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Rochester Law Blog

Your home, mortage and divorce

It is not at all uncommon for one spouse to work hard to keep a family home after a divorce. If you and your spouse are getting divorced in Minnesota and your partner has indicated a desire to retain the house, there are some very important points you will want to understand so that you can protect yourself financially. If you fail to take the proper steps, you could find your credit suffering based on the actions of your former spouse.

You might think that stipulating financial responsibility for your existing mortgage in a divorce decree is all that you need in order to eliminate your liability for the debt. As explained by Bankrate, however, that is not the case. A bank is not concerned with the terms of your divorce. They are focused solely on the names of the people identified as the responsible parties on the loan documentation.

Divorce may be a contributor to poverty

It should be no surprise to most people in Minnesota that getting divorced can hurt a person's finances. The sheer act of having to split assets reduces a person's wealth. In addition, the cost of living for a single person is greater than the cost of living for a couple in one household, a fact that contributes to the popularity of having roommates at certain stages of life. Now there is some research coming out of Bowling Green State University that puts some hard numbers to just how serious the financial problems due to a divorce can really become.

Researchers have found that people who were divorced but who never got married again had significantly higher rates of poverty by the time they were 63 or older than their married counterparts. Those counterparts included people who had been divorced but who later got married again as well as people who got married once and stayed married. The group who is the most negatively impacted by a divorce is women whose marriages ended after they were 50 years old.

The reasons behind many Minnesota car accidents

A car accident can change your life in an instant. When other drivers act negligently or recklessly, often, innocent people pay the price. If you are the victim of the actions of other drivers, you may be wondering what you should do to pick up the pieces and start to rebuild your life.

One of the most helpful steps may be to find out what factors played a role in the accident that left you injured. Identifying the cause of your accident can help you understand what legal options may be available to you and how you can move forward with the appropriate course of action. An evaluation of your case can help identify what happened and what you should do next.

Hit-and-run in Detroit Lakes kills man

No one in Rochester wants to be involved in a car accident (let alone be the one deemed responsible for it). Yet that does not change the legal responsibility people have to remain at the scene of any crash that they are involved in. The law often recognizes that auto accidents are just that; thus, those who cause them (provided that their actions do not display a degree of recklessness) may often escape any harsh criminal penalties. Yet if one chooses to flee the scene of an accident, they open themselves up to even further criminal and civil scrutiny. 

Hit-and-run cases the produce injuries (or even fatalities) can often result in serious criminal charges. That is likely what awaits the driver who recently fled the scene of an accident in Detroit Lakes. Law enforcement officials are enlisting the assistance of the public in finding the driver of a Mercury Marquis that struck the operator of a utility vehicle. The operator was rushed to a local hospital for treatment, yet he ended up dying from his injuries. 

One teen injured, another killed in Minneapolis crash

No one in Rochester wants to be placed in the position of needing to pursue legal action against someone that they know. In in some instances, the circumstances that a person or family is dealing with may leave them with little choice. Car accidents may be good examples of such situations. When an accident occurs, liability typically falls to the driver the responsible for it. That includes liability for the injuries sustained by the passengers in their own vehicle. If said passengers have difficulty securing insurance coverage for their injuries (or the amount offered is not enough to cover their expenses), then they may be forced to seek compensation from the driver. 

Oftentimes, the expenses associated with a car accident will go far beyond simply having to pay for medical bills. This fact was demonstrated in a crash that recently occurred in Minneapolis. A teen was driving along with two friends in his vehicle when he lost control of the car. It hit a tractor before rolling into a ditch. Whether or not the driver was injured was not reported; what authorities did share is that he was wearing his seat belt at the time of the collision. His two passengers were not. One sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries, while the other died. 

How should I conduct myself during a custody hearing?

Securing the most favorable child custody decision involves many different factors. How each parent conducts themselves in court is one important, often overlooked factor that many judges consider when rendering a final decision. To help you present yourself and your case in the best possible light, LiveAbout.com offers the following advice. 

Keep your emotions in check

What is the walk and turn test?

If you are ever stopped while driving by a police officer in Minnesota and suspected of potentially being impaired, the officer might ask you to perform a few tests. These are called field sobriety tests. Despite what you might think, these three tests cannot prove that you are drunk and that is not even what they are intended to do. Instead, if you fail one or more of these tests, that may allow an officer to place you under arrest and charge you with drunk driving.

One of these tests is called the walk and turn test. As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, before you are told to do anything, the law enforcement officer is supposed to not only describe the test in detail to you but they are also supposed to physically demonstrate it to you. It is only after doing this that the officer should request you perform the test yourself.

Are you facing unique issues in a divorce or custody situation?

In a perfect world, you might decide it's time to move on in life, file for divorce, agree to a settlement and start carrying out plans for your future. In reality, life is often a lot more complex and numerous factors can cause things to become quite complicated and 'messy' when it comes to divorce or child custody issues.

No matter what the particular circumstances of your situation happen to be, it's likely that you're not alone in your struggle. Someone, somewhere has no doubt experienced something similar or, at least, just as stressful. A key to overcoming high-stress legal problems is to know where to seek support to protect your rights and your children's best interests.

The horizonal gaze nystagmus test

If you ae like most people in Minnesota, you know that part of a drunk driving investigation includes an officer asking a driver to perform certain tests at the location at which they have been stopped. If you assume that these tests are completely accurate, you would be incorrect. As explained by FieldSobrietyTests.org, each of the three tests administered has a known inaccuracy rate.

One test is called the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. It is the most accurate of the three tests and yet is still has an accuracy rate of only 77%. Your physical health may well contribute to your inability to pass this test as certain neurological or ophthalmological conditions might interfere with the results. A nystagmus is a normal jerking of the eyeball that can be exacerbated due to health conditions or possibly due to the consumption of alcohol.

How do illegal turns contribute to crashes?

In Minnesota, car crashes related to illegal turns happen frequently. Though wrong-way turns don't get as much attention as other road-related dangers like distracted or drunk driving, it can be just as harmful to anyone on the road.

FindLaw starts by looking at the illegal U-turn, one of the most commonly-known instances of dangerous illegal turning practices. Illegal U-turns can contribute to crashes because they put a driver in the direct path of oncoming traffic flows. Other drivers may not be able to see them or stop in time to avoid them, leading to sideswipe or rear-end crashes.

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