Christopherson, Anderson Paulson & Fideler, LLP Attorneys at Law Christopherson, Anderson Paulson & Fideler, LLP Attorneys at Law
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Sioux Falls Family Law Blog

Understanding the utility of a parenting plan

During your marriage, you probably didn't have a written agreement with your spouse regarding how you would divide the parenting duties. You just naturally fell into taking care of certain things when it came to the children. For example, you may have been the primary breadwinner while your spouse took care of a large portion of the children's daily needs and activities.

This does not mean that, now that you are going through a divorce, you must relegate yourself to paying child support and spending less time with the children than the other parent. During your divorce, you can work out a parenting plan that provides each of you with a more equitable division of time with the children.

What should you consider when appointing an executor?

After your death, many steps will still need attending to, and most of those go far beyond ensuring that your funeral takes place in the manner you deemed appropriate. Rather, your estate will need closing in the proper manner, and because you will not be around to ensure that takes place, you may want to utilize your estate plan to instruct how certain duties should be handled and who should handle them.

The person in charge of closing your estate is your personal representative. If you create a will, this individual will take on the role of executor, and you can indicate who you want to act in that position. Of course, because the person in this position has much power and responsibility, you will certainly want to choose carefully.

How does child custody work in South Dakota?

When preparing to go through the divorce process, parents in South Dakota may have a lot of questions regarding how their split will affect their time with their children. Will one parent get the kids full time? Will you and your soon-to-be ex be able to work out a joint custody agreement? Every case is different. What works for one family may not work for another.

There are specific child custody guidelines offered by the state. Anymore, though, courts are willing to accept all sorts of custody arrangements and parenting plans -- as long as they serve the best interests of the affected children.


As an estate planning attorney, I often meet with clients who tell me they "need" a revocable trust. When I ask why, the most common answer is because they heard Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman or some other television or radio personality state that everyone needs a revocable trust. Although revocable trusts can be very beneficial, not everyone needs a revocable trust.

A prenuptial agreement is probably right for you

Prenuptial agreements might be one of the most unnecessarily controversial planning tools available. Many people in South Dakota form opinions about prenups without actually knowing much about them. Unfortunately, this means that a significant number of soon-to-be married couples miss out on valuable protections.

While wealthy South Dakota residents might have more interests to protect than others, this does not mean that you cannot utilize prenuptial agreements if you have fewer assets. In reality, prenups can benefit most couples in the event of a divorce.

Who should you trust with your family's future?

You may spend a significant amount of time determining the best way to provide for your family members after you pass away. Figuring out the type of plan that provides the most benefit possible from your assets may require some significant thought.

You decide that your estate plan will include a trust. It could be a (revocable or irrevocable) living trust, a South Dakota special spousal trust or a decanting trust, among others, that may suit your needs. Regardless of the type of trust you choose, it will need a trustee. Deciding who should care for your family's future may be the most difficult and thought provoking part of the whole process.

Divorce: What age child has the hardest time coping?

Divorce is not easy for any child; however, research shows that your child's age affects how difficult the divorce will be for them to handle.

You may think that teens would have the hardest time dealing with parental separation - after all, teens are emotional, hormonal and have spent years with both parents in the home. However, a study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin argues that very young children actually have the hardest time with divorce.

Estate planning questions for expectant parents

Sioux Falls is one of the fastest growing cities in America. The recent economic boom has attracted young families to the area to take on emerging jobs in health care, banking and beyond. A move or change of career is an exciting time in life. With these significant changes often comes the most joyful of them all - a new baby!

A new job or new address often shifts a couple's focus to property ownership and retirement plans, but how does a newborn fit into it all? Expectant parents are likely facing a variety of questions about the future. Thankfully, legal protections are available to ensure that the important things in life like the house, retirement accounts and children are safe for the future.


Christopherson, Anderson, Paulson & Fideler, LLP
509 S Dakota Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

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