Can I Change My Will During a Minnesota Divorce?

This is a repost from a popular topic- Can you change your will and estate plan during a Minnesota divorce so your soon-to-be ex doesn’t inherit? Most divorcing parties do not want their soon-to-be ex-spouse inheriting.  You should consider some measure of estate planning issues early on in a divorce proceeding.  Minnesota Uniform Probate Code […]

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Can I Bring a Contempt Action Against my Ex in a Minnesota Divorce? 

Minnesota divorces set out the terms  and conditions for division of assets and liabilities; the parties’ custody, parenting time and child support; who pays spousal maintenance also called alimony, if any,  among other agreements all of which require some level of performance by both parties or one party.  The terms and conditions of the parties’ […]

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Minnesotans– Stay Current on Your Child Support or Lose the Dependency Exemption

A divorced taxpayer attempted to claim his child as a dependent exemption on his federal tax return. The taxpayer was not current in his child support obligations when he filed. The former spouse agreed that taxpayer was entitled to claim the minor child as a dependent, but only if the taxpayer was current in his support obligations.   […]

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A Minnesota Divorce Flow Chart Will Help You Visualize How a Case Moves Along.

A Minnesota divorce case, like other Minnesota family law cases, moves through the system in a manner that is sometimes confusing to pro se litigants or even to parties who have attorneys.   Visualizing the process is helpful.

Think of a divorce or other family law case like a train moving from station to station.  There are different tracks that the train may roll along all ending up at the same place.   A legal case is like that train.  There is a settlement, mediation, or litigation track.  The case always ends up before the Court either in settlement, where the parties may or may not have to appear, or in a contested trial.

This flow chart may help you in understanding the settlement, mediation, and litigation tracks to a Minnesota divorce or other Minnesota family law manner.  I created this flow chart for my clients to help them visualize the process.

JUST FLOW CHART 1-29-2016 See   Flow Chart for Minnesota Divorce Proceeding   Download PDF

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer and Mediation Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606 or e-mail me via   www.katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2016

How to Change Title to the Car After a Minnesota Divorce

How Do I Change Title to a Car After a Minnesota Divorce? I am often asked the foregoing question. This post will help you change title to a car after a divorce in Minnesota. Worth a another read.

Kate Willmore Law Blog

How do you change the title to the car that is awarded to you in your divorce?  It’s actually pretty simple.  If the title is in your name alone, then do nothing.  If the car is titled in the other party’s name or in both names, then you must transfer the title to your name alone.

Car with key Transferring the title from the other party to you: In the “Buyer” transfer section of the car title you write your name. The other party signs in “Seller” transfer section of the car title.  Take the title to the DMV to transfer title.

If the car is titled in your name and the other party’s name, then you sign in the “Buyer” transfer section of the car title; and, both you and the other party sign in the “Seller” transfer section of the car title.  Take the title to the DMV to transfer title.

If you’ve lost the car title…

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How Do I Protect My Credit in a Minnesota Divorce?

Blue Question Mark ManHow a Minnesota divorce decree addresses the issue of debt is important. Party A may be required to pay for the debt and the other non-paying Party B is relying on Party A paying the debt timely and in full as the creditors may require.

Minnesota debt is allocated between the parties in the same manner as assets may be allocated– equitably.   Any Minnesota divorce may have three sorts of debt:

  • Debts held in Party A Spouse’s name;
  • Debts held in Party B Spouse’s name’ and,
  • Debts held in both Party A’s name and Party B’s name.

What Debt Questions Should You Ask During a Minnesota divorce?

You ask the following of each debt:

1. Who incurred the debt?

2. When was the debt incurred?

3.  What was the purpose of the debt?

4. Did both spouses agree to incurring the debt?

5. Who did or who will benefit from the debt?

6. Who is better able to pay the debt in a Minnesota divorce?

How Does Minnesota Law Characterize Debt in a Minnesota Divorce?

Generally, Minnesota treats debt in a Minnesota divorce as follows:

Debts incurred prior to the marriage remain his or her separate debts provided both parties did not obligate themselves for the debt via contract or payment agreement.

