Otsego DUI Legal Blog

Minnesota family law: Child custody information

Each state in America has its own set of laws governing child custody. While most of the state laws are similar, it is important to make sure you understand how the laws in your state work. Minnesota's child custody laws are straightforward, which is a benefit to couples getting a divorce. It is not difficult to learn about this area of family law if you are contemplating a divorce.

Instead of facing complicated rules that confuse those involved, parents only need to know a few things about custody in Minnesota.

Why a good lawyer serves both sides of the domestic violence coin

Unfortunately, family law attorneys see too many families struggling with issues related to domestic violence. In our own Otsego, Minnesota, legal practice, we have seen these issues tear families and children apart. This is especially disheartening when you consider that these families are often already struggling with difficult divorces and child custody matters.

Many people wonder why a family law attorney would serve both victims of domestic violence and those accused of these acts. Our answer is simple and to the point: preservation of the family. As family law attorneys, we have gained an insight into how true and false domestic violence allegations harm the family unit, particularly the children. Examples include the following.

  • Children who witness domestic violence often develop crippling physical, emotional and mental conditions.
  • Some kids come to believe that violence is an appropriate way to handle conflict and negative emotions.
  • Making false accusations of violence against a parent harms children on the emotional and mental levels.
  • False domestic violence accusations often backfire and turn children against the accusing parent.

Is getting an amicable divorce just a pipe dream?

The best fast answer to this question is one simple word: sometimes. Divorce, with its inherent emotional trauma, evokes different responses from people. Even the most well balanced, even-keeled individual can become an emotional wreck in the midst of divorce. This can be the case even when both spouses want nothing more than to end their marriage as quickly as possible.

On the plus side, there are times when some couples are able to get divorced in a reasonably amicable manner. Do these people have a secret trick the rest of the world does not know about? Of course not -- perhaps they were simply better prepared than other couples are.

Introduction to the family law field for Wright County residents

If you are like many Minnesota residents, you might have no idea what the field of family law covers. Hopefully, you are in a good, stable marriage and have never needed a family law attorney. On the other hand, if divorce suddenly affects your life, a quick education about family law is essential to emerging from your breakup as intact as possible.

Obviously, divorce is a common reason our neighbors in and around Otsego may hire a family law attorney. When this happens, you and your interests become your lawyer's number one priority from start to finish. One of the main goals a divorce lawyer has is helping you end your marriage quickly and efficiently.

Making sense of Minnesota's marijuana laws

Minnesota legalized medical marijuana in 2014. In February 2017, bills to legalize recreational use of the drug started making their way through the Minnesota Legislature. The state has also decriminalized certain instances of possession. With changing attitudes and laws regarding marijuana, it can be difficult to understand exactly what the law says.

If you have questions about laws and punishments about marijuana in Minnesota, you are not alone. Continue reading for a quick guide regarding the criminality of marijuana in this state.

Discussing spousal maintenance

Spousal maintenance (sometimes called alimony or spousal support) is an integral part to the post-divorce life of many Minnesota residents. This form of financial support is determined by a judge, who will look at a bevy of factors involved in the spouses' relationship, including the financial potential of the spouses, the health of the spouses, the length of the marriage, the property and assets involved, and many other factors.

But there are also different types of spousal maintenance. While it is possible to be awarded "permanent" spousal maintenance, which sees one of the spouses pay the other spouse indefinitely after a divorce, "temporary divorce" can also be awarded. This is where a court outlines a set period of time that one spouse will have to pay the other after a divorce.

The scope of domestic violence issues might surprise you

When you hear about cases of alleged domestic violence, the first thing that likely comes into your mind is an image of a man beating up a woman. The truth of the matter is that in Minnesota and everywhere else, domestic violence is not limited to that scenario.

Domestic violence concerns can exist at many levels – adult-to-adult, adult-to-child, sibling-to-sibling – the key elements that legally define instances of domestic violence are two-fold. First, they involve individuals in a close relationship. Second, victims making such a claim have to show a pattern of abusive behavior on the part of the perpetrator. In some cases, it might be necessary to show that the abuser's behavior was intended to exercise control over the victim.

3 facts you should know about assault

Hear the word "assault," and what do you picture? Perhaps a fight comes to mind -- two guys trading blows. Or perhaps your mental picture is a hulking figure beating up on a helpless victim. 

These scenarios can describe assault (and battery), to be sure, but assault is a broad term. Here are some important facts about assault.

What to do if your license was revoked after refusing a DWI test

So, a police officer pulled you over for driving while intoxicated. or DWI. You refused to take a chemical test and so the court revoked your license. You might feel stressed out, confused and wonder what will happen next. Understanding Minnesota laws about refusing to take a chemical test is important to knowing why this happened.

Once you know what the law says about implied consent, license revocation and what steps to take, you can have a better sense of your DWI situation.

Social media has become a handy tool for law enforcement

In Minnesota, as in other states, law enforcement officers use social media on a daily basis. In days gone by, the police would put up wanted posters when they were looking for the bad guys. Police radios and patrol cars were major tools for tracking down criminals. While traditional crime-fighting tools and methods still have their place, social media has become the go-to resource for purposes of investigation, often with surprising results.