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Rochester Business & Commercial Law Blog

When to appeal or modify a child custody order

No matter how a court rules in a child custody decision, it is likely that at least one parent will disagree with the terms of the ruling. If you are in this situation, should you try to appeal the ruling? Are you even allowed to appeal?

In Minnesota, as in most states, child custody awards can be appealed. But doing so is not easy. If your appeal is based on an assertion that the court simply "got it wrong" and inappropriately weighed the relevant factors, the appeal is not likely to succeed.

How to Protect Life Insurance Benefits from the Estate Tax


The estate tax is a tax that is applied to people’s estates after death. In some cases, this burden could wind up compromising over 50 percent of the value of the estate. While common taxable assets that people think of include houses, cars, and investment portfolios, many people don’t realize that life insurance proceeds could also be taxed even though these are awarded only when a person dies. Without careful planning, a significant amount of life insurance benefits could wind up in the hands of the government instead of the hands of loved ones.

What are the Drug Testing Laws Regarding Employees in Minnesota?

It can be seen as routine to be compelled to take a drug test prior to starting the first day at a new job; however, everyone who is taking a drug test should know their rights. There are legal limits to the drug test that an employer can administer and these laws vary from state to state.

While the state of Minnesota does permit employers to require drug testing for new hires prior to employment at their place of work, these tests can only be administered under certain circumstances.

Partition of Real Estate

Prince died last year. He left no will. The matter is now in probate. His heirs have become owners of his assets. A judge will be asked to determine how to divide those assets. One of the items in the estate is real estate. The judge could determine one of the heirs will be the sole owner of the property or that all of the heirs will own the property together. The heirs can reach agreement on how to manage the real estate together. If, however, one or more of them demands his or her share of the value of the real estate then the court may have to partition the property. 

The Various Factors Considered in a Child Custody Case

While couples going through a divorce likely have a number of disagreements, both parents can usually agree that they still want to raise their children. Therefore, most parents want to retain custody of their children throughout divorce proceedings.

When a parent is preparing to go to court seeking to win a custody dispute, there are a number of factors that the parent should keep in mind. These are all factors that the judge will take into consideration when deciding which parents to award custody to.

An Overview of Trusts for Estate Planning


Most people are familiar with the estate tax and the damage it can cause to someone’s potential inheritance. For those who might be unfamiliar, the estate tax is a tax that kicks in when someone dies. Poor estate planning could lead to someone losing half of their estate or more depending on the presence of a state version of the estate tax.

Am I Responsible for My Spouse's Debt After We Divorce?

The financial aspects of divorce can be contentious. Two people shared their lives together, including purchases, bills, and debts. People often focus on the division of assets during divorce proceedings, which is certainly an important element. However, the determining who's responsible for household debts is just as important.

If the marriage doesn't make it, what happens to the unpaid financial obligations?

Is Your Small Business Breaking Employment Laws?


Running a small business is incredibly hard work, and there are often not enough hours in a day to get from 'A' to 'Z' on a business owner's to-do list. There's no doubt that many SMB decision makers have only the best of intentions when it comes to running their companies, but there are certain elements that simply shouldn't be left to misguided management.

Minimize the Amount of an Estate that is Lost to Estate Tax


People say that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. While the government might be inefficient in certain areas, they certainly know how to get their money. Many people are unaware of the estate tax and others call it the "death tax." For people with an estate over a threshold value, every dollar over this threshold value is taxed heavily when the owner of the state passes away.  

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