Debts incurred  by one party during the marriage are not marital debts, but  there are two exceptions to the foregoing:

Debts incurred  by one party during the marriage that benefit the marital estate or are for necessary living expenses  are mutual obligations; and, medical expenses incurred by your spouse are mutual obligations.   The foregoing is true if you are living together when the debt is incurred.     If Party A or Party B runs up his or her credit card for gambling or porn, then an argument can be made that the debt is far from marital.

Joint debts incurred during the marriage  are those that both parties agree to; for example, a joint credit card, a signatory on the credit card, a contract for purchases ( car, secured loan for furniture or other purchases); mortgages, personal loans, equity lines of credit that both parties sign for are joint obligations.

Creditors have no interest in how property and debts are divided during a Minnesota divorce.  Creditors have one goal- to get paid from whoever has the resources or assets to pay the obligation.

In a Minnesota divorce, if Party A is assigned to pay the joint debt and doesn’t pay or pays late, then Party B’s credit is negatively impacted.  A Minnesota divorce decree doesn’t protect Party B’s credit.  Party B’s legal responsibility for joint debt to the creditor does not go away.

Another added complication in this mix is Party A cannot be held in contempt of court for failing to pay the assigned debt.  In Minnesota, a party to a divorce proceeding can only be held in contempt of court for failing to pay child support or spousal maintenance.

How Do You Protect Yourself in a Minnesota Divorce from Creditors and Assigned Debt? 

  • If an asset is a car and has a loan, then take the car and pay the loan or insist upon its sale.
  • If the asset is real property, then make certain that the party keeping the property refinances the mortgage and any other obligations on the property to remove your name.  You should set a deadline and if your name is not removed by the deadline, then the property is sold.
  • If you do not want to be responsible for the debt, and you are concerned that your spouse will not pay it, then insist that assets are used to pay off the debt before the divorce.
  • If there are no funds to pay off the debt before the marriage, then insist upon the sale of a marital asset and pay it off.
  • Insist upon indemnification language in the decree for any assigned debt.   The language should read:  “Party A will assume the debt to XYZ credit card and Party A shall indemnify and shall hold Party B from payment of the same. ”   This means that if Party A fails to pay and the creditor comes after Party B and he/she has to pay, then Party B can bring a motion in the divorce file asking for money from Party A for the debt paid.  Add a provision for attorney fees and costs to the party who has to go to Court for relief from payments to creditors that the other party was supposed to pay.

Additional Tips for Minnesota Divorce and Debt.

  • Run your credit report during the divorce for all major credit reporting agencies.  You may find some debt that you never expected; e.g.,  your spouse co-signing student loans for his girl friend’s children.

More Tips for Minnesota Divorce and Debt.

If you are getting married, then:

  • Check on your intended’s financial past and present. Prior to marriage run your credit and future spouse’s credit.  Enter into a pre-marital agreement documenting the debt and his or her responsibility for his or her separate debt.
  • Postpone the marriage until the debt is paid if your future spouse’s money issues are extreme. Give him or her time to clean up his or her credit, pay bills, or back taxes or file bankruptcy and have it discharged prior to the marriage.
  • Create an informal understanding of how debt will be incurred in the future and for what; generally, develop a marital financial plan that you both can live with.

If you are married, then:

  • Keep separate checking and savings accounts open even if you open joint accounts
  • Keep separate credit card accounts and do not allow the other party to name you as an authorized user or joint holder of the account
  • No joint credit cards
  • Apply for credit individually
  • Do not co-sign
  • Consider a post-nuptial agreement that outlines the debt situation and who will pay in the event of a divorce.

Mortgages usually require that both spouses sign so both spouses are equally liable.

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer and Mediation Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606 or e-mail me via   www.katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2016

 

 

 

Can I Claim the Federal Tax Dependency Exemption in Minnesota? Separated, Non-Married or Divorced Parents in Minnesota and the Tax Dependency Exemptions for Children

Uncle sam with money bagsMinnesota now has a new law that outlines the analysis of which parent will be allocated the dependent exemption for the children of Minnesota parents.  Courts will look to this statute in the event parents cannot agree on who should get the exemptions.  Federal tax rules are implicated as well, but Minnesota has always reserved the right to allocate the exemption. Now, however, this new law sets out specific factors for the Court’s consideration.

