Carol Mayer: A Divorce Lawyer Who Cares

A divorce is one of the most stressful situations you may encounter in life.  Determining how property will be divided and who will retain custody of the children can be incredibly difficult and time consuming.  It’s critical that you chose the right divorce lawyer – one who understands you and your situation and who can provide expert advice when you need it most.  Attorney Carol Mayer has many years of family law experience and can help assure that your divorce is fair and equitable.

Child Custody Issues

The most emotionally difficult part of a divorce can be figuring out who will get custody of the children. In Minnesota there are two different kinds of custody, legal custody and physical custody. If a person has legal custody of the children, it means that he/she has the right to determine the child’s upbringing including where they go to school, what kind of healthcare they receive and what kind of religious training they will participate in. If a person has physical custody of the children, it means that the children live primarily with him/her and he/she controls the children’s daily routine. It is presumed to be in the best interests of the children for parents to share joint legal custody of their children. The trickier part is usually figuring out who the children will live with most of the time, and how often the other (non-custodial) parent sees them.

In Minnesota, if the parents cannot agree on who should have physical custody the judge decides by evaluating the 13 “best interest factors.” When evaluating the 13 best interest factors in making his decision, often times the judge appoints a Custody Evaluator or Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to help. The judge will look at all of the evidence provided then decide who will get custody of the children and how often the non-custodial parent will have visitation (now called parenting time).

Determining Child Support

In Minnesota there are three different types of child support including basic support, medical support and child care support. Basic support is money used to pay for the children’s basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Medical Support is money used to pay for insurance premiums, and medical or dental expenses not covered by insurance. Child care support is money used to pay for daycare expenses.

Both parents are expected to help support their children, and how much support is ordered to be paid is determined according to the “Minnesota Child Support Guidelines.” These guidelines consider the income of each parent, and how much time each parent has the children in his/her custody. The Minnesota Department of Human Services has developed a very handy on-line Minnesota child support calculator. By following the given directions and providing the requested information, you can get an idea of how much basic, medical and child care support might be ordered to be paid in your case.

Obtaining Proper Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)

Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is money paid by one ex-spouse to the other ex-spouse after the divorce is final to help the receiving ex-spouse maintain a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. Spousal maintenance is usually only ordered in cases where the people have been married for a long time (15 to 20 or more years), the person asking for spousal maintenance / alimony has been out of the work place for a long time, and there is not enough other property given to the person asking for spousal maintenance / alimony to allow him/her to meet their monthly living expenses. Imagine a stay at home mother married to a long time business man. However, it is possible for spousal maintenance to be ordered in even short marriages.

If the judge decides to order spousal maintenance / alimony, unlike with child support, there is no set formulae for deciding how much spousal maintenance / alimony should be ordered to be paid. Rather, the judge must consider multiple factors, than come up with an amount on his own. For this reason, spousal maintenance / alimony issues in divorce can be even more stressful than they already are. Trying to determine how much a judge might order for spousal maintenance / alimony can be very, very difficult. For this reason, many people facing this issue reach an agreement so they can control the outcome.

Getting the Right Parenting Time (Visitation)

Once it is decided which parent will have primary physical custody of the children, the non-custodial parent’s parenting time / visitation schedule must be determined. In many cases the parents themselves figure out how often and for how long the children will be with each of them. The parents themselves are usually best equipped to figure this schedule out because they have the most intimate understanding of their children’s needs and schedules. However, in those situations where the parents themselves are not able to come to an agreement, the judge will decide based on all of the evidence presented at trial.

Carol Mayer’s Minnesota Family Law Background:

Attorney Carol Mayer

Carol J. Mayer has extensive experience working with families in crisis, which is oftentimes how a divorce feels to the people involved. Carol understands the stress involved in resolving custody and parenting time (visitation) issues, and strives to provide vigorous yet compassionate representation to ensure the best interests of the minor children are served. Most custody and parenting time issues can be resolved by agreement between the parties. However, in those situations where an agreement simply cannot be reached, Carol will ensure the evidence necessary to support your position is collected, and then persuasively present that evidence to the judge while vigorously arguing your case.

Equally challenging are the financial issues involved in a divorce. When a couple divorces, there are many financial issues to resolve including child support, spousal maintenance (alimony) and the division of property such as pensions, cars and houses. Carol has an in depth understanding of how the judge decides who should get what property if the parties themselves cannot agree, and will work hard to ensure you get your fair share. Additionally, as the Carver County Child Support Attorney, Carol spent almost three years working exclusively on child support related issues. Through this experience, Carol developed an in-depth understanding of the child support guidelines and their application in different situations, including those involving self employed individuals. Carol will use her years of child support experience to make certain an appropriate amount of support is ordered in your case.