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Minnesota Law Blog

After A Divorce, Grandparents Need To Seek Visitation Rights

Since grandparents’ rights are not covered by federal statutes, each state decides the legal rights and options grandparents have after divorce or other significant family change. In Minnesota, the courts look favorably on providing grandparent visitation when it is in the best interests of the children. The courts carefully examine the family history in determining how best to retain beneficial relationships and provide the child with an environment that encourages healthy growth and maturation.

Family caregivers face countless challenges, limited resources

As the baby boomer population ages, more and more seniors are facing health problems that require daily care. Yet the skyrocketing costs of long-term care - not to mention the hurdles involved in qualifying for Medicaid as well as the far-too-common horror stories about nursing home abuse and neglect - have left many to rely on family members instead of institutions.

More than 40 million of these informal caregivers provide for the day-to-day needs of their aging loved ones nationwide, according to a recent Star Tribune article. And more than half of them do so while working other jobs.

How to know when it's time to consider bankruptcy

Nobody sets out aiming to file for bankruptcy. Life happens - you lose your job, get a devastating medical diagnosis, face a costly divorce or end up blindsided by other unexpected challenges. Before you know it, your finances are in shambles.

For many people in these situations, bankruptcy is a tool to get back on track. It can help you get out from under excessive debt - often without having to give up your possessions or jeopardize your home. In fact, in many situations, bankruptcy can help save your home from foreclosure. It can also prevent repossessions and put a stop to wage garnishment.

Alarming reports of nursing home neglect on the rise

Nursing home neglect is a growing problem nationwide. As more and more baby boomers require long-term care, skilled nursing facilities are becoming overcrowded and understaffed. Unfortunately, far too many of these facilities are more concerned about the bottom line than about their residents' well-being. They end up cutting corners - with tragic results.

Tips for a successful stepparent adoption

Adopting a stepchild is an incredibly meaningful step in life. Stepparent adoption is one of the most common types of adoption in Minnesota, and for good reason. By adopting a stepchild, you can:

  • Formalize the parent-child relationship you may already have
  • Gain legal parenting rights (and responsibilities)
  • Give your child inheritance rights
  • Strengthen your family unit

Despite the joyful nature of this milestone, the adoption process itself can be stressful - especially if unforeseen complications arise. Follow these tips to help make the adoption a success.

5 warning signs that your driving endangers others

When it comes down to it, most people think they're good drivers. But are they, really? With the countless hours the average commuter spends behind the wheel, it's easy for bad habits to slowly sink in. These habits can become so second-nature that we're no longer aware of them. And, unfortunately, they're often contributing factors in devastating accidents.

So how do you objectively evaluate your own driving? Here are some warning signs that you may need to break some bad habits:

Choosing a daycare: How to keep your child safe

Choosing a daycare is one of the most difficult decisions parents face. It's where your child will spend 40 or more hours per week. It's where they'll learn, grow and interact with others during some of their most formative years.

A daycare situation that seems promising initially can quickly turn into a nightmare. Despite intensive regulations governing both daycare centers and in-home providers, neglect and abuse still occur with frightening regularity.

Alarming report shows how shortfalls in hospital staffing put patients' lives at risk

Nurses play an indispensable role in our health care system. They provide round-the-clock care for patients with fragile (and often life-threatening) health conditions. They administer medications, change dressings, insert catheters and IVs, lift and transfer patients, keep meticulous records and much more. Nurses serve as tireless advocates for their patients, and they're a vital link in keeping paths of communication clear.

It's no surprise, then, that when hospitals don't have enough nurses, patients pay the price. Numerous studies have shown that nursing shortages correlate with higher rates of patient harm - including death. Understaffing jeopardizes patients' quality of care and increases the risk of serious medical errors.

The dangers of food poisoning - and how to avoid it

We've all experienced it at least once in our lives: That sudden onset of queasiness that quickly escalates into a full-fledged gastro-intestinal apocalypse. Fortunately, for most, food poisoning runs its course in about 24 hours with no lasting effects.

For some, however, it can be much worse than a day or two of misery. Food poisoning can lead to life-threatening complications - including dehydration, kidney failure and widespread organ failure in those with vulnerable immune systems. Those most at risk include:

4 common questions about divorce in Minnesota

Divorce can be a difficult and stressful process, even in amicable situations. Navigating the maze of legal issues is confusing for many separating couples. To make matters more complicated, there few hard-and-fast rules and rarely any black-or-white answers. Instead, the outcome of important matters such as property division, alimony and child custody hinges on the unique circumstances of your family.

It's still helpful to learn about the general legal framework of divorce in Minnesota. Below you will find general guidance on some of the most common questions divorcing couples face. However, as with any legal issue, make sure you consult with a lawyer about the specifics of your situation.

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