Minn. Stat. Sec. 518A.38 Subdivision 7 titled Income Tax Dependency Exemptions reads as follows:

(a) The court may allocate income tax dependency exemptions for a child and require a party who has the child in the party’s physical custody for more than one-half of the calendar year to provide a properly executed declaration that releases the party’s claim to the child as a dependent under section 152(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to the other parent.

(b) In determining the allocation under paragraph (a), the court shall consider the following:

(1) the financial resources of each party;

(2) if not awarding the dependency exemption negatively impacts a parent’s ability to provide for the needs of the child;

(3) if only one party or both parties would receive a tax benefit from the dependency exemption; and

(4) the impact of the dependent exemption on either party’s ability to claim a premium tax credit or a premium subsidy under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, as amended, including the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152, and any amendments to, and any federal guidance or regulations issued under, these acts.

(c) The court may place reasonable conditions on a party’s right to claim an exemption, including a requirement that the party remains in compliance with a child support obligation.

(d) A party with less than ten percent of court-ordered parenting time shall not be entitled to receive a dependency exemption except by agreement of the parties.

(e) The court may issue an order to modify a prior allocation of an income tax dependency exemption upon a showing of substantial change in the factors under paragraph (b).

(f) If allocation of an exemption is contested, the court must make findings supporting its decision on the allocation.

(g) When a party has claimed an income tax dependency exemption in violation of a court order or applicable law, or has failed or refused to provide a properly executed written declaration that releases the party’s claim to a child as a dependent to the other party as required by a court order, the court may issue an order requiring compensation in the amount of the lost benefit and costs and reasonable attorney fees, to the party who was wrongfully deprived of the income tax dependency exemption. A motion for such relief must be brought within a reasonable time, but in no event later than three years from the date of the filing of the return in which the exemption was claimed or could have been claimed. A party who brings a meritless motion for such relief may be ordered to pay costs and reasonable attorney fees to the other party

What If There is No Court Order?

If there is no Minnesota Court Order  ( including agreements set out in an Order)  that allocates the exemptions to either party,  then the federal tax rules will apply to the parents.

In short, the Minnesota parent who has the children the majority of overnights ( not necessarily the custody award)  is entitled to claim the child as a dependent exemption. If Minnesota parents share equal joint parenting time, then IRS policy says the parent with the higher adjusted gross income claims the dependent exemption.  Head of household goes to the parent who has more than 50% overnights and pays at least half of the dependent’s living expenses.  Day-care expense deductions go to the person who has paid the day-care provider directly.   Note: The  IRS limits the application of certain credits and exemptions based upon income.

Taxation issues can be complex.  This post is an overview only.  You should consult your tax professional with specific questions.   Here is the IRS’s most recent publication.

See IRS Publication 504 for Divorced or Separated Individuals

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer, and Mediation Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606 or e-mail me via   www.katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2016

Minnesota Divorcing Couples Can Split IRS Refund into Two Separate Bank Accounts with IRS Form 8888

Splitting the tax refund is fair and equitable during a Minnesota divorce; having the IRS deposit your share directly is a good way to protect your half of the refund.

Kate Willmore Law Blog

Blue Question Mark ManMinnesota divorcing parties often file joint taxes pending the dissolution.   Parties can sign and file IRS Form 8888 entitled “Allocation of Refund” making it easier to divide a joint refund. IRS Form 8888 directs the IRS to divide a refund into separate bank accounts.   The IRS will direct deposit into each party’s bank account instead.

The foregoing avoids parties having to meet at the bank and sign off on the joint refund check; and, Form 8888 also avoids having the funds deposited into a joint account where either party may use the return.

If you liked this post, please hit the “subscribe” button so I can continue sharing information with you on a variety of family law topics. Please share this post via any of the links at the bottom of this post.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Right’s, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer and Mediator

(320) 217-6030   E-mail:  kaw@katewillmorelaw.com

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How Do You Terminate a Minnesota Delegation of Parental Rights?

This is a follow-up to a popular blog post that instructed folks how to fill out and complete a Minnesota Delegation of Parental Rights per Minn. Stat. Sec. 524.5-211

Children on PicnicSigning a delegation of parental rights does not — I repeat does not– convey any custodial rights on the party that you are delegating your rights to for your children or child.

