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Westland MI Family Law Blog

Michigan bankruptcy law: Can't pay off your debts?

Numerous Michigan residents are among the many Americans who are drowning in debt. When it all becomes too much, it is normal to question how one should address the issue. Thankfully, this is not a problem that one has to figure out all alone. A bankruptcy law attorney may be able to help.

According to a recent report, Americans are said to be over $12.7 trillion in debt. The most common types of debt include student, medical, mortgage and auto. All of these can add up pretty fast, and if one experiences the loss of a job or anything else that creates a financial hardship, the ability to continue meeting one's debt obligation can get pretty hard.

Keeping your house with Chapter 13 bankruptcy

One of the most common concerns of people considering using bankruptcy is whether or not it is possible to file for bankruptcy and still keep the house. If you're like millions of Americans, your home is your most valuable possession, in addition to being the roof over your head.

It is not simple to say whether a specific person may or may not keep their home while completing a bankruptcy, because there are so many factors that contribute to this determination. However, it is possible to lay out the broad strokes of bankruptcies that allow a person to keep their home.

Where does bird nesting fit into Michigan family law?

Whenever a parent has to go on a business trip, the other parent is there to care for the children during his or her absence. When it is the other parent's turn to go on a trip, the roles will be exchanged. That has given families nationwide, including in Michigan, the concept of birds nesting. Although this is not a custody or parenting option included in statutes or family law, it has proved to be ideal for families who want to spare their children the upset of moving between the homes of divorced parents.

Nesting was named after the manner in which birds leave their young in the nest while the parents fly in with food. Divorced parents leave the family home to find separate apartments or other accommodations from where they alternate parenting time in the family home. Parents can work out a schedule that will fit their other commitments and make sure one of them is always at home with the children. Children can remain in familiar surroundings rather than having to adapt to new strange places.

When divorce and bankruptcy law comes together

When people are young and in love, they may never contemplate they will get a divorce or face overwhelming debt from which they cannot escape. Sadly, for those in Michigan and elsewhere, the reality is that many couples experience financial hardship that leads to disputes. As they spiral deeper into debt, their differences become irreversible, and divorce seems to be the only solution. However, it will not resolve the financial problems, many of which may be marital debts for which both spouses will be responsible. This is where the bankruptcy law can bring relief.

Under these circumstances, bankruptcy can be a financial survival tool. The question will be whether to file for bankruptcy before or after the divorce. Some advisors suggest it benefits both parties if it is filed before the divorce. One reason is the fact that, regardless of the agreements reached by the two spouses about who will pay which debts, their creditors will continue to keep them both liable for joint debts. If both spouses can cooperate, and there is no threat of one party hiding assets, filing for bankruptcy can save money and ease the divorce process considerably.

Divorce law and the specifics of the divorce agreement

For some Michigan couples, it is a difficult decision to make; for others, the appropriate decision is clear. Once the decision to divorce has been made, there are a number of legalities that need to be considered. On the surface, divorce law may appear to be a fairly simple concept; however, there are often a number of specifics that need to be taken into consideration.

Regardless of whether the decision is mutual, once it has been made, one will need to file a divorce petition. At this point, the spouse will need to be informed. If the decision is mutual, or if the individual feels that the encounter will be amicable, this can be done in person. The other option is to have the paperwork served to the other individual.

Michigan divorce law: Not so fast

Living in a world where everything is practically at one's finger tips and there is the constant need for instant gratification, as in getting things done fast, is certainly desirable. However, there are times when people can help themselves simply by slowing down a bit -- such as when going through a divorce. Those in Michigan who need help taking a step back in order to fully consider their dissolution options can seek assistance from an experienced divorce law attorney.

What is wrong with a quickie divorce? It all really depends on the details of one's situation. If a couple is married for a brief amount of time and have few shared assets and no complex issues to resolve, then the divorce process can be completed quite fast. However, if a couple has been married for awhile and has some complex issues to work out, a quickie divorce can end up hurting one or both parties in the long run.

Is Chapter 7 bankruptcy right for you?

Unmanageable debt can happen any number of ways, and it happens far more often than you might think. Fortunately, the courts retain the right to discharge many kinds of debt for individuals who qualify for bankruptcy and follow the proper procedures.

If you feel completely overrun by debt, bankruptcy may be the right choice for you. However, many people discuss bankruptcy as if it is a monolith, when, in reality, there are a number of different bankruptcy plans, each with their own strengths and requirements.

Michigan family law: Child custody options

Child custody plans can be difficult to figure out. Knowing which will best serve one's family is certainly a challenge. Thankfully, in Michigan, just like in other states, there are various options available. One can turn to his or her family law attorney for help in achieving the custody arrangement desired.

What are the custody options available in Michigan? Joint and sole are the two main types. A joint custody arrangement is when both parents take on fairly equal roles in the lives of their children. Children will spend time living with each parent, and both parents will get to share in making decisions that affect their children -- such as where they will go to school and health care needs, among others.

Michigan bankruptcy law: Don't ignore one's financial situation

Money, money, money, why is so much in life about money? Wouldn't it be nice to just sit back and not think about it or worry about it? What would happen if one was to just ignore one's financial situation? This is actually something that some people do and then they get to the point where they are way over their heads in debt. Michigan residents to whom this happens can turn to a bankruptcy law attorney for help in rectifying the situation.

What are some signs that one's financial situation is out of control? There are actually quite a few, but this column will just address a few of the most common. Information will also be given out how one can turn things around and get a fresh start.

A family law attorney's role during divorce season

Divorce season -- does Michigan have such a thing? According to a study from a leading university, yes it might. When is it? What is a family law attorney's role during divorce season?

According to a recent report, divorce season actually comes twice a year. The first is in March, soon after all the winter holidays and when everyone is get their finances in order for tax season. The second is in August, just before children start school.

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