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Westland MI Family Law Blog

Overcoming credit card debt: Keep it simple

You've always been good about maintaining your debt level. You wanted to make sure you had enough rotating debts to improve your credit score, and you always paid on time.

That was all before you suddenly lost your job. Now, you've found yourself in a position where you're struggling to make ends meet, let alone being able to pay down your debt. How can you eliminate this debt? Here are a few options.

Michigan divorce law: Only accept reasonable settlement terms

Michigan residents who are considering divorce have a lot of little and big details that they need to figure out. Dividing a household into two is arduous work, and how it turns out in the end may not be how one thought it would be going into the dissolution process. Making the terms of a divorce settlement work can also prove challenging for some people. Divorce law attorneys often see one party looking for settlement terms that, in the long run, are unsustainable for them. A good example of this has to do with the marital home.

What will be done with the marital home? Will one spouse keep it? Will it be sold? What a couple wants to do with it is a very personal decision. If one chooses to keep it, though, he or she needs to be able to afford it.

Bankruptcy law: Drowning in medical debt? You are not alone

According to a recently published article, roughly 43 million people in the United States are carrying medical debt. This debt, like other consumer debts, is not one that is taken on because of want; it is due to a need. Unfortunately, most people struggle to meet their obligations in full and spend years battling debt collectors because of it. Thanks to bankruptcy law, however, Michigan residents with this type of debt may be able to rid themselves of it for good and quickly put an end to creditor harassment.

A woman in another state recently shared her story of dealing with her medical debt. In 2009, she was admitted to the hospital with heart disease. She spent several weeks hooked up to life support before she could get a heart transplant. After all was said and done, she was left unable to work while she recovered, which made it difficult to pay the roughly $50,000 she owed to medical providers -- many of whom were out of network -- after her insurance paid their portion of the bills.

Michigan family law: Dealing with a child custody issue?

If you are divorced or separated -- or preparing for either -- there are a lot of things you and your ex need to figure out, especially if you have children. Child custody issues, for example, can be a source of serious contention. Even if you think you've got everything figured out, problems often arise that require you to revisit and rethink your custody plan. In Michigan, addressing this sort of family law issue may require court intervention.

There are a number of child custody problems that may arise. Maybe you and your ex cannot come to terms on an initial custody plan. Perhaps you feel that your current plan is no longer working. Maybe you have an ex who is failing to abide by the existing custody order. No matter the issue, you have every right to seek swift resolution to the problem, as dragging out a custody fight is no good for anyone.

How long can creditors come after me for payment?

Currently, there are numerous Michigan residents who have debt that they cannot repay. Their creditors are constantly hounding them for payment. Those who have found themselves in this position likely want to know how long creditors can keep coming after them.

Some people may not be aware that there is a statute of limitations on debt. This means that creditors only have so much time to sue for repayment. Let's look at credit card debt as an example. In the state of Michigan, creditors have six years to utilize legal means to seek repayment on credit card debt. After the time runs out, they no longer have the right to take legal action, unless they can somehow restart the clock -- this they may do by getting a debtor to make a payment.

Too many young parents are struggling with debt

Many parents with young children at home often find themselves struggling financially. According to a recently published article, two things are affecting this particular population right now, and those things are student loans and childcare expenses. It is impossible to pay off student loan debt without a job, but for many Michigan residents, it is difficult to find employment that gives them the funds they need to pay their loans off and cover the cost of childcare -- which keep going up every year. 

Roughly 25% of Americans with student loans have balances of $37,000 or more, which means they are supposed to be paying just shy of $400 a month to keep their accounts current. According to the Center for American Progress, the average family spends $250 a week for childcare. So, between student loans and childcare, young families are finding themselves out about $1,400 a month. That is more than most pay for a mortgage or rent. If they add on transportation expenses, food, insurances and other necessities, that leaves them with little -- if any -- disposable income at the end of the month. 

Does divorce law protect homemakers?

In early 2019, an article was published regarding homemakers and what they should receive if their marriages end. Many believe that the roles these individuals play in a marriage do not warrant an equal distribution of assets. Does divorce law in Michigan protect homemakers and allow them to walk away from their marital unions with fair settlements?

According to the article, 25% of mothers in the United States choose to leave the workforce and stay home with their children. Roughly 7% of men decide to do this. Male or female, the individual who chooses to stay home with the kids has what many believe to be the tougher job; yet, it is a job that is treated as less valuable when divorce rolls around.

Michigan divorce law: Normal communication or harassment?

Recently, a case in another state brought into focus the issue of acceptable communication during the divorce process. At some point, spouses have to discuss things, particularly if they have children. However, it is possible to go too far to the point where frequent attempts to communicate it is considered harassment. Michigan residents accused of harassment or, on the flip side, who believe that an ex is harassing them can turn to a divorce law attorney for help fighting the issue while, at the same time, working toward finalizing their marital dissolutions.

There are several ways in which a former couple can communicate during the divorce process: email, phone, texting, through social media accounts or legal counsel -- if necessary. No matter how one goes about it, one must do it responsibly. Recently, a judge in another state sided with a woman who claimed that her husband's frequent texts constituted harassment. She says that, in a year, he sent her over 5,000 texts -- averaging 14 per day. The judge in this couple's case has issued a temporary order, limiting the number of texts this man is allowed to send to his ex to one per day, and has threatened to throw him in jail if he does not abide by this order. 

Bankruptcy, which form is right for you?

If you have money problems that you are struggling to overcome, it is okay to look at all of the debt relief options that are available to you. There are several ways you can approach the situation; bankruptcy is not called for in every case. However, in certain circumstances, it may be the best route to financial freedom. Which form of bankruptcy is best for Michigan residents who are drowning in debt?

There are two types of personal bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. A Chapter 7 filing, if approved, will result in the complete discharge of qualifying debts -- such as credit card debt and medical debt, among others. A Chapter 13 filing, on the other hand, if approved, will result in the creation of an affordable repayment schedule. At the end of the repayment period, which lasts three to five years, any remaining qualifying debts will be discharged. 

You do not have to be a slave to debt

A lot in life seems to be about money. One cannot live comfortably without it, and some cannot even live comfortably with it. Most Michigan residents work hard to make ends meet. Many of them still end up taking on debt with the assumption that they will pay it off eventually. The truth is, this attitude toward debt has made people a slave to it.

It was recently reported that 50% of millennials have an average of $36,000 in debt. At least 20% of these individuals believe that they will never be in a position to pay it off. People keep taking on debt while not paying down what they already owe. This has created a cycle of debt that is tough to break.

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Westland, MI 48185

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