Think of a delegation this way- someone, who you pick and name, is going to act as an “additional parent” to your children or child while you are unable to do so for whatever reason.  Your parental rights are not diminished or removed or lessened by completing this delegation.

A delegation is only valid for one year under the Minn. Stat. Section 524.5-211.  No interlineations by the parties to the delegation that exceed the statutory limit of one year will be valid.

How Do You Terminate the Delegation?

No fancy paperwork is necessary and no court order is necessary.  The delegating parent can simply draft up a letter similar to the following:

NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF DELEGATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS UNDER MINN. STAT. SEC. 524.5-211

Date:  January 7, 2016 ( Enter the date that you are completing this document.)

This is Notice to Minnie Mouse, 1234 Mouse Drive, Mouse World, MN 55555 ( Enter the full name and address of the person to whom you delegated  as that name appears in the delegation.) that the Delegation of Parental Rights signed by me on ______________ ( Enter the date and year that you signed the delegation here.) is hereby terminated and withdrawn effective immediately.  A photocopy of this termination shall have the same force and effect as the original.

Dated:  _______________, 20__

__________________________

Signature

Subscribed to and sworn to before me on this ___ day of ____ 20___.

_____________________

Notary Public

State of MN

My Commission Expires on: _________, 20____”

  • A notarized signature is not really necessary or required, but a notarized signature sends the message to the other party that this is an important termination.
  • You need to wait to complete this termination or for the other party to receive it before you retrieve your children or child. Don’t forget that you didn’t give your rights away.  You have every right to retrieve your kids.
  • Mail a true and correct copy of the document to the person holding the delegation using his or her  correct mailing address or hand-deliver it if you wish.   You need not mail it certified. The law assumes receipt if a letter is properly addressed, has postage and is mailed.   Keep the original for yourself.  Go pick up your children or child if you have not already done so.

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer and Mediation Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606 or e-mail me via   www.katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2016

 

 

 

How Do You Prepare for a Minnesota Divorce Settlement Meeting?

Blue Question Mark Man

 

 

If you have a divorce attorney, then you may rely upon your attorney to prepare you and to acquire all the information that you need.  If you mediate your Minnesota divorce by yourself, however, then get organized

I. Create and organize a binder with all the documents and written information that you need.

  • Have all the court papers in one section and order them by date with the most recent first;
  • Do the same for all correspondence and important e-mails;
  • Do the same for all documents.

II. What documents should you bring to a Minnesota Divorce Mediation?

A. Assets

  • NADA or Bluebook values on cars, boats, ATVs, snowmobiles, trailers, campers and RVs or any other equipment;
  • The most recent statements for all financial accounts showing what may be owed on any of the assets;
  • The most recent statements for all checking and savings accounts;
  • The most recent statements for all retirement assets, including, pensions, 401(k), 403(b), IRAs, and any other retirement accounts;
  • Documents evidencing any stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or certificates of deposit and the balances;
  • Real Property documents, including, property tax statements, any appraisals, any settlement/escrow papers, mortgage statement showing balance owed, any equity line or second mortgage information inclusive of balances owed; the foregoing includes all real property not just the homestead;
  • Bring evidence via documents of any and all assets and the current values.

B. Liabilities

The division and allocation of liabilities is part of a Minnesota divorce proceeding and settlement.  Bring the following documents with you to mediation as part of your binder.

  • The most recent statements showing the balance owed for all credit cards, installment contracts, and auto loans;
  • If you dispute that a debt is a joint obligation, then get copies of all statements demonstrating the charges; arguments can be made that gambling debts on a credit card are not marital;
  • All information related to any student loans and current balances including any that you or your spouse may have co-signed  or assumed for the children;
  • Any documents related, referring to or having to do with any current debt owed by you or by your spouse, including any past federal or state taxes or other tax obligation or any debts owed to family or friends.
  • Assignment of liabilities is of particular importance as is the indemnification to the party who is not paying the debt.

C. Income and Expenses

  • Develop a detailed budget for yourself and a separate budget for you when you have the children in your care; be specific,  and do not exaggerate;
  • Bring at least six months worth of income information like pay-stubs or other documents demonstrating your monthly gross and net ( after taxes) income.

