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Northern Minnesota Personal Injury And Family Law Blog

End of DST means more drowsy driving, night driving

The end of daylight saving time means an extra hour to sleep, but Minnesota residents who have to drive that day or the following day should prepare for drowsiness. The fact is that any change in one's sleep patterns can cause drowsiness, so the best thing is to go to bed at the time one normally does and then be as alert as possible the following day. Drowsiness can impair concentration and reaction times.

It's sobering to think that every year, drowsy driving leads to approximately 328,000 car crashes with some 6,400 involving a fatality and 50,000 involving debilitating injuries. Despite how 96% of drivers in AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index said drowsy driving is dangerous, 27% admitted that they had engaged in it at least once in the past 30 days.

Three reasons couples may consider a strategic divorce

Most couples in Minnesota end their marriage because they feel that their relationship is unhealthy or because they no longer love or trust each other. There are other couples, though, who are ending their marriage purely for financial reasons.

Some have referred to this as a strategic divorce. It may allow a couple to save money on taxes or to qualify for some type of assistance that they cannot qualify for together. For example, when both individuals are high earners and they have to file their taxes together, they may end up forking over a substantial amount of money to the government. However, filing as single individuals could potentially save them a lot of money.

How can I keep kids safe on Halloween?

Halloween is a fun time for kids, but it can also be dangerous walking the streets after dark. That's why drivers must take extra precautions when driving on Halloween, as children are prone to unpredictable behavior as pedestrians. Consumer Reports offers the following advice to both drivers and trick-or-treaters to reduce the risk of a serious accident. 

When driving in residential areas, drive as slowly as possible. It might be hard to see kids dressed in dark costumes, and children don't often use crosswalks when crossing the street. If you see any children as you're driving, adjust your speed accordingly, even if that means going under the posted speed limit. Also, keep driving distractions at bay. While this is an important rule in general, you want to be alert and aware of your surroundings on Halloween.

How can I tell if my spouse is having an emotional affair?

Infidelity often spells the end of a marriage. This is true even when no physical indiscretions take place. Emotional affairs fall into this category, which occurs when a spouse shares a strong emotional bond with a person outside of the marital relationship. While there is no infidelity in the traditional sense, emotional affairs can still wreck a marriage, as explained by Psychology Today

Distance between you and your spouse is common with emotional affairs and a person may become distant for many different reasons. Your partner's affections will be directed elsewhere, which means you'll be left on the outskirts of the relationship. Your spouse may also be consumed hiding evidence of the affair, which leaves little time for you. In either case, emotional affairs can impact intimacy on multiple levels, from dismantling your emotional bond to reducing the level of physical intimacy you share. 

Why should you include school sports in your parenting plan?

The beginning of the school year can be one of the roughest times for recently divorced Minnesota parents. Not only do they have to deal with the drastic changes in their custody schedules, but they also have to co-parent with someone who doesn’t live in the same house as them anymore.

It’s also a time where former spouses tend to find issues within their parenting plans. Even if their new custody schedules appear relatively straightforward, they can get into serious conflicts if they didn’t take certain factors into account. One major factor is the child’s involvement in school sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities. If one parent has sole custody of the child, then they will be the deciding vote in major decisions such as this. However, if their custody times are almost evenly split, then they will have to take the following into consideration:

Examining your career track after a divorce

There are a lot of different reasons why it is so important for many people to assess their career track after they split up with their spouse. Not only may they have new options, such as an easier ability to move for a better job, but they may have financial responsibilities that depend on their income. For example, those who will have to make child support payments or pay alimony might depend on their income (as well as their former spouse and even their kids).

When one’s career is interrupted due to a divorce, which is not uncommon, various hardships can also arise. The divorce process can be very draining in terms of time, money and emotions, and this can create hurdles for those who are facing various challenges in their lives after their marriage ends. Not only should people consider potentially lucrative opportunities, but they should also make sure that they stay committed to their career and do not lose focus due to a tough divorce.

How can dog owners be more responsible?

Dogs add a lot of joy to people's lives. However, dogs can also be quite threatening, especially when their owners fail to take the proper steps regarding training and obedience. Pet owners are obligated to prevent their animals from harming others or they may be held liable for dog bites or other issues. The Spruce explains a few of the many responsibilities of dog owners, many of which preserve the safety of their pets as well as other people. 

Obedience classes get dogs acclimated to being around others. Along with people, these classes can also make a dog feel more comfortable when in the presence of other dogs. The more comfortable a dog feels in these situations, the less likely he is to attack or lash out. Keep in mind that even seemingly sweet and kind animals can become aggressive when they feel threatened. Additionally, the supposed threat may not even be legitimate but the dog might still lash out. Proper training can also provide the proper disciplinary tools to dog owners, which allow them greater control over their pet. 

What's the proper etiquette in divorce court?

Among the many stressful aspects of divorce court, maintaining proper etiquette is just one thing to focus on. The impression you make on the judge will have an impact on the outcome, especially when it comes to child custody disputes. While your attorney should provide specific instructions based on the details of your case, The Balance also offers the following tips to ensure you present yourself and your case appropriately. 

Whatever you do, don't be late. This expresses a lack of respect for the court and its officers, which will be noted by the judge. Plan to be there at least 10 minutes early if possible. Not only does this look good, it also gives you time to do some last-minute conferring with your legal time. In the same respect, don't argue or insult the judge, even if you feel as though you or your case is being misconstrued. The best course of action is to answer questions concisely and only speak when spoken to. 

Am I in a toxic marriage?

Married couples are supposed to support one another through thick and thin. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A toxic relationship involves resentment, conflict, and unhealthy competition, all of which serve to undermine the union itself. Time offers the following signs of a toxic relationship so you can take the proper steps to care for yourself and your family. 

You should be able to discuss anything with your partner. After all, marriage is not without its ups and downs, and the important thing is being able to address issues in a constructive way. This is not so with toxic relationships. You might feel as though you can't broach any difficult subjects with your spouse, which guarantees that problems will never be resolved sufficiently. You may also experience an increase in symptoms of mental and emotional disorders. 

7 things to do after a hit-and-run accident

Nobody wants to start their day being involved in a car accident on the way to work. However, sometimes it happens. And sometimes, in addition to sideswiping your car, the other driver may not even stop so you can report the accident. In fact, more than one hit-and-run accident happens every minute in the United States, according to the AA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Often, hit-and-run accidents happen in a flash. If you are involved in a hit-and-run, you most likely won’t know what to do.

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