Category Archives: Websites

Marriage Amendment to MN Constitution to be Voted Upon in 2012 Election

I’m interested in how the political and legal debate develops around the issue of same-sex marriage. I had the opportunity to record a Skype conversation with OutFront Minnesota’s legal director, Phil Duran, about the marriage amendment to the Minnesota Minnesota Constitution that will be voted on by Minnesota citizens (along with voting on the various political races) during the 2012 election.

For a little background, this is from a 05/23/2011 news post on the Minnesotans United for All Families website:

An antigay marriage ballot measure approved over the weekend by Minnesota state lawmakers is already setting the stage for a deeply divisive campaign of national importance.
On Saturday, the Minnesota house voted 70 to 62 in favor of the bill, which allows voters in 2012 to decide whether to adopt a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. The vote came after hours of debate and days of impassioned Capitol rallies on both sides of the debate.

Minnesotans United for All Families is the name of a coalition of organizations, which includes OutFront Minnesota, that are against the amendment.

The issue brings up questions about whether there should be something called Civil Union. Whether same-sex and hetero couples should all be grouped into Civil Unions rather than calling the state-sanctioned title marriage. Also, if there is such a thing as Civil Union, is that inherently unequal to marriage? Will the amendment be supported by the more libertarian wing of the republican electorate, since it appears to impinge on private ideals of freedom? Will this hurt the fragile Minnesota economy by scaring off potential employers, employees and those looking to start a business in Minnesota? Does this help anyone or is it just a flexing of religious/political muscle to impress a base constituancy?

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Problem Gambling – What is it? How to Identify it in Yourself and Others? What Resources Available?

I’m excited to introduce this post because it includes a very helpful video interview (see below) regarding Problem Gambling.

This is an update to a post that I did on Problem Gambling back in 2009 and another post I did about National Problem Gambling week back in 2010. This time, we’ve got video!

You’ll also want to also check out the Minnesota Institute of Public Health “Gambling Problems Resource Center“.

Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline Number   1-800-333-HOPE.


Paula Detjen

Compulsive gambling has a major effect on Minnesota families. I have recently been learning a lot about problem gambling and how it affects families from Minnesota therapist Paula Detjen. Continue reading

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Can Emails or Texts Be Used in My Divorce/Custody Case? (Video Interview Carney Forensics)

Modern technology is changing the world more and more every day. People are finding their spouses through online dating services, pro-democracy groups across the Middle East are organizing via Facebook, and nowadays everything from your cell phone to your coffee pot has a computer chip in it. And the more our lives become digitalized, the more relevant digital evidence becomes to family law cases. That was the topic of my interview with John Carney, the founder of Carney Forensics, which helps attorneys, companies, and investigators gather digital forensic evidence. Watch the full video interview here:


So what is digital forensics? The most basic example would be threatening text messages from your ex, which can be used as evidence in family court. In fact, phone records, text messages, Facebook posts and emails can all be subpoenaed in certain cases. But beyond that, things can start to get complicated. What if you can’t figure out how to access all those old text messages or emails? Or what if a critical piece of evidence is hidden deep within a hard drive? That’s where Carney Forensics comes in.

After three decades in the technology sector, John Carney obtained a law degree and branched out into the growing field of digital forensics. He is listed as a Minnesota Qualified Neutral according to Rule 114 by the Minnesota Supreme Court, and can even testify in court as a digital forensics expert. Here’s a neat video that John Carney did with WCCO TV related to the Murdoch phone hacking scandal.

So, if you want to make sure you and your attorney can present the most important information — perhaps even if it has already been deleted from a computer or phone somewhere — then call the technological super-sleuths at Carney Forensics.

More info at: carneyforensics.com
Or call (651) 695-1757

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Ex Spouse Communications – Video Interview with Founder Joan Pechauer

Joan Pechauer, LMFT

Do you have trouble communicating with your ex-spouse about co-parenting issues? When you see that you’ve received an email from them, do you get that anxious feeling in the pit of your stomach that feels like you just drank a glass of motor oil? Well never fear, Ex-Spouse Communications is here! Founder Joan Pechauer says, “Send us your ex’s nasty email and we’ll write an effective response for you. ” That’s right: they will draft you a response letter that will express your concerns without starting a fight. This is the solution you’ve been waiting for. Watch my interview with Joan here:

Imagine this situation: your ex sends you an email saying they want to change this week’s parenting time schedule. Again. And as always, they couldn’t be more demanding about it or more inconsiderate of your scheduled plans with the kids. What you might find yourself doing in this situation is writing a strongly worded email back, telling them how rude they are to wait until the last minute to make this request, backing up your arguments with examples from when they have done this sort of thing in the past, maybe taking a shot at that new person they are dating who thinks they can contradict your rules for your kids, and totally putting them in their …STOP! That approach is not going to get you anywhere, and you know it. Your ex-spouse will never be persuaded that they’re wrong, no matter how good you think your points are. All that’s going to do is get you into another exhausting fight. So instead, just take a breath, and let Ex-Spouse Communications help.

