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Westland MI Family Law Blog

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.

After bankruptcy, you are the best person to repair your credit

Having a good credit profile is necessary if one wishes to gain access to credit cards, loans and rental properties -- among various other things. The problem is, many Michigan residents have found themselves with less than stellar credit ratings due to debts, the inability to repay their debts and specific actions taken to clear their debts -- such as bankruptcy. Because of this, there are those who refuse to file bankruptcy or who will look for companies after the fact that can help them repair their credit, but if they are not careful, they may find themselves worse off.

To be clear, bankruptcy can be a very positive step when one is looking to gain financial freedom. It can, however, stay on one's credit report for quite some time. Those looking to have their bankruptcy filings removed from their credit profiles will be enticed by companies who promise new credit identities or the ability to remove negative comments or accounts from credit reports.

Michigan family law: Child support adjustment Q and A

When Michigan couples who share children separate or divorce, both parties are responsible for financially providing for their kids. As part of a separation or divorce agreement, one parent is often listed as the one with primary physical custody -- even in cases where joint custody is awarded. According to family law, it is the other parent who will likely have to make child support payments. On occasion, one or both parties may feel it necessary to adjust the order of support. This week, this column will answer some commonly asked questions regarding support modification.

Question number one: When is it okay to ask for a support modification? Generally speaking, adjustments to child support orders are only allowed when one or both parents experience a change in their financial circumstances. Modifications may also be granted if a child experiences a change in his or her needs.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy law aided Lil Kim at her time of need

The thought of filing for bankruptcy is depressing for most Michigan residents. It is hard to admit one needs help getting personal finances in order. Here's the deal: When thought of as a tool for financial improvement, filing for bankruptcy law protections does not have to feel like the end of the world. It can serve a valuable purpose -- as it did for singer Lil Kim.

Like her or not, the Lil Kim case is a great example of how filing for Chapter 13 can help when a person is in economic trouble, so her story is worth a read. According to reports, the singer filed for bankruptcy in May 2018 in an effort to stop her mortgage lender from foreclosing on her home. The creditor asked for permission to put the home up for auction, but that request was ultimately denied and Ms. Kim was allowed to reorganize her debts and keep her property.

Dividing debt in a Michigan divorce

One huge financial hurdle in any divorce is the division of assets. But along with the division of assets, the division of incurred debts can also be necessary. While many divorcing spouses see the fight for keeping the family home or car as the most contentious issue, other spouses might be most eager to avoid the acquisition of marital debt.

If you are going through a divorce and want to ensure that you do not take on marital debt, it is important that you take early action to prepare for this. It's vital that you understand how marital assets are divided during Michigan divorces so that you are able to take full advantage of the law.

Bankruptcy law can help millennials with credit card debt

For a long while, statistics have shown millennials and those from Generation Z to be better at staying out of debt than Gen Xers or baby boomers. According to a recent report, that does not seem to be the case any longer. Younger adults in Michigan and elsewhere are now said to be having a serious issue with credit card debt. For these individuals, bankruptcy law may be able to help their situations.

Those who are between the ages of 18 and 29 have, for several years, been called the "We don't own generation." They were less likely to take on debt because of being raised during the Great Recession. They did not want to have the same financial struggles as their parents. What has changed?

The most inexpensive ways to divorce are not always the best

There is really nothing easy about ending a marriage. The divorce process can be emotionally challenging and financially draining. In an effort to help out the money side of it, there are some Michigan residents who will look for the most inexpensive ways to end their marriages. The problem is, the most inexpensive ways to get through a divorce are not always the best.

Some statistics still suggest that nearly 50 percent of all marriages will fail. That is a lot of couples needing to figure out how they want to go about divorce. There are several ways to do it, four of the most common being:

  • DIY divorce
  • Online dissolution
  • Lawyer assisted divorce
  • Mediation

When to seek an annulment rather than a divorce

Marriage is something that no one should jump into without some serious thought. There are Michigan residents, though, who have entered into marital relationships that they should not have for various reasons. In some cases, divorce may not be what is needed. Instead, filing for an annulment may better suit their situations. However, when is filing for an annulment appropriate?

Under Michigan laws, certain marriage types are prohibited. If such marriages are entered into, they may be declared legally invalid if annulment requests receive approval. To achieve approval, one of the following grounds must exist in one's case:

  • Fraud
  • Forced to marry
  • Insanity
  • Underage
  • Non-consummation
  • Bigamy
  • Marriage between close relatives
  • Undisclosed sexually transmitted diseases

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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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