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Westland MI Family Law Blog

Bankruptcy law can help deal with new debt collection rules

When struggling financially, frequently being contacted by debt collectors can make an already stressful situation unbearable. Thankfully, Michigan consumers do have rights when it comes to fair debt collection practices. However, rule changes are coming, and some believe they benefit the collection industry and hurt consumers. Even with the coming rule revisions, bankruptcy law can still help those in debt fight back against collectors and seek financial relief.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just recently announced that an update to collection practices is coming soon. This will be the first big change made to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in 40-plus years. Some, particularly those in the collection industry, believe it is long overdue, while consumer advocates believe the new rules are too lenient.

Michigan divorce can get messy without self-control

Your marriage is not what it once was. You and your spouse no longer look at each other or interact with each other as you did in the beginning. Now, one or both of you are ready to file for divorce and move on. You are afraid, though, that the dissolution process is going to get a little messy. The truth is, yes, some Michiganders will experience messy, difficult divorces -- particularly if they fail to practice self-control through it all.

At the end of the day, the only person you can control is yourself during the dissolution process. Your spouse may do some things that seem far out there or with the intent to hurt you. How you act and react says a lot about you and can hurt or help your case.

Co-parenting is in your future. Could it be amicable?

Divorcing couples who share children have to deal with two serious issues that couples without children don't. First, they have to worry about how to minimize or mitigate the potentially destructive impact of divorce on the kids. Secondly, they also have to find some way to work together in a professional or friendly manner for the foreseeable future.

Couples without children can divorce and go their separate ways. They may never see one another again. Couples with kids typically can't always avoid each other, no matter how acrimonious the divorce becomes. There will be regular exchanges of custody, to say nothing of important days like birthdays, holidays and graduations. On those special days, the children are likely going to be happiest if both of their parents can be there.

Michigan divorce law: Figuring out child custody

Couples in Michigan who are preparing to go through the divorce process likely have a lot of questions about how everything will work out in the end, particularly if they have child custody issues that need addressing. Figuring out child custody is not always easy as not all parents have the same ideas about what is best for their kids. According to current divorce law, there are two ways in which child custody can be determined: parent negotiation or judge intervention.

If parents can come to agreeable child custody terms either on their own or with the assistance of counsel, they are more likely to be happy with the final result. Parent negotiation is the preferred method of figuring out custody arrangements, but there are some cases where it just does not work. In those cases, a judge may have to make the decision.

Significant mental burden associated with debt

There are a lot of things in this life that can cause people to struggle on a psychological level. Michigan residents who are dealing with significant debt or who find themselves chronically in debt are likely aware of the mental burden being in such a position creates. A study on the link between financial instability and mental health was recently released, and its findings are pretty interesting.

Researchers working out of the National University of Singapore conducted a study to see how reducing a person's debt burden would affect that individual's mental health. A total of 196 participants who met the qualification of being chronically in debt were asked to take part in a debt relief program. Before and after the study, which lasted three months, each individual was asked to take a survey that measured anxiety levels, decision-making skills and cognitive functioning. The study found that those who were able to eliminate some of their debt accounts showed significant improvement in their psychological health and cognitive functioning.

The Jolie-Pitts are seeking a bifurcated divorce -- can I?

It seems impossible to go a day without seeing something in the news about the Jolie-Pitt divorce proceedings. Yes, it has been going on for several years now and no, they are not close to reaching a property division settlement and still have a way to go on an official child custody order. They are, however, seeking something not many people are familiar with, a bifurcated divorce. What is that exactly and is it an option for Michigan residents?

A bifurcated divorce is where a couple becomes officially divorced before they reach full settlement terms. In other words, it is a way to achieve single status faster so that each party can really start moving forward. It can give a little bit of closure to the relationship, and figuring out the rest is just business.

Michigan bankruptcy law: Is there such a thing as good debt?

It is not uncommon for Michigan residents to hear that some types of debt are good while others are bad. When struggling financially, is there really such a thing as good debt? Debt is debt, and if one cannot pay creditors what they are owed, isn't it all bad? This topic will be discussed a bit here, but those with specific questions regarding their own debt situations can turn to a local bankruptcy law attorney for guidance.

According to a recently published article, there are such things as good and bad debt. Good debt would be things like mortgages, auto loans and any other type of loan that is considered credit building. If paid according to the account terms, this type of debt can have a positive impact on one's credit score.

Divorce law: Is one of these habits ruining your marriage?

There is no such thing as the perfect marriage. Yes, there are couples who seem to have it all together, but in private they likely have problems that they work through just like everyone else. Sometimes, issues exist in a marriage that can eventually lead to its breakdown. When that happens, Michigan residents who wish to end their marriages can turn to a divorce law attorney for assistance with the dissolution process.

According to an article that was released recently, there are certain habits that, if exhibited by one or both spouses, can contribute to the breakdown of the marriage. One habit that was discussed was failing to track finances. So much in life is about money. When each spouse has different ideas on how to approach marital finances, it can lead to fights and even hiding assets. Studies have shown that spouses with the same outlook on the marital financial position are happier than those with differing views on this subject.

Higher asset divorces in Michigan could involve hidden assets

Getting a divorce is never an easy prospect. The longer you have spent with someone, the more closely intertwined your lives have likely become. Separating your personal and financial lives can be difficult. However, for couples with substantial marital assets, divorce can be particularly tricky.

It is not unheard of for one or even both spouses to attempt to hide assets from one another and the courts. While hiding assets in that manner is a violation of the law, that does not stop individuals from attempting to do so.

Avoiding court possible when settling family law matters

Whether one is just going through the divorce process or has been down that road and needs to modify some terms of a divorce settlement, one may think that going to court is the only way to reach a resolution. Thankfully, Michigan residents have other options when it comes to marriage dissolution and term modifications. Most family law matters can be settled through mediation.

What exactly is mediation? What are the benefits of going this route? What happens if it does not work? These are all questions one might have when first considering the mediation process.

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5885 N. Wayne RD | The | Smith | Law Offices, P.C. | 734.729.4465
5885 N. Wayne RD | The | Smith | Law Offices, P.C. | 734.729.4465

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