Pennington, Cherne, Gaarder & Geiger Hagen, PLLC

St. Cloud PCG's Law Blog

3 disadvantages of DIY divorce

If you are trying to save money and time on your divorce, you may feel the temptation to go the DIY route. While a DIY divorce may sound simple, it can actually be more complex, costly and lengthy than a traditional divorce that involves a lawyer. 

Divorcing without a lawyer is risky financially, legally and emotionally. Here are some reasons why you should avoid divorcing without legal representation.

Personal injury protection and your auto accident

A motor vehicle accident can have devastating consequences, such as serious injuries that lead to extensive medical bills. Thankfully, there are certain measures in place to assist with this after an auto accident, such as personal injury protection.

In an effort to get the most out of a policy, there are a few things to understand.

Why a Facebook divorce is against your best interests

As a Minnesota resident, you likely love social media just as much as people across the country. In fact, your joy of keeping up with your family and friends on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. may result in your spending a significant amount of time on your cellphone, laptop, computer and other electronic devices. Unfortunately for you, however, if you and your spouse are headed for divorce, this is one time when social media can become your enemy, not the electronic BFF you thought it was.

Posting anything at all on Facebook about your divorce or the goings on between you and your spouse during it puts you at great risk for revealing information that (s)he and his or her attorney may well use against you in court. Before you laugh off this warning as ridiculous, you should be aware that as long ago as 2010, two-thirds of American divorce attorneys admitted that they regularly monitored Facebook. Why? Because that was where they found the most damaging evidence against their clients’ spouses.

3 mistakes to avoid during divorce

If you are currently moving through a divorce, you most likely have many decisions to make. On top of the stress from these decisions, there is also the emotional component of the divorce, which can be as difficult, if not more difficult, as the technical aspects of the divorce process.

With so much financial and emotional pressure coming down on you from all sides during this time, it can be easy to make simple but costly mistakes. Here are three missteps you should take pains to avoid as you move through your divorce. Staying clear of these errors can help you in both the short-term and in your future post-divorce life.

You do not have to take an insurance company's first offer

Hundreds of car accidents happen every day in Minnesota. In 2015 alone, a total of 74,772 car crashes occurred, according to information from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety

Some car crash cases are fairly straightforward because there are no injuries and minimal damage to the vehicles. However, in some cases, someone will experience a far more traumatic injury that could result in tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. In this instance, one of the most important things to remember during the settlement is to never take the insurance company's first offer. 

How easy is it to adopt in Minnesota?

If you are thinking about adopting child in Minnesota, you will be glad to know that our state has very liberal adoption laws. Bear in mind, however, that the following information applies only to the adoption laws of Minnesota and therefore children adopted through the juvenile division of the Department of Human Services. Private adoption agencies have their own rules and regulations to which you must adhere if you desire to adopt a child through them.

In terms of Minnesota law per se, no requirements exist with regard to any of the following:

  • Minimum or maximum age you must be to adopt
  • Marital status - single, married (heterosexual or same-sex), divorced or widowed
  • Previous felony
  • Specific health requirements
  • Specific financial requirements

Do mothers stand a better chance of getting custody?

It is a misconception in today's legal system that mothers stand a better chance of getting custody of their children in a custody battle. The default that many courts use is for both parents to get as much time with their children as possible, and that frequently translates to joint custody and shared parenting time.

So, why does it seem that after a divorce or breakup, mothers may be the ones who have their children most of the time?

Is a bar owner at fault in a Minnesota drunk driving case?

In a typical drunk driving case where the driver causes an accident and the courts find him or her negligent, it is generally a straightforward process to showing that the impaired driving caused the accident. However, if the driver got behind the wheel after an establishment such as a bar or restaurant served the driver after he or she was already visibly intoxicated, this brings another important element into the overall case.

Minnesota law takes into account liability for people who furnish alcoholic beverages illegally and defines the parameters within which that may be the case. As a result, a bar owner or other person who illegally serves alcohol may be liable for a motor vehicle crash or other accident caused by a drunk patron.

Why do the lawyers get a third of my settlement?

You have been injured, perhaps in a car accident. Or maybe a dog bit you, or you slipped and fell on the premises of a business. Whatever the situation is, you are ready to pursue negotiations or a lawsuit that you hope begins the process of compensating you for medical bills, lost income and more.

However, while meeting with different law firms, you have discovered that lawyers tend to take at least a third of any settlement. In fact, the figure may go as high as 40 percent for some firms. Naturally, this dismays you because you feel like you could really use that money. Why do lawyers take such a seemingly large amount?

Drowsy driving: The danger you might not think about

You have had a few close calls over the years on Minnesota highways - you are just driving along when a tractor-trailer or family vehicle veers too close to your lane or even swerves over the double yellow line. You may not be sure what the other driver was doing that nearly got you seriously injured or killed, but chances are he or she may have been nodding off behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving causes thousands of crashes, injuries and fatalities across the country each year according to the National Sleep Foundation. This may not come as a surprise to you since maybe you have felt sleepy behind the wheel a few times in your life. If so, you are not alone. In a survey, 60 percent of drivers admitted to driving drowsy in the past year, and 13 percent said it happens at least monthly. Even more frightening, more than one in drivers said they have fallen asleep at the wheel.


Pennington, Cherne, Gaarder & Geiger Hagen, PLLC
630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101
P.O. Box 1756
St Cloud, MN 56302

Phone: 320-200-9805
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