D.  Custody, Parenting Time, and Child Support Financials

  • It is highly unlikely that joint legal custody will be an issue; Minnesota Courts are loath to award sole legal custody to any one parent in a Minnesota divorce situation involving children;
  • You should bring an outline of your points of argument and facts that support your custody position; if you have a custody study, then bring it as well; do your research on Minnesota custody and parenting time statutes;
  • Child support in Minnesota is based upon a shared income model you can go online and estimate the child support before mediation to calculate go to Minnesota Child Support Calculator;
  • Healthcare and dental insurance is calculated in the child support; if you carry the insurance, then bring proof of the monthly premiums.  The premiums will be shared by both parents on a pro-rata basis, but payment of premiums is open to negotiation ;
  • Uninsured healthcare expenses are usually pro-rated according to the parental income share determined by the Minnesota child support calculator.  Payment of these items, however, is also open to negotiation. For example, both parties may agree to pay half of all uninsured healthcare expenses for the children.
  • School activities and other school related expenses are open for negotiation as is summer-time expenses for activities.
  • Day-care is negotiable in terms of payment as well. School activities and summer-time activity costs are not part of a child support calculation.
  • Minnesota Courts can allocate the tax dependency exemption for children under a new statute, but allocation of an exemption or exemptions is also open to negotiation. A pre-settlement meeting with your tax person would be beneficial because there are other tax credits to consider relative to the children.

E.   What about spousal maintenance in a Minnesota divorce?

If you have a divorce that involves spousal maintenance, then I strongly recommend you to seek counsel.  Parties can agree to waive or limit spousal maintenance payable to one another, but there is specific requirement language ( called a Karon waiver)  that must be in every Minnesota divorce decree for the waiver or limit to be valid and enforceable.  Better to be safe in this area and at least seek the advice of an attorney.

F. How Do We Split the Retirement in a Minnesota Divorce?

Dividing retirements is another area where it is best to consult with an attorney.  Dividing retirements requires a particular post-decree order that includes specific language.  Many divorced parties forget to follow-up on the division of a retirement, which can complicate matters down the road.

G. How Do We Split the Homestead in a Minnesota Divorce?

Real property in a Minnesota divorce can be sold or one party can keep it and pay out half of the equity to the other party.  Securing the pay-out is important.  Removing a party’s name from the mortgage is crucial.  Transferring title is necessary.  If a lien  secures the pay-out, then that security language must be in the decree as well as in the quit claim deed and the summary real estate disposition.

H. What If We have Separate Property in a Minnesota Divorce?

Be ready to prove your separate property interest with documentation.  The burden of proof is on the party who is claiming the separate non-marital property.

In short, you must be as ready for mediation as you would be if you were going to trial in a Minnesota divorce.   There are attorneys who will counsel you and coach you in mediation. An attorney can help you in preparation; or, an attorney can suggest documents to bring; and, an attorney can recommend resources.

Some issues like complex custody matters or spousal maintenance or division of a business are better suited to representation by an attorney of your choice.  Completing a divorce is not as simple as checking boxes.  You need to be knowledgeable about your rights and the long term impact of any decision that you make.

Better to pay a small fee now for attorney help as you go along in your process,  then have to pay a large fee down the road to try to amend a divorce decree.  Minnesota divorce property awards cannot be amended after the divorce unless fraudulent.  A Karon wavier in which one or both parties waive or limit spousal maintenance cannot be reversed if the Karon is property drafted.

There are some mine-fields out there for any one attempting to mediate a Minnesota divorce.  Be prepared, but know when to get counsel and advice. You can make the best decisions when you have the best information.

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer and Mediation Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606 or e-mail me via   www.katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2015

How to Fill Out a Minnesota Parental Delegation Form.

Blue Question Mark ManThe Minnesota parental delegation form is available to all parents who need to temporarily delegate the care of children to another trusted adult.  The form is simple, but care should be taken to complete it with full names and properly witnessed signatures. The Minnesota parental delegation does not grant custody.  The delegation appoints someone to share caregiving with a parent while that parent is  unavailable for some reason.  The delegation can be terminated by the delegating parent at anytime. The completed delegation does not have to be filed with the Court.  The completed form can be copied and given to the children’s school and healthcare providers or anyone else needing proof of the delegation.

