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Westland MI Family Law Blog

Michigan bankruptcy law: To file or not to file Chapter 7

Michigan residents who are struggling to make it financially probably spend some time looking at debt relief options. There are several out there, some of which are better than others. The type one uses really is a personal decision, but one should know how one's choice will affect the individual in the long run. This week, this column will address the good and the bad of Chapter 7 bankruptcy law.

There is a lot of good that can come out of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. First off, it can offer quick debt relief. From filing to claim and approval and debt discharge, it takes three to six months. All qualifying debts will be cleared if one's case is approved; there are no repayment plans offered like with a Chapter 13 filing. Other benefits include:

  • The ability to quickly rebuild credit after a few years
  • Stop creditor harassment
  • The ability to keep some property

Michigan divorce law: Do you have spousal support concerns?

When preparing to go through the divorce process, it is normal to have questions about what you will end up walking away with when all is said and done. Money is a big concern, especially since you will have to try to rebuild your life with less than what you have while married. Spousal support could hurt or help your financial position after a divorce. If you have concerns about spousal support, a Michigan-based divorce law attorney may be able to address them.

Spousal support -- let's get down to basics. Financial support is not offered in every divorce settlement. If a couple cannot come to terms about this issue, a judge will get to decide, and it is only awarded to those spouses who qualify for it. What does it take to qualify? A judge will look at a number of factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse's income and earning capacity, each spouse's education level, each spouse's health and physical concerns -- among various others.

Does your child’s other parent ignore your custody order?

Making the transition to co-parenting with your child's other parent is never easy, even in ideal circumstances. Of course, ideal circumstances are rare, and ordering life around your new custody schedule takes effort.

For some parents, obeying a custody order seems more like a strong suggestion than a legal requirement, and they may think it is best to simply share custody the way they wish to, rather than follow the schedule handed down by a court.

Bankruptcy law may benefit struggling seniors in Michigan

According to a recent report, hundreds of thousands of seniors in the United States age 85 and older are returning to work. Why? Debt, particularly medical debt. Bankruptcy law may benefit the situations of numerous struggling seniors in Michigan.

An 87-year-old male in a neighboring state made headlines recently for looking for work as a truck driver. He is planning on leaving retirement to help pay for his spouse's medical debt. She suffers from a number of ailments and is frequently hospitalized. The couple has already sold their home and many of their possessions to pay their creditors. Unfortunately, it has not been enough, and this man feels that seeking out a trucking job is his only option at this point.

Michigan bankruptcy law: Most people have debt of some sort

While they say the economy is in a decent place, most people in Michigan and elsewhere have debt of some sort. Many of them are able to get out of it by sticking to a strict budget, but others may find it too much of a struggle to keep up with their debt obligations. To the people on the latter side, bankruptcy law may work in their favor.

According to a recent news report, debt does not discriminate. Roughly 80 percent in every generation -- from baby boomers to millennials -- are living with debt. Mortgages, auto loans, student debt, medical bills and credit card debt -- it all adds up. In total, consumers in the United States are billions of dollars in debt.

Michigan divorce law: Achieve a fair property division settlement

You are getting ready to file for divorce but you have concerns about how your property will ultimately be divided. Will you walk away with your fair share? It is a reasonable concern. A divorce law attorney can help you achieve a fair property division settlement, one that is in line with Michigan laws.

Michigan is an equitable distribution state. This does not mean that property will automatically be divided 50/50. It means that each party should walk away from the marriage with a settlement that is deemed fair. There are a number of ways to reach a settlement like that, but it can take a lot of back and forth negotiations -- and sometimes litigation.

Michigan bankruptcy law: Handling debt collector claims

Michigan residents who are dealing with financial struggles may get one or more calls from eager debt collectors looking to get paid. While the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prevents debt collectors from being too aggressive in their approaches, they often get the payments they are seeking by making debtors feel guilty about their debt obligations. Before giving in to creditor demands, it is okay to turn to a bankruptcy law attorney for guidance on the matter.

Here is the thing: debt collectors do not always get things right. By the time an account ends up in their hands, the information they have may not be entirely accurate. They may call the wrong people, trying to collect debt that is not even theirs. Before paying a creditor, stop, do some research and look at all debt relief options.

Always challenge drug possession charges

Receiving simple drug possession charges may seem like a minor ordeal, but it may turn into a life-altering mess if you don't act quickly to fight those charges. It's no secret that drug convictions lead to far harsher sentences than other non-violent crimes, crowding jails and prisons with non-violent offenders who may never recover from incarceration and lead the life they could have otherwise.

Many employers and property management companies automatically dismiss applications by candidates with drug convictions on their record, meaning that one drug conviction on your record may make it difficult or even impossible to find good work or housing when you need it.

Michigan divorce law: The gray divorce

When people think about divorce, they often get a picture in their heads of a relatively young couple, likely with minor children, who is just ready to call it quits. They don't really think of divorce affecting older couples who have been together for several decades, or longer, or those who are on their second or subsequent marriages. The truth is gray divorce is on the rise and has been since the 1990s. No matter when one chooses to dissolve his or her marriage, a Michigan-based divorce law attorney can help one fight for a fair and balanced settlement.

Divorce, no matter when it happens, can be a complicated process. For older adults who end their marriages right before or during retirement years, there are likely to be deep financial concerns. How will one survive? How does one go about splitting retirement accounts?

A third of married couples will require divorce law attorneys

It has long been believed that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. That no longer seems to be the case. According to an article in Psychology Today, only one-third of marriages actually end in divorce. Those in Michigan who wish to leave their marriages can turn to a divorce law attorney to help them through the process.

Marriages end for a number of reasons. A lot of people seem to think that infidelity or some other big issue contributes to most divorces, but that is actually not true. Many marriages end for emotional reasons. Spouses view their lives differently, couples grow apart and/or unrealistic expectations have been set and unmet.

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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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