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Oakland County child custody attorney

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of your greatest fears may be telling your children that you plan to divorce. It is very possible that your children will remember the moment they learned about the divorce for the rest of their lives. Needless to say, it is important for parents to plan this discussion carefully and take steps to make the conversation go as smoothly as possible. Fortunately, much research has been done regarding the best ways to tell children about divorce. Read on to learn about the most common advice experts give parents for how to break the news of their impending divorce to their children.

Reassure Children That the Divorce Is Not Their Fault

Children are naturally egocentric. Because of this, they may assume that they somehow caused the divorce. This is especially true if the children have heard their parents arguing about parenting concerns in the past. Even if they do not say it outright, they may be secretly concerned that if they had behaved better or made different choices, that maybe their parents would be staying together. It is important for parents to remind children that the adults have made this decision for their own reasons and that it is in no way the kids’ fault.

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Oakland County child support attorney

Studies show that children thrive when they have a relationship with both of their parents. In addition to emotional support, kids deserve to receive financial support from both of their parents, including when parents are divorced or unmarried. If you are a parent in Michigan who is considering divorce, you may be wondering how child support determinations will be made. Which parent pays child support? How much will my monthly child support payment be? When does child support end? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and find out how you can get help with child support questions or disputes in Michigan.

Understanding Michigan Child Support 

The Michigan Child Support Formula is used to determine which parent will pay child support and the amount of support payments. The factors considered in child support calculations include:

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DuPage County parenting plan attorneyWhen couples decide to file for divorce, it is usually in the best interest of both parties. However, the initial changes that inevitably result from divorce can be difficult. They affect yourself, your lifestyle, your partner, and any children you may have. Children can handle divorce in unpredictable ways since they lack the life experience and maturity to fully understand their parents’ decision. Every family must formulate a parenting plan that includes scheduled visitation. Like most areas of children's lives, their new schedule is out of their control, which can make it difficult for them to adjust. Here are some tips to help if your kids are struggling with the parenting plan transition.

Be Nice to the Other Parent

Children pay attention more than you think. If you are talking negatively about the other parent (even if it is on the phone or to someone else), your children are probably listening. Hearing your complaints may make the children feel guilty about loving their other parent. It is important not to confuse the children and allow them to develop their own opinions about their parents.

Give the Children Their Own Space

In many cases, when parents split, one remains in the marital home while the other lives in a smaller residence. Regardless of the size of one parent's new place, it is important for every child to have their own personal space. Whether it is their own room or simply a designated area in the bathroom cabinet, they should feel like they have a place in your new home and in your new life.

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Oakland County, MI child support lawyerChild support can make any divorce complicated. Getting proper child support is a way to help ensure your children have a smooth transition as you begin a new chapter of your life. If you are going through a divorce where child support will be an issue, it is important to find a reputable divorce lawyer who will ensure that your children have the support they need. It is important to understand the basics of child support so you know what you can expect in your case.

Obtaining a Child Support Order

Even the most amicable break-ups can turn ugly when finances are involved. If you create a verbal agreement with your ex-partner regarding a child support plan, you will not be able to enforce punishment if the other party does not uphold his or her agreements. A document needs to be established with the court that instructs how much and how often child support must be paid.

Calculating Child Support

The Michigan child support formula takes into account each parent’s income and the number of nights per year the child spends with each parent. Other factors used to calculate child support include the number of children, the needs of the child, health insurance, education, extracurricular activities, and medical expenses.

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Novi MI divorce lawyerDivorce changes the lives of many people in numerous ways. Determining child support, dividing assets, and setting child custody schedules are all normal parts of the divorce process. When you have children, you will also need to consider how to handle the changes your divorce causes with regard to your taxes. There are a few things you have to keep in mind when filing your taxes after a divorce, including what to do about claiming a child as a dependent and your filing status. 

Custodial vs. Noncustodial

The custodial parent is the parent the child spends the greatest portion of time with during the year, and the noncustodial parent is the parent the child spends the lesser amount of time with. The custodial or noncustodial status will most likely affect how you file your taxes after the divorce. The most common practice is for the custodial parent to claim the child as a dependent on their taxes, but it is possible for the noncustodial parent to claim a child as a dependent. The custodial parent needs to sign a form that they will not claim the child as a dependent, and the noncustodial parent also has to fill out a form. Both parents cannot claim the child as a dependent for the same year. 

Filing Status

If you and your spouse are going to get divorced but have not actually divorced before the year ends, it is possible to file a joint tax return, but you can also file with the status, “married filing separately.” Once you are no longer married you will need to choose either single or head of household as a filing status. In order to file as a head of household, you must be unmarried or “considered unmarried” on the final day of the tax year, pay more than half the expenses of a home for that year, and have a “qualifying person” live in your home for greater than half of the year. If those requirements are not applicable to you, then your filing status will be single after the divorce. 

