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Westland MI Family Law Blog

Michigan bankruptcy law: Beware debt relief scammers

Michigan residents who are financially struggling may be quick to trust anyone who says that they can help. While there is nothing wrong with seeking debt relief assistance, one must be careful in whom he or she places trust. Not all debt relief services and options are created equal. A bankruptcy law attorney can provide detailed information about legitimate relief options.

Why does it matter who one turns to for debt relief assistance? Recently, in another state, several individuals were arrested and charged with running a phony debt relief scam. Authorities say they offered to help people who were struggling to meet their debt obligations for an upfront fee. However, no services were ever offered after collecting the money. This left their victims in even worse financial positions.

Your child deserves strong medical child support

When parents divorce, working out fair parenting and child support agreements is crucial to providing for the children in the marriage. Among the many issues all divorcing parents should address, medical child support is one of the most important. In some instances, parents get lucky and never have to deal with major medical expenses for their children. However, if a child does need medical care at some point, one or both parents must pay for any expenses not covered by medical insurance.

If you face divorce as a parent, do not brush past this issue without fully addressing it. Depending on various factors in your marriage and your lives as single parents raising children in tandem, you may not only hold liability for unexpected medical expenses, you may not have final say in the medical care your children receive.

Michigan divorce law: Tax benefit for alimony payers may soon end

Right now, as current tax laws stand, those in Michigan and elsewhere who pay alimony to former exes have the ability to claim their payments as deductions on their taxes. This is a benefit that saves them upwards of thousands a year. If the current GOP tax plan passes, though, this is a benefit that may soon disappear. According to professionals in the divorce law field, this could prove devastating to the average divorced American.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which is now under review and still being revised, includes something many are calling the divorce penalty. This penalty is that those who are ordered to pay alimony will no longer get to claim their payments as a tax deduction. For those who are quite well-off, this penalty will not make much of a difference. For everyone else, though, both the payer and payee could end up hurting economically.

Michigan bankruptcy law: Is it a phantom debt or the real deal?

Today, numerous Americans will receive phone calls from debt collectors or scammers trying to collect money on debts that do not exist. These are called phantom debts. On the rare occasion that it turns out to be the real deal and money is owed, a bankruptcy law attorney may be able to offer Michigan residents assistance in finding the best way to handle the debt and stop any future creditor harassment.

Phantom debts generally occur for one of two reasons: scammers looking to collect or debt collectors with bad information. It is a sad reality that there are individuals out there who know they can use scare tactics to get people to pay them money even when no money is owed them. Scammers are good at what they do and numerous individuals end up out thousands of dollars simply because they pay rather than investigate.

Michigan family law: Dean McDermott child support woes

For some parents in Michigan and elsewhere, paying child support is not always an easy and straightforward thing. Sometimes there is conflict between parents over a number of child support issues -- such as the ability to pay, how much to pay and when to stop paying, among others. Such family law issues of the rich and famous are often splashed on the front pages of national publications. Most recently this is the case for actor and reality television star Dean McDermott.

According to a recent report, Mr. McDermott's ex-wife is accusing him of not paying child support. This is not the first time such accusations have been made, but now the child for whom the support is intended is 18. When a child reaches early adulthood, is the support-paying parent required to continue making payments?

How can a bankruptcy law attorney help stop wage garnishment?

You've done everything you can to get on top of your debt, but everything seems to be working against you. Instead of improving your situation, you find yourself still struggling, still behind, drowning in financial woes. When things can't seem to get any worse, wage garnishment begins. Michigan residents can turn to a bankruptcy law attorney to get such actions stopped.

Wage garnishment -- this happens when creditors petition the court to take your pay directly from your employer in order to force you to pay back your debt. It may seem wrong that this can be done, but it can, and it only makes things harder on you. When you are already living paycheck to paycheck, someone taking part of your funds can be devastating.

Michigan divorce law: What does school have to do with it?

Marriage happens when two people want to commit themselves to each other. At the time, nothing else may seem to matter, everyone wants to believe that things will work out for the better. Unfortunately, according to a recent study, some level of life preparation is key to a marriage lasting. When it doesn't, Michigan residents can turn to a divorce law attorney for help.

So, what is this life preparation that is deemed so important? College or university training. According to a study coming out of Northwestern University, couples who are college educated are less likely to divorce. In fact, divorce rates among such individuals have greatly declined since the 1980's. But, why?

Can you avoid monthly alimony payments?

If you face a divorce as the primary provider between you and your spouse, you may find yourself on the hook for ongoing spousal support payments. For many people, remaining legally or financially tied to an ex-spouse is not an arrangement they want to continue living in. On top of this, ongoing payments to an ex-spouse can create complex issues in your personal finances.

If you believe that you will face an alimony order as part of your divorce, you may not have to make ongoing payments, provided that you navigate the divorce negotiations well. This, however, can prove difficult.

Michigan bankruptcy law: Money for emergencies nonexistent

How many Americans can honestly say they have enough money in the bank to cover a big emergency? According to a recent report, the answer is not many. In fact, few have the money to cover the costs of a minor emergency. Michigan residents who find themselves struggling financially can turn to a bankruptcy law attorney for assistance.

It is believed that approximately half of Americans do not even have enough cash on hand to cover an unexpected $400 expense -- such as a car repair or a medical bill. Unfortunately, these things happen to just about everyone and always at the worst time possible. So what do they do when they cannot come up with the money? They look for quick cash sources -- such as credit cards or payday loans.

Michigan divorce law: Why asset division matters

You are going through a divorce and you just want to get it over with. It is understandable, as it is certainly not an easy thing to get through and you just want to start the next chapter in your life. However, before signing your life away, consider how your current asset division agreement will really affect you in the long run. Not sure where to even start? A Michigan divorce law attorney can help.

How hard is it to divide assets? It does not seem like it should be that difficult. At the end of the day, there are a lot of little details that couples do not consider before agreeing to property division settlements. For example, the marital home. Wanting to keep the home, especially if you have kids, is understandable; however, if the receiving spouse cannot afford to keep the home it does not make much sense to fight for it.

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