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Westland MI Family Law Blog

Michigan family law: Custody handoff details matter

If you have chosen to call it quits on your relationship, but you have children with your ex, there is a lot you will need to figure out when it comes to child custody. A custody order does not just state how often each parent will get time with the children; it can also include specific details as to how certain things are to be handled -- such as the hand-off of children. Thankfully, a family law attorney can help parents in Michigan figure all this out so that their custody orders truly meet their needs.

When it comes to handing off children at the end or beginning of your time with them, there are a few ways you can go about this. For example, you can drop them off at your ex's home, he or she can pick them up from your home or you can name a specific public place for the hand-off to occur -- among other things. It all comes down to what you feel comfortable with.

Michigan bankruptcy law: Consumer debt up nearly 5%

An article was recently released regarding the state of consumer debt in the United States. In May 2019, consumer debt rose nearly 5%. Michigan residents who have found themselves among those whose debt has risen to uncontrollable numbers may need help getting their finances back under control. Bankruptcy law or other debt relief options may help them with that.

The article started by painting consumer debt as a good thing -- a sign that the economy is in a good place. That may be true, to a point. People spend when they think their jobs are secure and they believe they'll be able to pay back what they borrow. However, it went on to say that more people are failing to pay back their debts. For example, more people than ever are 90 days delinquent on their auto loans.

Money and its role in divorce

Money is said to be the cause of most fights between married couples. Spouses do not always have the same ideas when it comes to spending and saving, which can add a lot of stress on daily life. There are many couples in Michigan who have filed for divorce, or will end up doing so, due to their inability to agree on money issues. Here are some of the top reasons couples end up fighting about finances.

Number one: Varying financial priorities. When married, it is necessary to get on the same page about a lot of things, including money. Having a shared goal brings a couple together. For example, if the goal is to save up a significant downpayment for a home, each spouse has to stick to a budget to make it work. If one spouse is continually going over budget, it can make the other feel he or she is the only one who cares about reaching the goal.

What exemptions can you claim in Michigan bankruptcy proceedings?

One of the most pervasive myths about bankruptcy is the incorrect belief that the courts will demand that you liquidate your assets, up to and including your home. The truth is far more complicated, and a variety of factors will impact whether you need to liquidate anything at all.

First of all, liquidation is only necessary in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Those who pass the means test for Chapter 7 will have to look at their overall assets and determine if they are at risk for court-ordered asset liquidation. Certain assets are exempt or protected by state and federal bankruptcy statutes. Michigan does allow anyone filing to use federal exemptions instead of the state exemptions.

Bankruptcy law can help with mortgage debt

Homeownership can give a person a sense of security, that is until the mortgage debt becomes too much to handle. When purchasing a home, it may seem affordable at the time, but life changes can quickly turn that affordable payment into a significant liability. Michigan residents who are struggling to pay their mortgage debt have a few options to improve their situations. Filing for Chapter 13 with the assistance of a bankruptcy law attorney, for example, can help one achieve a truly affordable repayment plan.

On June 27, 2019, a report regarding the amount of mortgage debt in each state was published. Michigan ranks 42nd in the nation for highest mortgage debt. Here are the 2017 census numbers cited in the article:

  • Median income: $54,909
  • Mean mortgage debt: $135,240
  • Average home value: $155,700
  • Rate of home ownership: 71.3%
  • Percentage of homeowners with mortgage payments: 60.2%

Family law: Child support problems often lead to custody disputes

You do what you can to make sure your children get the support that they need. You live for the time you get to spend with them, even if it is not as much time as you would like. Unfortunately, you are finding your time with them being cut short, all because your ex is not happy with your child support agreement or because you are finding it challenging to keep up with your ordered payment amount. Withholding children over support issues is a complaint often seen in Michigan family law courts.

Shared custody is the arrangement of choice these days. This means that both parents should enjoy relatively equal time with their kids. However, one parent is still typically named primary custody holder. This is the parent who will collect child support because he or she will have the kids slightly more often than the so-called non-custodial parent.

The number one reason people seek bankruptcy law protection

Financial struggles abound for many Michiganders. There are several reasons for this. However, according to a recent report, the most significant cause of financial difficulties for most people is medical debt. Numerous individuals who seek bankruptcy law protection do so due to the inability to pay their medical and other bills that result from their failing health.

How bad is the medical debt crisis? According to a recent study, nearly 67% of all bankruptcy filings in the United States can be linked to medical issues. Not only is it expensive to pay for medical care, but numerous individuals have lost out on income due to a need to take time off of work to focus on their health.

Credit cards, what people turn to when they lack funds

Credit cards certainly have their place in a person's wallet, if used properly. Unfortunately, for many Michigan residents, they are used to cover expenses when their money runs out. Bills and other expenses have to get paid somehow, right?

According to a recently released article, roughly 56% of Americans do not have enough money to get them through from one paycheck to the next. Some people take out loans or turn to family for help in covering their expenses. Then there are those who turn to their credit cards. Research shows that about 28% of Americans turn to credit cards when they lack the funds they need between paydays.

Michigan divorce law: What to do when alimony isn't getting paid

Alimony is not ordered in every marital dissolution case, but when it is, the party ordered to pay it is expected to do just that per the terms set in the order of support. Unfortunately, some Michigan residents find themselves in the position of not receiving the money granted to them as part of their divorce settlements. What can these individuals do when this happens?

Thankfully, the state does not expect these individuals to deal with this type of situation on their own. There are enforcement options available if all other attempts to collect fail to produce results. They are the same as the enforcement options used to collect child support from a parent who is refusing to pay. Some of them include:

  • Intercept tax refund
  • Withhold income
  • Suspend personal/professional licenses
  • Report to credit agencies
  • Hold in contempt of court

Why you might get stuck with your ex-spouse's student loan debt?

When it comes to divorce, the dividing of assets and liabilities is one of the most complicated things a couple will have to deal with. There is a lot involved in deciding who gets to keep what and who is responsible for shared debt. Speaking of debt, if one's spouse has a student loan, in the state of Michigan, it may be considered shared marital property.

Shared marital property, by definition, consists of any assets or liabilities obtained by one or both spouses during a marriage, with some exceptions. Anything owned before the wedding is considered separate property. As Michigan is an equitable distribution state, shared marital assets and liabilities will be divided in a manner that is deemed fair for both parties. This does not mean everything will be split down the middle.

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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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