
AMA Law Group Has the Experience You Need
Our high-quality, compassionate, and experienced lawyers are knowledgeable in a wide range of family law matters. In addition to handling court matters, we can work with you to create fair arrangements and agreements for the following areas of concern:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Parenting time
- Alimony/spousal support
- CHIPS (Children in Need of Protection)
- Prenuptial agreements
Why Our Family Law Attorneys Can Make a Difference for You
When you work with the AMA Law Group, you are in the hands of formidable and compassionate attorneys who will provide efficient, professional, and personal service to ensure your family law case proceeds smoothly.
AMA Law Group has handled a variety of family law cases, and we can help you make the best decisions for you and your family. With our solid reputation and track record of success, you can feel assured that we will get you through all the decisions that need to be made so that you and your family can get on with your lives.
Let Us Guide You Through the Process
When you are an AMA Law Group client, our legal team will always keep your best interests in mind as we answer your questions and prepare your case. To get started, call now for a free legal consultation.