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Bloomfield Family Law Blog

Is your spouse hiding money from you?

Michigan residents like you who decide to get a divorce already have enough on your plate. What you don't need is the additional stress that can come from a spouse attempting to hide assets from you. Today, Lisa Stern, Michigan Family Law Attorney, will talk about what that might look like.

Unfortunately, it isn't uncommon for a spouse to attempt to hide some assets during the process of a divorce. This is because any and all assets that are reported are subject to being divided between them and you. In order to avoid having to give you more than they want, they falsely make it look like they have less to give in the first place.

Is an inheritance divided in a divorce?

Property division during a divorce in Michigan is never an easy task, but it becomes even more difficult if either you or your spouse are the recipient of an inheritance. Generally speaking, the court regards an inheritance as separate property belonging solely to the individual named in the will. As is often the case, however, exceptions can apply. It depends partly on when you inherited the assets, i.e., before or during the marriage, and partly on what you did with your inheritance after receiving it. 

According to FindLaw, every state has different laws that govern whether or not your inheritance counts as marital property if you received it before the marriage. If you inherited while married, however, the laws are less ambiguous in stating that your inheritance is generally separate property, and therefore not subject to property division. 

Back-to-school tips for successful co-parenting

With so many children in Michigan returning to class for a new school year this September, you might think that parents get something of a break after a hectic summer. However, we at the law office of Lisa Stern know that back-to-school time poses its own challenges, especially if you are trying to co-parent with an ex-spouse. Some of the most significant of these challenges involve costs related to your child's school attendance. 

Even if your child attends public school, there are expenses involved. Kids need school supplies, new school clothes and lunches, to name a few. There are also often costs involved if your child participates in extracurricular activities. 

How does divorce affect adult children?

When older couples in Michigan think about the impact of divorce on children, it's usually the young children they're considering. But just because your children are adults, that doesn't mean that they can't be impacted negatively by your divorce or the way you handle it.

The Guardian examines some of the unique hardships that adult children may face during their parent's split. A lot of these difficulties actually stem from the fact that they are adults as opposed to young children. One of the biggest emotional taxes that many cite is that both of their parents will vent their frustrations and angers to them, because they are "old enough to handle it". This is a stark difference from how most parents will try to hide the details of their divorce from younger children.

How can I help my preschooler understand a divorce?

If you and your spouse have been struggling to keep your marriage together and finally decided that doing so is no longer possible, you now have to decide how to let others know of your choice and the changes that will be ensuing. For parents of children who are three, four or even five years old, this requires a good understanding of your child's developmental as well as individual personality needs. 

As explained by Today's Parent, a preschool-aged child will have a limited ability to completely grasp the magnitude of a divorce. They will not understand, nor do they need to understand, the challenges you are facing at this time. Instead, their focus will be on the practicalities of their day-to-day lives. When you talk with your youngster about your divorce, it will be important for you to reassure them what they will experience every day. This entails who will read them a bedtime story, who will take them to school and pick them up and other similar things.

Gray divorce, women and money

Any person in Michigan who has ever been divorced knows firsthand the type of financial losses that one can endure through the end of a marriage. However, some information has been showing that the financial hardships associated with divorce may be particularly pronounced for women who have gotten divorced after the age of 50. In fact, this group may even have a higher risk of dipping into poverty than their male counterparts or than younger divorced women.

One of the problems that anyone, regardless of their gender, faces when a divorce happens after 50 is that there are fewer working years left in the person's life. This means there is less time available to earn income that could help recoup some of the losses of the divorce. According to a report by Yahoo Finance, the average person who goes through what is called a gray divorce sees their overall wealth drop by up to 50%

Factors the court considers in parental relocation

On the one hand, the Michigan court system recognizes that life's circumstances are subject to change and it sometimes becomes necessary for one divorced parent to relocate to another city or state. On the other hand, the best interests of the child or children inform every decision that the courts make in regard to whatever post-divorce issues arise. We at the law office of Lisa Stern know that you do not want to lose contact with your children just because of a change of circumstances, nor do you wish to be noncompliant with your divorce orders. It may help to lessen the confusion and difficulty of a parental relocation if you understand the factors that the court takes into consideration when approving parental relocation. 

You must be able to demonstrate to the court that you have a legitimate reason for relocating. The court is unlikely to approve the relocation request if it has reason to believe that your motive in seeking it is to spite the other parent or to try to secure a financial advantage over him or her. The expectation is that you will be able to demonstrate how the move will improve the child's quality of life as well as your own. 

Mortgages, divorce and your options

If you are like many couples in Michigan, your family home is one of the largest and most valuable assets you own. It is also likely the asset to which you or your spouse attribute the strongest emotional tie as this is where you live and raise your children together. This, however, should not be the reason that you let emotions get in your way when deciding how to deal with your home when you get divorced.

Bankrate explains that selling a home during a divorce is a common solution to this and there is a good reason for this fact. Selling a home is often the only way to appropriately eliminate joint financial liability going forward. It is also often the most expedient form of allowing spouses to be financially free from each other, at least in terms of their home.

What are some tips for high asset divorcees?

As a couple in Michigan who has decided that divorce is the right thing for you, you may also be wondering how to deal with your assets. The more assets you have, the more potentially complex your divorce could become.

Findlaw has some legal guidance for people who are handling high asset divorces, along with their related hurdles. The first tip is to determine exactly where your assets lie and how much you have. This is important for the division process. All assets will be divided between marital property, separate property and community property. Some of these items will have to be divided. Others you may be able to keep for yourself.

What to do when fathers cannot make child support payments

When Michigan fathers get a divorce, they may often find themselves paying child support. Some men, though, may be unable to make child support payments. In this situation, they may wonder what they should do.

If fathers are experiencing financial difficulties, it is a good idea for them to reach out for help. Very Well Family says that sometimes a court may allow a modification in child support if a man has changed circumstances. This change in circumstances may be unexpected medical expenses or a change in income. It can also include the rising cost of parenting as children get older. Additionally, a court may allow a child support modification if a man becomes unemployed. To receive a modification, men usually have to reach out to the Michigan Child Support Enforcement Office and file a formal motion.

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