For more information and to read the Minnesota Statute see Delegation of Power by Parent or Guardian

HOW TO COMPLETE THE MINNESOTA PARENTAL DELEGATION FORM

DELEGATION OF POWERS BY PARENT OR GUARDIAN

[Minn. Stat. § 524.5-211]

STATE OF MINNESOTA

County of    [ where signed and notarized]

KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS THAT:

I/We, [ Parties giving the delegation] of the County of [ parties residential County], State of Minnesota, am/are the parent(s) of: Child/ Children Name(s): [ Complete names of child or children– full first, middle, and last name ] who were born on: [ child or children’s dates of birth; make certain to identify which child has what birthday]

  1. I/We hereby appoint the following person(s): [ Full and complete name of the person or persons to whom you are delegating who are called the attorneys-in-fact; you can name one person or more]

of the County of [the person or persons residential county] State of Minnesota, to be my/our true and lawful Attorney(s) in Fact for the exercise of parental over my/our child/children for a period of [ how long will the delegation be in place- cannot exceed one year] from and after the date of execution of this document to and including the following date[ the last effective date of the delegation ] pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 524.5-211.

The named Attorney(s) in Fact are related to me/us or I/we know her/him as follows: [ Who are the attorneys-in-fact to you? E.g., a brother, sister, mother, father, best friend, et….]

  1. This Power of Attorney hereby constitutes my/our delegation to my/our Attorney(s) in Fact of all of my/our parental powers and authority regarding the care, custody, and property of my/our child/children, including, but not limited to, the authority to: (a) authorize medical treatment; (b) enroll my/our child/children in school; and, (c) to provide a home, care, and supervision of my/our child/children at my/our Attorney(s) in Fact’s home. This Power of Attorney does not authorize my Attorney(s) in Fact to consent to marriage or adoption of my/our child/children named herein. For Single Parents Only: I understand that I am legally obligated, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 524.5-505(b), to mail or give a copy of this document to any other parent within 30 days of its execution unless: (a) the other parent does not have visitation rights or has supervised visitation rights; or, (b) there is an existing order for protection under chapter 518B or similar law of another state in effect against the other parent to protect me. [ The forgoing is Minnesota law language and should not be modified. This  paragraph lists all of the powers that you are giving to the attorney-in-fact in caring for your child. SINGLE PARENTS: Be sure to follow the notice requirements to the other parent.  Note the exceptions for the notice. ]

THIS IS THE END OF THE DOCUMENT.

THE NEXT SECTION IS THE SIGNATURE SECTION.  [ Be certain to sign your name the same way that you listed your name above.  Full and complete names should be included for the parent or parents granting the delegation; the attorney(s)-in-fact and the children.  All persons must sign in the presence of a notary.]

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this:        day of _________ 20_____________________________________________________

Signature of Parent

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this:        day of _________ 20______.___________________________________

Signature of Parent

I/We, the undersigned Attorney(s) in Fact hereby accept the foregoing Delegation of Parental Authority.

___________________________________________

Signature of Attorney in Fact

_______________________________________________

Signature of Attorney in Fact

The above-named persons known to me appeared and having been first duly sworn subscribed before me on this_________   day of _______________ 20___.

SEAL OR NOTARY STAMP

_______________________ [ All signatures must be notarized!]

NOTARY PUBLIC

STATE OF MINNESOTA

For a blank Minnesota Delegation form see:  Minnesota Parental Delegation of Power

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer and Mediation Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606 or e-mail me via   www.katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2015

How Do Minnesota Parents Split the Tax Dependent Exemptions in a Minnesota Divorce?

Communication-theatreThe process of mediation doesn’t have to be confined to the big picture in a divorce or after a divorce.   Parties can attempt to resolve any dispute through mediation.   The who, why and how of sharing the tax dependency exemptions and related tax benefits for the children is a subject well suited for a family law mediation. An allocation of the dependent exemption should ultimately benefit the family including both parents who share parenting time.

