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Plymouth Family Law Blog

3 financial mistakes that may complicate your divorce

Marriage is one of the most important institutions in modern society. Not only does a spouse provide you with emotional support, but he or she may also make acquiring wealth easier. When spouses divorce, though, finances often become highly contentious. If you are thinking about leaving your spouse, you must work diligently to protect yourself from financial pitfalls. 

Not every married couple is wealthy. Whether you have significant assets or substantial debt, you must understand how your financial situation affects your divorce. Here are three financial mistakes that may make your divorce more complicated: 

How can property division affect my retirement?

Many married couples in Plymouth spend years saving for retirement. They may have 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, and other investments that they have set aside to allow them to live comfortably once they stop working. However, not every marriage is meant to last. Sometimes couples -- even those who have been married for decades -- decide to divorce.

When a younger couple divorces, child custody and child support may be major issues to them. However, if a couple's children are grown, these issues aren't present in a divorce, meaning that a greater focus may be on property division -- specifically, how to divide the retirement assets they have spent so many years accumulating.

Nesting may be a viable child custody option for some

When parents in Plymouth divorce, they may be concerned about how their children will be affected by the split. Children are resilient but having to adjust to moving from one household to the other for shared custody periods can be stressful. Some parents choose to try to alleviate this stress through a unique child custody arrangement known as nesting.

Nesting is a type of co-parenting arrangement. In traditional child custody arrangements, the child resides with one parent some of the time and the other parent some of the time. This means the child will need to be transferred between two separate households. Through nesting, however, the child remains in the family home, and it is the parents who rotate between living in the family home with the child during their parenting time and living in a separate apartment when it is not their parenting time. The aim of nesting is to provide the child with the stability he or she might not experience through traditional child custody arrangements.

We can help establish paternity and everything that comes after

There are many reasons that establishing paternity for your child may be on your mind. Whether you are the mother looking to put a legal father on record for your child, a grandmother looking for grandparent's rights or a father seeking parental rights, seeking paternity is the first step for many. With the legal establishment of paternity comes a range of rights and responsibilities.

When the parents are married, the law assumes that the husband is the father of any child born during the marriage. When the parents are not married, establishing paternity is a legal matter.

What is standard of living and its impact on spousal support?

It's no secret that two incomes are better than one. However, when it comes to a dissolution of marriage, income isn't usually the sole reason behind a divorce. While the lure of a single life calls to many, it can be hard to reconcile the change in standard of living. For some, it results in a real disparity between spouses.

For this situation, spousal support can be ordered in a divorce decree to help balance financial differences between spouses. Oftentimes in a marriage, one person will sacrifice personal and career-success in lieu of the other spouse's success in those areas. While a standard of living won't be the same, with two incomes reducing to 1 in the divorced person's new household, it still can be a fair and equitable division of the assets.

4 signs your spouse may be hiding assets

 You did your best to make your marriage work. While you made a good faith effort throughout your union, your spouse may be showing signs of deceit. If you think your husband or wife is hiding assets during divorce proceedings, you may need to act quickly to ensure you get your fair share

Unlike many other states that require family law judges to divide marital assets evenly, Michigan takes an equitable distribution approach. That is, the judge in your divorce case should divide marital assets in a fair way. As you may suspect, if your spouse hides assets, the judge may not know what is equitable. Here are four signs your spouse may be hiding assets from you: 

Shared parenting in your child custody arrangement

When immersed in a co-parenting situation while raising your child, there can be many topics that may come up for discussion. When custody is determined it's wise to figure out not only the legal ramifications of the custody arrangement, but the duties, responsibilities and expectations of each parent when raising the child from separate households. Sometimes the terms joint custody and shared custody are used in place of each other.

However, they aren't exactly the same thing. Joint custody is characterized by a child custody situation in which both parents split parenting time equally. Shared parenting is when both parents split parenting time equally. This means that they both make decisions in terms of the child and do their best to split their time with their child fairly.

We can help if spousal support is a part of your divorce

When looking at a divorce, there are so many pieces to the complete puzzle. For many divorcing after several years of marriage, there are emotional issues, child custody issues, property division issues and general questions swirling around the process of divorce that many are seeking answers for. Whatever your situation, divorce requires the legal separation of two people and their lives. Here is a little bit about spousal support, also known as alimony, and how we can help.

At Selleck Legal, PLLC, we have helped countless clients get answers they seek about their divorce. Beyond that, we can help to ascertain and achieve goals pertinent to our clients. Spousal support is something that is a part of divorce decrees and the financial settlement when there is a disparity between income/education/professional lives between the spouses. Often, one spouse will make sacrifices in lieu of the other spouse's personal success.

What can paternity determination mean for a child?

When issues of paternity come up, it's rarely a question mark of who the mother is, as the child was brought into this world by her. Sometimes it's hard to know who the father is. Or rather, it can be difficult to prove who the father is. The legal significance of paternity allows a parent certain rights to seek visitation, custody etc. However, it also guarantees the child something.

That is financial support. Regardless of whether the father has a claim to visitation or child custody rights, the child has the right to be financially supported by that parent. This is a big deal as it can open doors of opportunity for that child and can ensure they are better cared for, with a stream of financial support, in the form of child support, paid by the father. Whether the father acquiesces or not to this process, the mother and the court can take steps to ensure that he holds up his end of the financial responsibility for his child.

What factors determine if alimony is a part of a divorce decree?

Marriage can be a beautiful thing. It can also turn into something else, something you want to escape. Thank heavens for divorce. If married for many years, or just a short time, alimony could be a part of your divorce decree between you and your spouse.

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a court-ordered financial amount paid from one ex-spouse to the other. It isn't a part of every Michigan divorce decree, but it could be a part of yours. Alimony is instated as part of a divorce arrangement if one spouse has made personal and professional sacrifices in lieu of the other spouse's success over the term of the marriage. This leaves one spouse with less income-earning potential and thus, alimony seeks to balance this.

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