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Bloomfield Family Law Blog

Advantages and disadvantages of litigation

Some people in Michigan who are getting a divorce might find themselves at an impasse with a spouse over property division or child custody. At this point, they may be facing a choice of whether to settle or go to litigation. There are a few factors to consider.

Cost and time can both be significant. A divorce that goes into litigation can generate costs of five or even six figures, so if the dispute is over property, it is important to make sure the divorce will not cost more than the property is worth. Litigation can take months or even years. However, if it appears unlikely that an agreement can be reached, it might be better to move straight to litigation instead of wasting more time in negotiation.

Why divorce rates for older couples are increasing

The divorce rate for people over the age of 50 doubled between 1990 and 2010. Michigan couples who end their marriages after turning 50 are said to be going through a gray divorce. One of the primary reasons people get divorced later in life is because they aren't emotionally connected with their partners. Therefore, they may try to make the most of the final years or decades of their lives either alone or with a new partner.

Older folks may also choose to end their marriages because of changing attitudes toward divorce. In previous decades, many individuals felt as if they had no choice but to remain in bad relationships.

How parental alienation claims affect custody outcomes

Michigan parents who are negotiating child custody might have to deal with a challenge if one of the parents claims parental alienation. While experts question its credibility, parental alienation is still being used and accepted in courts and can significantly impact the outcome of a child custody dispute.

While most parents have the best interests of the child in mind when they discuss custody issues, the relationship between the parents might also affect how they proceed raising their children after they split up. Parental alienation is a claim that sometimes comes up, particularly in cases where one parent alleges abuse and the other parent responds by claiming parental alienation.

How distributions from an IRA can be affected by divorce

Divorce is on the rise for older adults in Michigan and nationwide, and this can mean that they have accumulated a substantial amount of retirement savings. There are regulations around dividing retirement accounts in the process. In some cases, a document called a qualified domestic relations order is required. This is not necessary for an IRA, which only requires a divorce decree.

However, some people may have begun taking 72(t) distributions from the account before the age of 59 1/2. While there are situations in which this is permitted without triggering the 10% penalty for an early withdrawal, a modification can mean the person has to pay the penalty on all the distributions. What is not clear is whether splitting the account in a divorce counts as a modification.

Consider a child's age when creating a parenting plan

Part of looking out for a child's best interests when co-parenting involves creating an effective parenting plan. Michigan co-parents may be interested in learning about some basic guidelines on how to divide time between parents based on a child's age.

Babies and toddlers can easily be put in a state of distress when changes to their schedule occur. They need consistency, which means that it is usually best for children at this age to have one primary caretaker who they are with almost all of the time. However, it would be recommendable for the other parent to visit a couple of times a week and spend several hours with the child.

How to negotiate a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement can be a good idea for some Michigan couples. It can protect them in case they divorce and make the process of property division less difficult. However, it is important that both parties are involved in creating the prenup and that it does not leave either of them at a significant disadvantage. For one woman who was given a cohabitation agreement before moving in with her boyfriend, this was not the case.

The man's attorney drew up the agreement, and he then gave it to his girlfriend. The man had purchased a home with the help of his mother, and he wanted to protect that in case they married and then divorced. However, his provision that she would not be entitled to any financial compensation no matter how much money she put into the home did not seem fair to her. The agreement also said that if they married and divorced, spousal support laws would not apply.

International complications in Michigan child custody cases

More people than ever are involved in international or cross-border relationships. People often travel the world for work or education, and they may fall in love and even marry and have children while living abroad. Others might develop a relationship with a foreign national in the United States. Divorce and separation can be complicated regardless of the nationalities of the parties involved, especially when it comes to child custody.

However, international relationships can make child custody issues more complex. Depending on where the parents and child were living, the law of that country controls how custody is divided. While U.S. family courts tend to prefer joint custody and active involvement of both parents, that is not the case in every other country. Also, a person who remained in the U.S. due to a marriage or other relationship may need or want to return home even though they have an American child. While child abduction is a rare outcome even in highly contentious custody disputes, it does happen. In fact, parental abductions are far more common than those involving strangers.

Tips to successfully co-parent after a divorce

Many challenges can arise when co-parenting children after a divorce in Michigan. However, communicating with an ex-spouse is crucial if one wants their kids to grow up to be well-balanced and healthy adults. This means that co-parents may need to sit down and discuss strategies that will encourage their children to cooperate with the parenting plan.

To ensure that the parenting time schedule works well for the children, everyone involved should discuss the details. In many cases, younger children do better with parenting schedules where they do not have to transition between houses frequently. As for older children, they may want a bit more control over their personal schedules. Older kids tend to engage in more school activities and spend more time with their friends. If they do not have this flexibility, they may become resentful toward their parents.

How long-distance parents can maintain bonds after divorce

Michigan parents who are divorced may struggle with the child custody and visitation schedule, but there can be additional challenges if the parent is long-distance. However, there are plenty of things parents can do to help maintain the bond even if they see their children infrequently in person. For example, parents can maintain regular communication with postcards, unscheduled phone calls, Instagram and text messages. They should ask questions specifically connected to things happening in the child's life that they have discussed.

Parents can also find out whether the children prefer to visit them or for the parent to go to the child. They should also make an effort to spend most of the visitation time with the child. It is usually best to wait to introduce new partners until the relationship has become more serious.

Tips for managing finances through a divorce

It seems that the divorce rate in the United States is slightly decreasing when it comes to younger couples, but it is on the rise for couples who are 50 years and older. One factor that contributes to some Michigan divorces is financial problems. There are several steps that individuals can take to reduce the financial fallout that comes from a divorce and to help them keep their emotions in check as their financial future seems uncertain.

In some marriages, one individual is responsible for handling financial tasks. This individual usually is aware of assets that the couple shares, when the bills need to be paid and how to access financial accounts. When a person is going through a divorce, they need to be sure that they have access to this information. They need to be aware of how much of the assets they will be entitled to and know exactly how to access them.

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