You know what? If it helps you vent, go ahead and write your angry letter and send it along with your ex-spouse’s email to Ex-Spouse Communications. They will translate your belligerent rebuttal into an emotionally neutral response that is much more likely to actually get your ex-spouse to consider your legitimate concerns — and that’s really the goal, right? And if you need more than just an email, Ex-Spouse Communications also offers phone consultations and coaching.

To learn more about Ex Spouse Communications or if you are just looking for some free tips on what to do and what not to do when talking to your spouse, or free samples of effective letters, check out exspousecommunications.com

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Daisy Camp – Video Interview with Founder Jennifer Morris

Click for Daisy Camp website

I’m especially excited about this post about Daisy Camp founder Jennifer Morris. Not only is it regarding a great topic, Daisy Camp. It’s also one of the first interactive videos that we’ve recorded through Skype. We hope this will be a start to a series of interviews with helpful people like Jennifer Morris regarding helpful divorce/separation topics, like Daisy Camp. If you have ideas for future videos, let me know by commenting below or emailing me at arnoldlawandmediation@gmail.com.

In the video, I ask Jennifer Morris how Daisy Camp started, what Daisy Camp is about and who is a typical Daisy Camper, among other questions and answers that will give you a good sense for whether Daisy Camp is right for you!

Here’s a Daisy Camp Seminar Aug 2011 retreat.

From the Daisy Camp website:

Daisy Camp was founded in 2006 by Jennifer Morris, a local realtor who emerged from her divorce with a belief that women need more support to help them through this important transition. Jennifer’s unique idea of helping women through a “camping experience” has captured the attention of local and national media and has changed the lives of many women. Today, hundreds of “Daisies’” throughout Minnesota and beyond continue to gather regularly and help each other make the most of their new, “ever-expanding lives”.

You can go to the Daisy Camp FaceBook page by clicking here.

To contact Daisy Camp, email daisy@daisycamp.org or call and talk with Marlys Ousky at 952-405-2060.

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Child Care Support BACK IN BUSINESS By Court Order

I’m happy to report that Child Care Support–which was shut down as part of the Minnesota State Government shutdown–is back in business by court order dated Wednesday, July 13, 2011.

See the relevant article at Minnesota Public Radio, here.

Here’s the Child Care Assistance page on the Minnesota Department of Human Services Website (but I don’t see the news listed here, just basic Child Care Assistance info).

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Mediation Works North Offers Online Parents Forever Course

When ending a marriage, sharing custody of your children means learning to work with your ex-spouse. Sometimes this can be difficult, especially during — and after — a long divorce process. Luckily a new non-profit called Mediation Works North is making it easier than ever to build strong co-parenting skills – and now you can build those skills without the hassle of driving out of town. Check out my recent interview with the founder of Mediation Works North, Lois Warner:

Minnesota law requires parents going through divorce to take co-parenting classes. Here’s the punch line: in many Minnesota counties, these classes aren’t even offered. So to comply with the law you’d have to find one of these classes in another county. You’d have to make a long drive (in the snow if you aren’t lucky enough to get a divorce in the summertime.) You might have to miss work and pay for childcare.

Or, instead you could take one of the online Parents Forever classes offered by Mediation Works North. These classes offer informative content and skill-building, but without having to leave the comfort of your home and without having to drive to another county. They are interactive classes with a live facilitator teaching in real time. Classes are two hours long, and it takes two class periods to complete the course.

And remember: this is a genuinely valuable resource, not just a court order. You’ll learn to avoid putting the children in the middle of conflicts you might have with the other parent, to adjust your finances to the changes brought on by divorce, to communicate with the other parent, and more. The Founder of Mediation Works North, Lois Warner, started this non-profit because she realized that the law is quite a blunt instrument for dealing with co-parenting conflicts. Her Parents Forever program allows parents to learn to resolve potential conflicts outside of the context of a legal battle.

So if you are going through a divorce and would like to get some advice on how to peacefully resolve co-parenting issues but need more convenience than the traditional classes offer, then check out the Parents Forever online classes from Mediation Works North.

Here’s their contact information:
Mediation Works North
Mediationworksnorth.org
Phone: (218) 263-7307

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