I remember the anger, frustration and anxiety when I started the divorce process in my first marriage.
- Anger because although I was unhappy, it was not my choice to start the divorce process, nor did I believe divorce was right. You work at a relationship. You compromise. And you blend lives together to make a family. Divorce mean failure and I don’t fail.
- Frustration because I had nowhere to go. I did not know where to start and I was dreading the cost of a divorce.
- Anxiety because I did not know about the divorce process, and I hated not knowing where to go, where to turn, how long it would take, how expensive it might be…
After the divorce, I looked forward to starting my life over. Divorce is a blessing in disguise because it is an event that, if you do it right:
- shows you who you really are
- start a fresh, new life
- learn from your mistakes and grow
- create any life you want
That’s why I founded The Divorce Men’s Network. We connect with men to:
- Ease the pain
- Ease the anxiety
- Learn from one another and industry experts
- Connect with other men
- Something funny
On Wednesday, October 19th our meeting focused on learning about the divorce process. Zach Smith (of Vox Law, no relation to me) came in to speak to the group and answer YOUR question. It was a power meeting to connect and learned:
How do you split the home value?
When both people were married and purchased the home during marriage, the home it considered “marital property” and both are given equal share of the home. If the home was purchased by both people prior to marriage, then typically the value each person receives is proportional to the amount they contributed prior to marriage. Last, if one person bought the home prior to marriage, that person would receive his/her portion of the value as “non-marital” (or not split). Then the appreciation of the home above the nonmartial portion is considered marital and split equally.
What is a Karon waiver?
The 1989 case of Karon v. Karon, 435 N.W.2d 501, was a landmark case in Minnesota that basically says once spousal maintenance is determine, neither party can approach the court to modify spousal maintenance. The good – spousal maintenance cannot be increased. The bad – if you get hurt and no longer make what you use to, you cannot go back to court to lower spousal maintenance. A Karon waiver is usually put into a divorce decree to limit future legal battles over spousal maintenance.
What’s the difference between parenting time vs custody?
Parenting time is a schedule of time in which each parent spends time with the kids. Custody is a legal designation regarding the child’s physical location (Physical Custody) and parenting decision making (Legal Custody). Physical custody is the address (physical location) of the primary parent. Legal custody is about decision making, who can make decisions regarding school, health and religion. Custody can be “joint” (both parents have equal say in the topic) , or “sole” one parent has all decision making authority.
Why can’t I get 50 percent parenting time?
Your best situation is to negotiate parenting time between you and your spouse. If you can’t and others get involved (mediators, lawyers, judges), 50% parenting time with young children becomes less frequent. But in older children (over age 8 – 10) 50% parenting time is more common.
There are several factors mediators and judges looks at for parenting time (see MN Statute 517.175); all decisions are supposed to be centered around the theme “child’s best interest”. One common sense factor is distance. If the parents live 20 miles apart, it is perceived by the courts that during the week it would be very hard on younger kids to travel back and forth during the school year (getting the child to school) without waking the child up very early.
How do you start the divorce process?
Either way, with out without lawyers divorce follows a process:
- Petition – notice that you want a divorced. If both of you agree on all things, you can file a joint petition.
- Service – the spouse not filing for divorce is delivered legal notice of divorce (in a joint petition , this does not occur
- Initial Case Management Hearing – first meeting with judge to understand the factors in your case.
- SENE – If custody and parenting time are not decided mediation is ordered (Social Early Neutral Mediation or SENE)
- FENE – If finances have not been resolved mediation is ordered (Financial Early Neutral Mediation or FENE)
- Judgement and Decree – is the written final agreement that is submitted to the court and recorded at the county
What are Parenting Consultants?
A Parenting Consultant (PC) is used as a neutral third party when the two parents cannot agree on certain decisions; it is similar to arbitration in that the PC will be the decision maker. A PC is usually recommended in high conflict divorces.
You can see the value in our meetings. The information above is just the tip of the iceberg regarding what was shared and the value you get out of meeting. Meetings are more powerful when you come to get your specific questions answered and then have a discussion about it. Discussions lead to connecting with other men.
That is what The Network is all about:
- Connecting through shared experiences
- Learning from experts and from one another
- Supporting each other through this difficult time
- Advocating for each other
- Gaining internal strength through numbers
Please join us. By coming to a meeting to help yourself, it helps each other, and together … we will build a community.