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Bloomfield Family Law Blog

Does Michigan child support go past the age of eighteen?

The purpose of regular child support is to assist children of divorced or separated parents throughout their upbringing so that they can develop into well functioning and capable adults. Many assume that children no longer receive support upon turning eighteen years old. However, this is not always the case in Michigan.

Child support, in addition to paying for food, clothing and health care expenses, also provides for the basic educational needs of a child. Hopefully, a child of divorced parents can navigate the school years with little trouble. By the time the child becomes a legal adult, he or she should have graduated from school and is ready to proceed with the next phase of life.

New tax law could hurt divorced people

As residents in Michigan look ahead to the impending new calendar year, there are likely many changes to prepare for. Some of these changes may be things people initiate and choose themselves and other changes might be imposed on them. One of the changes that people have no control over is the implementation of the new tax law, set to take effect on January 1, 2019. Many things will factor into whether or not the changes to the tax code are considered positive by taxpayers. One of those things pertains to spousal support payments.

Paying alimony every month to one's former spouse is not something people be happy about but up until now, the person who has been ordered to do so has at least been able to deduct the money paid from their federal income tax return. This ability to get a tax break in exchange for paying spousal support may well have facilitated the agreement to pay alimony in many divorces.

Dealing with the issue of jurisdiction

For many divorcees, moving away from Farmington Hills may seem to be an attractive option. Doing so may help to ease any tension that still exists between them and their ex-spouses. Given that research data shared by Psychology Today shows that 16 percent of Americans move every year (with 43 percent of those completely leaving the metropolitan areas they currently reside in), it may not be unreasonable to assume that parental relocation is an issue that many divorced couples will eventually face. When one parent relocates with the kids, the question of which family court has jurisdiction over their custody case will almost certainly come up. 

Typically, the state that can claim to be a child's "home state" is the one that will have jurisdiction. Per the Michigan Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the state defines "home state" as being the one in which a child has been living with a parent (or guardian) for at least six months prior to the commencement of custody proceedings. The home state of newborns that are less than six months old is the one in which they have lived from birth. If the law designates Michigan as a child's home state, then the local family court has jurisdiction (this holds true even if a child has moved out of state within the last six months, yet one parent continues to live here). 

Ways to prepare for child support modification

It can be a crushing blow to receive a pink slip in Michigan, and even more so while you are paying child support to a divorced spouse. With your major source of income gone until you find a new job, you may have to seek a modification in your child support agreement. But to do so, you should establish your current financial status in a few important ways.

First, as FindLaw points out, you must show that your status has changed following the establishment of the current child support agreement. Your change in circumstances cannot have occurred before the court had entered the present agreement that dictates how much you should pay your ex. So make sure that any documentation on your current circumstances has been properly dated.

How can the Hague Convention help you get your kids back?

If you are a divorced Michigan parent whose foreign-born ex-spouse takes your children overseas for a visit and fails to return them, this obviously is a serious situation. Unfortunately, parental abduction represents a not uncommon phenomenon, and when the abduction is to a foreign country, it makes for an even more serious and complicated situation.

Fortunately, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction may offer you the help you need to get your kids back. As explained by the The Hague Conference on Private International Law, 98 countries, including the United States, signed this international treaty in 1980. In it, the countries agreed to recognize, respect and adhere to each other’s child custody laws. They also agreed to work together to return any internationally abducted child to his or her “habitual residence,” that is, the country in which the child normally resides, as expeditiously as possible.

How do paternity tests tie into matters of divorce?

As a father living in Michigan who's currently dealing with a divorce, you have multiple matters to focus on. For example, you may be handling issues revolving around child support or custody. In that case, getting a paternity test done may work to your benefit.

According to BRT Laboratories, INC, there are many different reasons to take a paternity test. If you're in a situation in which you want to maintain custody of your child, then you will need legal proof that you are indeed the child's biological father. If you aren't, custody won't be granted to you. It can also make a difference in matters like handling child support, since only biological parents are bound by law to pay.

Millennials and divorce

Many people in Michigan may have been hearing a lot about gray divorce in the past few years. This term refers to a divorce involving spouses who are at least 50 years of age or older. These divorces have actually been on the rise compared to a couple of decades ago.

Some believe that the fact many of the spouses involved in gray divorces had been married and divorced previously was a major contributor to this reality as second marriages statistically have a higher rate of failure than do first marriages. The challenges inherent in blending children and even grandchildren from previous families can add to what is already a major life change in getting married.

Does gray divorce hurt your finances?

As an older couple in Michigan that has decided to split, you'll soon be facing the trials and tribulations of gray divorce. The difference isn't just in the name, though. You will likely be facing hurdles that your younger counterparts won't have to worry about simply because of the age you're at.

For example, LA Times shows that women in particular have a big adjustment to make. Over 50 percent of women who are 50 years or older have left the big financial decisions to their spouses. This applies to anyone who isn't used to making financial choices, though. If you aren't accustomed to dealing with investments, savings plans, retirement funds, or other big money-related issues, then this will be totally new territory for you.

How does being in the military affect your divorce?

As a Michigan resident who is either part of the military or married to a member, there are certain aspects of your divorce that might differ from that of a civilian divorce. Here are a few things that you should be aware of regarding military divorces.

FindLaw takes a look at the requirements and rules that apply to military divorces which may not apply elsewhere. For example, in your divorce, there may be the involvement of military pensions and benefits. Generally speaking, receiving this money requires you to have been married for 10 years, with an overlap of 10 years of service. It's even possible for spouses to get access to commissary, medical and exchange privileges after a divorce as long as you were married for 20 years, with an overlap of 20 years in service.

Are high asset divorces hard to handle?

Michigan couples like you who are going through a divorce will already have an emotionally taxing journey ahead of you. The burden may be heavier to bear if you have a high number of joint assets, too. In fact, high asset divorces are considered by some to be one of the most complex divorce case types.

FindLaw shows exactly how complicated and taxing a high asset divorce can be, starting with the unique hurdles you will likely face. For example, a lot of high asset divorces involve some sort of business that both partners might have been involved in. Having to decide how to divvy up a business if you do not keep working together can be a long and complicated process because it involves both business litigation and divorce litigation.

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