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Jaspers, Moriarty & Wetherille, P.A.
Seasoned Legal Judgment For The South Metro Area

Shakopee Legal Blog

What's the right kind of parenting plan for you and your family?

If you're a parent with young children who is facing divorce proceedings, one of the most important decisions on your mind probably relates to child custody. Should you adopt a 50-50 parenting structure where your children live with you half the time and your spouse the rest, giving your children the benefit of equal time with both their parents? Or, should you do an every-other-weekend plan and have your children live in one home?

Let's take a closer look at these two parenting agreement strategies, including the benefits and advantages of both:

My car was repossessed: Can I recover it?

If someone is late on his or her vehicle loan payments, it could result in the bank taking possession of the car. After the car loan goes into default, the bank will contract a repossession man or woman to arrive -- usually when you least expect it -- and commandeer your car.

Your bank has the legal right to repossess your car if you become delinquent on your loan. However, there's one way to stop vehicle repossession: Filing for bankruptcy.

What to Do With Your Tenant's Stuff

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The short answer is you can't just throw it in the dumpster. Usually a landlord needs to keep a tenant's left behind property for a period of time. However, if the property is valuable, that property can be another source to collect unpaid rents or for damage caused by the tenant. Failing to follow the appropriate process can make landlords liable to tenants for the value of the property, attorney fees and even additional punitive damages of $1,000 or more. In most cases, making every effort to encourage tenants to take all of their personal property can help landlords avoid the headaches of storage and disposal. When tenants leave property, however, being prepared to conduct the proper process can also save landlords time and money.

When the Government Wants to Take (or Use) Your Property

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Many people have heard of condemned property, or eminent domain. That is the government's power to take or use privately owned property if it is for a "public purpose." Expansion of roads or construction of controlled access interchanges is generally considered a public purpose if conducted on public roadways. An example of one such project is that currently underway on Highways 169 and 41 in Scott County, Minnesota. Utilizing federal funding, Scott County is seeking to change access to U.S. Highway 169 by constructing overpasses and interchanges. To complete the project, Scott County will need to acquire and use adjacent property owned by private individuals and businesses.

Is there a good time of year to end a marriage?

According to a psychiatrist from the Advocate Medical Group, different times of the year could put more strain on a relationship than others. In fact, most Minnesota divorce lawyers will tell you that January and February are among the most popular times for couples to initiate their divorce proceedings. So, if you're considering divorce in the beginning of the year, you're not alone.

Start your estate planning now for peace of mind

There's always a new reason you can invent to avoid planning your estate or creating your last will. You may hope to add new members to your family or think about acquiring new assets in the next year or two, such as a vacation home. Surely, you tell yourself, it's better to wait to have that all handled before starting to create a will or estate plan.

In reality, your family and assets will always be in a state of flux. Babies are born, while other people leave via divorce or death. If you wait until nothing in your life is going to change to create a will, you won't ever get around to this critical task. If you plan to marry soon, have children or own substantial assets, such as a house, you should take the time to plan your estate now. You can always update it in the future.

Deciding where you are going to live after the divorce

When you are in a divorce, there are many major decisions to make. As a CBS MoneyWatch article notes, one of the more fundamental ones is the decision of where to live moving forward.

There are generally two main choices for a post-divorce living situation. You could either keep living at the home you were in during the marriage, or you could move to a new place. Each of these routes has a set of additional decisions connected to it.

If you decide to pursue staying in the marital home, there are decisions to make on what sort of arrangements to try to reach with one's ex regarding things such as the ownership of the home and who will cover mortgage payments moving forward. If you decide instead to move to a new place, there are decisions such as whether to buy a new home or instead to rent a place.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Contract Management

Lots of small businesses forego counsel at their peril - not always because of conscious choice, but frequently out of naïveté. Owners and managers of businesses of all stripes often overestimate their personal talents in contracting by conflating their strong skills in negotiation and fostering business relationships, which they are often strong at, with strength in contract drafting - the process of reducing an agreement to an enforceable writing. One "cardinal rule" of negotiation is don't give your number first, that way you make the other side set the ceiling on the negotiations. However, a cardinal rule in contract making is the drafter starts at a position of dominance - there is a first strike advantage.

Minnesota's "New" Cohabitation Law

Minnesota’s spousal maintenance statute has just changed adding a potential new set of elements to allow a former spouse to modify a previously ordered spousal maintenance (alimony) award. The idea for the new language and changes derives from a 1979 Minnesota Supreme Court decision, and addresses a common issue arises in spousal maintenance calculation: Many recipients of spousal maintenance cohabitate with significant others and avoid marriage, effectively keeping their household income at a lower rate in order to receive a higher amount in maintenance from an ex-spouse after dissolution. For over 37 years, Minnesota case law has adopted the idea that “a meretricious relationship between a divorced spouse and another may be grounds for reducing or terminating alimony ‘in so far as it might improve an ex-spouse’s economic well-being.’” Abbott v. Abbott 282 N.W.2d 561, 564 (Minn. 1979). What does that mean? Basically if you are living together like a married couple, with the exception of actually being married, that could be grounds to modify the spousal support award.

Prince's Estate - Intestate Inheritance

By: Jim Conway, Shareholder Estate planning, including writing a will, is important to accurately describe who you wish to inherit your property and to avoid infighting among heirs, particularly where a person has no living children. In Minnesota, a person that dies without making a will passes their estate in accordance with Minnesota's intestate succession laws. These laws spell out who gets what property, and which relations have priority over other ones. For Prince's estate this will be a little messy because Prince apparently has no children, has a full-blood sibling, and a number of half-siblings, some of whom may not be known to the others. Sorting out who is even related to Prince is going to be a primary issue. But once that happens, the question many people are asking is whether Prince's full-blood sibling will get all or the estate, or a greater share, than any half-siblings or more distant relations.

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