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Brainerd Minnesota Law Blog

Access to new partners at work linked to divorce rates

The stress that people in Minnesota bring home from work sometimes contributes to marital breakups, but meeting new people at work could inspire divorces as well. A study that analyzed 30 years of data collected in Denmark identified a relationship between certain types of jobs and higher divorce rates. The opportunity to meet opposite sex partners at work produced more divorces among men and women in certain occupations.

The researcher behind the study said that the availability of potential partners at work showed a stronger relationship between men and divorce, but the link appeared among women as well, but to a lesser extent. Men in industries with a large female presence had a much greater chance of divorce than men who worked in male-dominated fields like construction. Women who worked in male-dominated fields also sought divorces more often than women surrounded by mostly women at work.

Age generally doesn't make divorce easier

Since 1990, the divorce rate for those over the age of 65 has tripled while it has doubled for those between the ages of 50 and 64. For older Brainerd residents and others contemplating divorce, ending a marriage is never an easy process to go through. Furthermore, it can have an impact on the the friends and family members of the estranged couple

Friends of a divorced person may feel obligated to withdraw as to not take sides when a marriage ends. Adult children may also have to adjust to a significant change in their family structure. As people get older, it becomes harder to replace relationships that were acquired and then lost. Therefore, they could be lonelier than others who have seen their marriages come and go. Even if an individual chooses to remarry, there is a chance that future marriages could fail.

Jumping To Conclusions

An incident occurred where the mayor was confronted on his own property by two drunk individuals. The police Lieutenant, who lead the investigation, knew about, but did not talk to one of the individuals. When the defense located that individual, his account of what happened contradicted the official police account, and the account of the other individual present. It appears that the lieutenant did not want to get this person involved as he would contradict the official account of what happened.

We are pleased that after a very brief deliberation, the Jury found James Hunter "Not guilty!" for a second time.

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Former Crosby Mayor James Hunter, who is again seeking the mayoral office seat in the November general election, was once again acquitted of a felony crime by a Crow Wing County jury.

Hunter's jury trial began Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd. The trial wrapped up Thursday with the jury finding Hunter not guilty of felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. Two months ago, a jury acquitted him for felony theft by swindle.

Common mistakes people make when they file for bankruptcy

Minnesotans who are struggling under the weight of their debt may benefit by filing for personal bankruptcy protection. However, it is important for people to understand several things about personal bankruptcy before they file so that they might avoid making mistakes.

One common mistake that some people make when they file for bankruptcy protection is failing to declare all of their debts. If people leave debts off their schedules, those debts will not be discharged in their bankruptcies. This means that they will still be responsible for paying them. Prior to filing for bankruptcy, people should take the time to identify all of their debts so that they can properly list them.

Making interim plans for minor children in an estate plan

Minnesota parents may want to consider expanding their estate planning instructions if their children are minors. Wills offer parents the opportunity to appoint guardians for their kids. However, this still leaves a gap between what happens after the parents' deaths and when the legal guardian takes over.

As part of this planning, parents may want to consider who a babysitter should contact if they do not come home from a night out or who should be called if the police come with bad news about the parents. Another consideration is where the child will go until the legal guardianship is in place. If it is not immediately clear who the child should go with or that person is not available right away, family services will most likely be called and the child will be placed with a foster family. Parents may prefer that the child stay with a neighbor or another family friend until the legal guardian can take over, and this can be addressed in the document.

What is the difference between a will and a trust?

A will, or “last will and testament” is a legal document that is used to transfer your belongings, money or other “assets’ to the people you name in it. A will can serve more than just that purpose, however.

A will can also be used to appoint the guardians for your minor children and to tell the court and your family whom you would like to take care of your estate or act as “executor” when you die.

Important issues when dividing retirement accounts during divorce

Divorce among people over 50 has been trending upward since the 1990s. Older individuals in Minnesota likely have multiple retirement plans to split when they end their marriages. They could have one or more 401(k) plans and pensions from jobs over the years as well as Individual Retirement Accounts.

An owner of a financial services company confirmed that most retirement assets qualify as marital assets. This sometimes upsets people who had not realized that they would have to give a portion to an ex-spouse in a divorce settlement.

Study finds racial bias impacts bail decisions

Black defendants in Minnesota and throughout the United States are 2.4 percent more likely to be held during the legal process than white defendants. This is the key finding in a study to be published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics. Furthermore, it was determined that bail for black defendants was higher and that both white and black judges seemed to be biased against them.

As a general rule, those who are deemed a more significant risk to society will be given higher bail amounts. Research has shown that black defendants are thought of as more aggressive even though there is no clear evidence to back this up. The researchers behind the study say that making decisions based on data could work to reduce racial bias in the justice system. Providing additional training for judges could also help them to make decisions that are based more on facts and less on racial stereotypes.

The value of planning for a divorce

Few couples anticipate going through a divorce when first getting married, but with divorce rates at 50 percent, planning for a future separation is the intelligent thing to do. Knowing what the expect when the time comes can reduce a lot of confusion and stress for both parties. If done correctly, planning can result in a peaceful negotiation of terms through mediation or collaboration rather than an extended and expensive trial. All the adults and children involved can benefit.

There are many things to consider when planning for a divorce, including the division of assets and custody of children. Making a reasonable decision about these factors requires careful thought and research by both parties. Each person should set reasonable goals for a future after divorce and then think of ways to accomplish those goals without generating more difficulties.

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