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Novi divorce lawyerA divorce will likely have a major impact on many areas of your life. One of the most important and complex of these areas is your finances. While certain expenses cannot be avoided, failing to act carefully during your divorce can wreak havoc on your finances not only while the divorce is ongoing, but far into the future as well. With the help of an experienced Michigan divorce attorney, you can get advice and perspective to guide you so you can avoid common mistakes and remember important details. Here are three important financial considerations to remember during your divorce. 

Remember Your Taxes 

Certain financial arrangements that seem beneficial on their face may look very different when the tax implications are accounted for. For example, many spouses - particularly women with young children - are often hesitant to move the children out of the marital home and will trade other assets to keep ownership. But while a mortgage may initially seem affordable, annual property taxes can cost thousands of dollars more every year. Keep taxes in mind when you divide marital property, allocate retirement funds, and determine who will claim your children on their tax returns. 

Make a Comprehensive Picture of Your Assets and Debt 

It is common for one spouse to manage a family’s finances, and while this can be an effective strategy during a marriage, it can make for complications during divorce. Before you start negotiating a marital property settlement, you need to make sure that you are aware of your complete financial picture. No guesstimates about investment balances or ignoring bills - you need statements, balances, and password and username information so you can log in and access all of your accounts. While this can be a headache, it can also be financially empowering.

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Novi child support lawyersThe prospect of paying court-ordered child support for many years can be daunting, especially if you have ever been unemployed through no fault of your own. Parents who are self-employed, contract workers, or whose income largely depends on tips, bonuses, or commissions may also suffer from a fear of not being able to make child support payments. 

While Michigan does take the obligation of a parent to financially support their child seriously, jail time is usually a last resort for a parent who has failed to make child support payments. If you are worried you may not be able to afford your payments, do not panic - seek the help of an experienced child support attorney who can help you understand your options. 

What Should I Do if I Cannot Make Child Support Payments? 

If you expect your income to change only temporarily and you have a good relationship with your child’s other parent, you may be able to work out an arrangement until you get back on your feet. But if you lose your job or experience a significant income reduction, let the court know as soon as possible. If you anticipate that you will be making less money for a long time, or if your income will be unpredictable moving forward, you may be able to successfully petition for a modification to your child support payments. 

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Michigan property division lawyerOne of the most important, and often most contentious, issues in a Michigan divorce is the process of separating a couple’s property into personal and marital property and then reaching a fair property division. While Michigan law discusses what constitutes personal and marital property, in practice assessing which is which can become quite complicated. In this blog, we offer an overview of marital and non-marital property and the overall goal of an equitable property division. Keep in mind that this is not intended to be legal advice and that a Michigan divorce attorney is the best person to answer any questions you may have. 

Marital Vs. Non-Marital Property 

As soon as a couple gets married, the income each couple earns and any assets or debt they acquire are considered marital property. This includes savings accounts, bonuses, cars, real estate, business profits, and more. While couples can protect certain belongings with a prenuptial agreement - for example, a prenup might state that all business gains and losses accrue exclusively to one partner - in general, anything acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. 

Non-marital property generally falls into one of the following categories: 

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Michigan business valuation attorneyAt the heart of every Michigan community are dozens of small businesses run by hard-working business owners. In fact, most small businesses in Michigan have less than 20 employees, making this not only one of the most common types of business but also a very common community asset in a Michigan divorce. Whether a small business is full-time, part-time, or just a minor side hustle, it is generally considered marital property and must be divided in a divorce—even if the business was started before the marriage began. 

Ensuring you get a fair division of marital property is an essential part of any good divorce settlement. To do this, small business owners must ensure their business is valued correctly. In this blog, we will discuss three of the most common methods of valuing small businesses in Oakland County divorces. 

Market Valuation Method

Many business valuation experts believe that the market valuation method is the most subjectively accurate method for determining a business’s value. This is because the market valuation method looks at the recent sales of similar businesses in the area to estimate what a particular business would sell for now. You can think of this method as being somewhat similar to how home values are assessed. Market valuation methods are not always helpful because there may be no similar businesses that have sold recently enough to be relevant. 

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Michigan business owner divorce lawyerSmall business owners in Michigan spend many years of never-ending work to get their business running successfully, often taking great risks in the hope they will pay off. For business owners, the specter of divorce threatens not only their personal lives and family stability, but their business’s future as well. 

Small business owners are understandably concerned about how to keep their business intact during divorce. Because businesses are often run with the help of a spouse and profits occur during the marriage, at least part of the business is likely to be considered marital property. If you are considering divorce and want to protect your business, here are three tips that may be useful. 

Sign a Prenuptial Agreement

The best option for protecting a business in a divorce is a prenuptial agreement. While business owners who are already married cannot make a prenuptial agreement, a postnuptial agreement contains many of the same protections as a prenuptial agreement. Spouses can determine how to handle the business during divorce while minimizing negotiations and conflict by thinking ahead and protecting themselves with a post-marital contract. 

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