The following tax benefits should be considered in any mediation on this issue:

  1. Allocation of the dependent tax exemption in the divorce;
  2. Head of household claim and availability to either parent in the divorce;
  3. Dependent care credit;  earned income credit;  the child tax credit and the implication of any income limits on the forgoing to either parent in the divorce.

An understanding of the general rules for allocation of the dependent exemptions and related benefits is necessary to make an informed decision. Both parties should prepare detailed expense and income reports as well as evidence of income.  A pre-mediation meeting with a tax accountant would help as well. The dependent exemption analysis can become fairly complex given the IRS rules and exceptions.

In short, the parent who has the children the majority of overnights ( not necessarily the custody award)  is entitled to claim the child as a dependent exemption. if the parties share equal joint parenting time, then IRS policy says the parent with the higher adjusted gross income claims the dependent exemption.  Head of household goes to the parent who has more than 50% overnights and pays at least half of the dependent’s living expenses.  Note that the IRS limits the application of certain credits and exemptions based upon income.

The IRS sets the rules and policies,  but Minnesota Courts have the discretion to allocate the dependent exemptions under Minn. Stat. Section 518A.38, which is a new statute.   If a Minnesota Court allocates the exemption, then that Order is controlling.  The Order should be very specific in language as to the who, what, and when of the allocation. Any settlement document should also be very specific in its language.  The IRS now allows pages of a Court order to be attached to a tax return in place of Form 8352, but the language in the Court Order must contain exactly what the IRS requires.

For more information see: IRS Publication 504 Divorced or Separated Individuals  and Minn. Stat. Section 518A.38

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  Please do share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. Thanks for reading.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights, Family Lawyer, Family Court Lawyer and Mediation Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606 or e-mail me.    www.katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2015

Minnesota Child Custody and a Minnesota Court’s Authority to Order Supervised Parenting Time

MP900305711[1]The Court has the authority to implement supervised parenting time when the Court finds, after a hearing ” . . . that parenting time with a parent is likely to endanger the child’s physical or emotional health or impair the child’s emotional development, the court shall restrict parenting time with that parent as to time, place, duration, or supervision and may deny parenting time entirely, as the circumstances warrant. The court shall consider the age of the child and the child’s relationship with the parent prior to the commencement of the proceeding.” Minn. Stat. Section 518.175, subd.1(b)

The parent asking for supervised parenting time has the burden to prove by way of affidavit and supporting facts that a child is endangered when in the other parent’s care. Conclusions in an affidavit such as “the child is in danger” are insufficient. An affidavit must include facts as to time, date, issue, results, how, where and when a  child is endangered.  If a Court finds after reviewing an affidavit that there is a concern, then the Court will set the matter on for a hearing.  The burden is still on the parent asking for supervised parenting time to prove to the Court that the child is endangered. The Court may issue a temporary order restricting parenting time pending the hearing.

Who supervises and how is the supervision accomplished?

The Court ultimately makes the decision if there is no agreement between the parties.  The Court may also look to the published guidelines as follows:

“The state court administrator, in consultation with representatives of parents and other interested persons, shall develop standards to be met by persons who are responsible for supervising parenting time. Either parent may challenge the appropriateness of an individual chosen by the court to supervise parenting time.” Minn. Stat. Section 518.175, subd. (1a)b(b)

The state court administrator’s recommended standards for parenting time supervisors and levels of supervision can be found at Minnesota Judicial Branch: Standards for Professional and Nonprofessional Parenting Time Supervisors in Family Court Proceedings.

All parents have a constitutional right to parent his or her children.  Supervised parenting time must have a basis in substantiated facts showing that a child may be endangered before any Court will impose a supervised requirement on a parent.

If a  child is immediately endangered or the obvious victim of abuse, then law enforcement and child protection should be involved to protect the child from further immediate harm pending any hearing or court proceeding.

Please  share this post via the share buttons at the bottom of the page. 

If you like this post, I would love it if you would hit the “subscribe” button so that I may continue to share a variety of family law topics with you.  

Thanks for reading. 

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Father’s Rights, Mother’s Rights,  Family Lawyer,  Family Court Lawyer, Legal Blogger,  and Mediator Coach

Call me at (320) 492-3606  or e-mail me.      www. katewillmorelaw.com

Copyright 2015

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