When a Divorce Lawyer May Be Just What You Need

Divorces can be incredibly difficult both emotionally and procedurally.  A divorce lawyer can help guide you through the process.  This includes making it as smooth and quick as possible while still protecting and advocating for your rights.

Reasons You May Want a Divorce Lawyer

The following are some typical reasons you may want to strongly considering hiring a divorce lawyer: 

  • You don’t trust that your spouse will be honest and do the right thing during the divorce 
  • Your spouse has already shown they are vengeful, dishonest, or aggressive 
  • You are concerned that your spouse may be hiding assets 
  • You’re uncomfortable with the divorce process 
  • You’re not sure what to do during a divorce process and feel easily overwhelmed by the large amount of paperwork 
  • Your spouse has a divorce lawyer representing them 
  • Your divorce has special issues that need extra attention, like: 
  • Who will get custody of the children? 
  • How often will each of you spend with the children? 
  • Who will get child support and how much will it be? 
  • Are either you or your spouse entitled to alimony? 
  • How will marital property be split up? 
  • How will marital debts be split up? 
  • There has been domestic abuse or child abuse in the relationship 
  • You’re worried your spouse may become abusive if a divorce is started 
  • You don’t feel comfortable negotiating a divorce alone with your spouse 
  • Either you or your spouse has problems with drug or alcohol abuse 
  • Either you or your spouse has mental or physical health problems 
  • You would be comforted having someone help guide and lead you through the potentially complex process. 

When a Divorce Lawyer Can Help if You Have Children

Children are often hit the hardest by divorces.  Not only do they see their primary caregivers split apart, unfortunately some are put in between the parents in potentially horrible ways.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the divorce process by itself.  This pressure becomes even more enormous when you’re worried about the welfare of your children. 

A divorce lawyer can be especially helpful in the following situations, when your spouse has: 

  • Been physically or emotionally abusive towards them 
  • Used the children to try to manipulate you 
  • Denied you access to your children 
  • Threatened to harm or take away the children if you leave 
  • Has already kidnapped the children

A Divorce Lawyer Gives You Piece of Mind

Ultimately, a divorce lawyer will deal with all of the legally complex issues and arguments that may need to be made during a case.  The lawyer will keep you informed of your options and where the case is going.  Lastly, the lawyer will allow you to go on with your life as seamlessly as possible and help you move on.





Mediation in Family Law in Minnesota

What Mediation in Family Law Is

Mediation in family law involves both parties, like a divorcing husband and wife, meeting with a neutral 3rd party.  This neutral 3rd party, is a person called a mediator.  The mediator will try to help clarify the issues, facilitate communication between the parties, and help the parties reach an agreement on their own terms.

The mediator does not take sides.  The mediator does not make the agreement for the parties.  Lastly, the mediator does not have any decision-making authority like a judge does.

Along these lines, the parties don’t have to agree to anything if they don’t feel comfortable with it.

 Advantages of Mediation

First and foremost, when the parties reach complete agreement in the mediation, they may then proceed to end the case.  Any agreement the parties reach will go before a judge and generally will become a court order.  This ultimately saves the parties time, money, and more emotional distress that comes with a long, drawn out trial.

In addition, the mediation process manages risk and gives the parties control of the process.  If the parties don’t agree, a judge will ultimately decide the issues.  This could leave either party in much worse a spot than had they reached a settlement agreement.

Finally, in family law situations which involve children, research has shown that children tend to be better adjusted later on when their parents can work together and reach an agreement themselves.

Mediation is an excellent option for parties in different family law situations, including divorces, child custody cases, and alimony situations.  It’s so potentially valuable that in some cases, the parties may be ordered by a judge to participate in mediation to at least try to resolve their disputes with minimal court involvement.  Mediation in family law cases should almost always be at least considered.


Self-Help Divorce: You Can Only Marry one Person at a time in Minnesota Too

Self-Help Divorce Mistake #1: Using a Friend

Alan O’Neill, 42, a resident of Washington State, enlisted a friend to help him with a self-help divorce from his first wife.  Afterwards, Mr. O’Neill started another relationship and eventually decided to try his hand at marriage again. 

He happily married a second time and all was well.  The happy couple, as many do today, put pictures of the ceremony on Facebook to share with others.

One person, however, definitely did not “like” the joyous event:  Mr. O’Neill’s first wife, who he had never divorced.

It turns out Mr. O’Neill’s friend never filed the necessary legal paperwork to complete the first divorce proceeding.

Understandably Mr. O’Neill’s first wife brought the situation to the attention of the authorities.  Mr. O’Neill was charged in March of this year with attempted bigamy.  He pled guilty a few days ago.

Self-Help Divorce: The Potential Penalties

So, Mr. O’Neill had to endure months of public embarrassment and ridicule.  In addition, his second marriage was annulled.  This means the marriage was effectively cancelled, as if it never existed.

In addition, he has to go through the entire divorce proceeding from scratch again.  After finishing that, he will then have to marry his second wife again to have it legally valid.

Bigamy is Illegal in Minnesota Too: Take Away Messages

There are a few lessons here: First, there are a lot of procedures involved with a divorce.  It’s critical to do them correctly both to get the proper legal result and to advocate for your rights. 

Second, a family law attorney is a fantastic resource to help walk you through all of the potential pitfalls involved in the long and complex divorce process.

Third and finally, don’t trust a friend or neighbor to do it for you, unless they happen to be a lawyer.  If you ignore this advice and go with a friend’s help anyway, at the very least double-check everything they do.


All of the materials available in this blog is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between Majeski Law, LLC and anyone who uses it.


Separation and Divorce: Cultural and Socioeconomic Data

Different Trends with Separation and Divorce

A research study at Ohio State University  released last week revealed interesting research regarding separation and divorce rates.

The study followed over 7,000 people from 1979 until 2008.  The participants were interviewed every other year from 1994 to 2008.  Some interesting findings:

  • 49% percent of participants left their first marriage during the study
  • 60% of those individuals had gone through a marital separation
  • 80% of these separations ended in divorce

It’s important to clarify that “separated” in the study simply meant living apart.  This is different from a “legal separation” which requires a court hearing.  A legal separation involves a division of property and spouses living separately, however does not legally divorce the parties.

In addition to looking at general divorce patterns, the study also examined differences between those who legally divorced and those who just separated.  Historically, a legal separation has been a viable option for those with religious beliefs which disapprove of divorce.  However, this study did not show a difference in separation rates among those in different religious groups.

The Demographics that Relate to Separation vs. Divorce

In contrast, almost 75% of those who separated and stayed that way or who separated then reunited were black or Hispanic.  Those who separated also tended to have more children than those who divorced.  In addition, “In every measure we had, including family background, income and education, those who remain separated are more disadvantaged than those who are divorcing,” Zhenchao Qian, one of the researchers, said.  Based on this Professor Dmitry Tumin, study co-author, concluded, “Long-term separation seems to be the low-cost, do-it-yourself alternative to divorce for many disadvantaged couples.

Lastly, divorce proceedings include child custody, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), and property division rulings.  Without these, individuals may have difficulty enforcing their legal rights or get the benefits they need from their spouse/ex-spouse.  Unfortunately, those without sufficient means, knowledge, or confidence in the legal system may not do what’s needed to protect these rights.  Legal help services are available in Minnesota for those who need it.