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Novi MI child custody attorneyDivorce is an issue that many people will have in their lives and talking about it is not an easy task, especially when you have to tell your children about it. Handling the stress and emotions in your divorce may be worsened by apprehension about how you are going to tell your children and what their reaction will be to the news. However, you can make the conversation as easy as possible by following these simple tips to make the conversation as smooth as possible in the circumstances. 

Tell the Children Together

It will be easiest to tell all the children together and tell them with your significant other. Telling all the children the news while they are in the same room will let you and your significant other answer any questions the children may have where they can hear your answers to questions their siblings are asking. It is also best to tell them with your significant other and frame the divorce as something you both decided would be best. If you tell them alone and blame your significant other, you are poisoning them against their parent, which is not a good thing. Even if you can not stand your significant other, having two parents in their lives and working together to raise them will help your children greatly. 

Try to Emphasize Consistency

The divorce process often causes a lot of change in every family’s life, and your children may be worried about all the changes. Emphasizing that you and your spouse will keep loving them and will do your best to make sure their lives are affected as little as possible will give them the confidence that you are both well-meaning. 

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Farmington Hills child custody attorneyIf you have children and are considering divorce, you may wonder what will happen if you decide to move away from the child’s home. Relocation is sometimes necessary after a divorce, but it should only be done after careful consideration because it can affect the parenting plan for children. Traditionally, visitation after divorce has been in-person visitation, but recently, the increase in the availability of technology has made it possible to have virtual visitation with children as a substitute. 

What Is Virtual Visitation?

Virtual visitation is the practice of using technology-related means to have contact with your child or children. The most common way of doing this is usually considered to be a phone call, but virtual visitation is not limited to a phone call. Emails, text messages, and video chats are all different forms of virtual visitation that can be implemented to allow parents to stay in touch with their children after the divorce. 

Only a few states have laws with specific language regarding virtual visitation, but Michigan courts have ruled that it is allowable to use technology for parents to have visitation with their children on a case by case basis. Courts will review the circumstances surrounding each case to determine if virtual visitation is an acceptable substitute for in-person visitation. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Farmington Hills divorce mediation lawyer In many cases, the decision to get married is an easy and simple one. The decision to get a divorce, however, does not come that easily. Sometimes it can take months and even years for you to finally come to the decision that you are ready to end your marriage. Marriages do not just break -- they slowly erode and deteriorate over time, often giving off many warning signs that it is time to call it quits. Many times couples make the decision to divorce after years of unhappiness, resulting in heated and highly-contested divorces. 

Here are four warning signs that you may want to consider a divorce:

1. Your Needs Are Not Being Met

A successful marriage is one in which both partners’ needs are being met. Each partner should be doing his or her best to meet the physical and emotional needs of the other. If you notice that you and your spouse are not meeting each other’s needs or that the relationship has become rather one-sided, it may be a sign that your marriage is deteriorating.

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Farmington Hills divorce lawyerThe first worry on many parents’ minds when they decide they will get a divorce is how that will affect their children. Divorce can be hard for everyone in the family, but it can be especially hard on children. Depending on your child’s age, they may not understand what a divorce means and what it means for them. Each child is different, so it is hard to predict a child’s reaction to divorce, but much of their reaction depends on how you, as a parent, communicate and nurture your child during this trying time. Here are a few ways you can help ease your children into the change that a divorce brings:

1. Break the News in an Appropriate Way

When initially telling your children about your divorce, it is important that you keep things simple. Your 6-year-old child does not need to know that you are getting a divorce because your spouse has a habit of lying. Keep things simple by phrasing things like “Mommy and daddy are just not happy anymore, but a divorce will make mommy, daddy and you happier.” Older children may require a bit more detail, but the sentiment should be the same.

2. Encourage Your Child to Talk About His or Her Feelings

This is important because you can count on the fact that your children will have feelings about your divorce. Many times, not letting these feelings out manifests as misbehavior or acting out from your children. Let your children know that whatever they are feeling is OK and natural, but that it is important that they talk about their feelings.

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MI family attorneyWhen two adults divorce, you have to make a lot of changes in a relatively short period of time: where you live, who you live with, how you manage your money, who your friends are, and so on. As hard as it is to deal with all of these changes as an adult, imagine how much more difficult it can be for a child who has no control over custody and parenting time decisions.

What can you do to keep your children healthy and happy despite the divorce? Here is some simple advice compiled by the Oakland County Friend of the Court agency with input from professionals who have helped hundreds of divorcing families.

1. Stick to a routine.

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Farmington Hills collaborative divorce attorney, collaborative divorce, collaborative divorce process, children and divorce, divorce and financesIs the collaborative divorce process the ideal choice for everyone? As with most “all or nothing” questions, the answer is “no.” The collaborative approach is now considered the best option for many if not most divorcing couples, but not for all.

To determine if a collaborative divorce is right for you, consider the following yay/nay factors.

1. Threatening Behaviors

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