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Plymouth Family Law Blog

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.

How children can benefit from joint custody arrangements

Divorce means change, and one of the major adjustments many people navigating their way through divorces must grapple with is spending less time with their children than they might have in the past. If this describes your own circumstances, you may find yourself struggling to adapt to a new joint custody arrangement. It may make things easier, however, if you begin to understand that spending time in the homes of both you and your child’s other parent can have positive effects on your son or daughter’s development and wellbeing.

According to Time, children of divorce who have parents who share custody tend to fare better in many areas when compared against children of divorce who live with just one parent. Just how can your child benefit from you and your former partner sharing custody over him or her?

Planning for your financial future happens during a divorce

We all know or have experienced the signs of love and marriage. However, if you and your spouse have been in a negative place for a while, or if something big happened that affected your marriage in a negative way, divorce may be an option on the table. Finances, and going from married to single, is a topic of much importance with clients' wondering about their financial futures.

The truth is, financial planning for the future beyond marriage happens while you are getting a divorce. This is because the property division needs to be fair and equitable, considering all past, present and future topics relevant to the couple and their divorce. Understanding your personal financial snapshot, in relation to your spouse, will help to determine the specifics of that property division. You may even want to consider what your new (or brand new) estate plan will look like, now that you've gone from a couple down to one.

Getting answers and resolution to your property division

Marriage brings more than just a spouse and oftentimes children. It brings the complete cohesion of a couple's life, everything from living quarters to finances to family. This is a big reason why divorce can sound so daunting to a couple thinking about divorce. However, with the right effort, the process of property division can be completed to a person's satisfaction and they can move one step closer to finalizing a divorce.

Property division is meant to be a fair and equitable process. However, depending on a couple's situation, this can mean many different things. Many people have concerns about who will get the house, if the couple does indeed own property together. Also, questions tend to swirl around investment accounts, like 401(k), stocks and other investments the couple has made together over the term of their marriage.

What's the legal significance of establishing paternity?

Becoming a father represents an important change in a man's life in many profound ways. Among other things, fatherhood comes with certain legal rights and responsibilities. For this reason, paternity can be a matter of legal dispute. In many cases, a man or a woman might request a legal determination of paternity for a child.

Generally, a father has rights to visit his child and make important decisions about the child's education and other important issues. Thus, even if the parents are estranged, when paternity is legally established, the father can establish some form of custody rights. Without establishing paternity, a father can't seek these rights.

Divorce in Michigan and property division laws

After child custody questions, the topic of property division is often high on the list of concerns for couples going through a divorce. Whether you have been married two years or 20 years, Michigan classifies as an equitable property division state (rather than a community property state.) What this means is that state law determines, at the basic level, how marital property is assessed and ultimately divided, in a divorce.

As a refresher, marital property may not include every asset that a couple has. Marital property is defined as property acquired during a marriage. It can include wages earned for that year, a house or a car a couple may have purchased together regardless of exactly who contributed what. The time in which it was purchased is often more important, if an asset was accumulated during the marriage, it is often considered marital property. Of course, there are exceptions to this based on specific details surrounding the divorcing couple.

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