Elkouri Heath, PLC

248-344-9700

39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in divorce and finances

Oakland County divorce asset division attorney

The divorce process can be a tumultuous time for any person. Separating from a spouse to whom you were once happily married is never easy. In any divorce, there are a variety of complicated matters that will need to be resolved. Most notably, a person’s financial situation can drastically change post-divorce. In order to ensure that your divorce does not compromise your future financial security, it is important to know how to protect yourself. Below we will discuss a few simple steps you can take to ensure a level of financial security after your divorce is finalized. 

Preparation Is Essential for Financial Security

When you are separating from your spouse, it can be difficult to think about money. The reality of the situation, however, is that you need to be thinking about what your financial future will look like once the divorce is finalized. Some steps you can take include:

...

Novi asset division attorneyCouples have been getting divorced for centuries, and while the process may be standard, societal changes can cause divorce attorneys to adjust their approach. One recent issue that may complicate the asset division process is dividing cryptocurrency. The concept of cryptocurrency can be confusing for most people because it is a relatively recent invention. However, if you do own a form of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, and are going through a divorce, finding a qualified divorce attorney who understands how to divide cryptocurrency should be your first step.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of financial exchange that is conducted through the internet. It does not belong to a bank, so there are no fees needed to keep it in an account online. Cryptocurrency is governed by computer code, and its computer technology limits the number of virtual "coins" in circulation. When either spouse owns cryptocurrency in a divorce, it is treated as intangible property. 

How to Value Your Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is hard to value, and the market can be extremely volatile. Due to fluctuating exchange rates, virtual currency owned when a divorce commences could be worth 300 times its value by the end of the settlement, or it could be 300 times less. During the divorce process, the value of a cryptocurrency can be determined by calculating the Fair Market Value, or what it would be worth if exchanged for cash. 

...

Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyDivorce is rarely a rash decision. It takes serious consideration from both sides and can have its fair share of consequences. As you begin taking the steps to file for divorce, it is important to be prepared. Divorce can be an expensive process and if you are not careful, it can cost you more than you expected. However, with proper financial planning and preparation, you can work toward a fair divorce that does not permanently damage your bank account.

Evaluate Your Finances

In many divorce cases, one spouse may not know how much money is contained in the couple's joint bank accounts. Regardless of gender, it is important to know what is in your bank accounts and have a general knowledge of your credit report. Look at each bank account’s balance before meeting with your attorney. At the same time, evaluate any debts that you and your spouse hold. Having a good understanding of your financial situation will give you an advantage when dividing assets.

Make a Budget

There will be a lot of changes after your divorce, especially regarding your new living situation. It is important to create a budget to determine how much your new lifestyle will cost. Will you be renting an apartment? Will you be paying for utility bills on your own? How much is your weekly grocery bill? These are important questions to consider when creating a budget. Once you have a budget that covers your necessary living expenses, the judge can determine a proper amount for spousal maintenance/support.

...

Oakland County asset division lawyerOnce a couple decides to get a divorce, it is important each party do what they can to protect his or her assets in a mutual and respectable way. That may not happen on its own, but a good divorce lawyer can help. A lawyer can help you navigate the best way to untangle your finances so you can leave your marriage on the right financial track. 

In the context of divorce, finances exist well beyond the bank account: 401ks, life insurance, stocks, and others are examples of financial products that need to be divided. Below, we’ll discuss social security benefits and what steps to take to make sure you are getting your maximum benefits.

Under Certain Conditions, You Can Still Collect Spousal Benefits

You are still able to receive your ex-partner’s social security benefits even if your ex is remarried if the following conditions are met:

...

Oakland County divorce lawyerUsing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the 10 cities in Michigan with the highest divorce rates have been identified. The city with the highest divorce rate is Ishpeming, a community in the Upper Peninsula. 

The population of Ishpeming is around 6,500 residents, and roughly 20.3% of those residents (aged 15 and up) are divorced. Note that the census defines a divorced individual as someone whose divorce has been finalized and who has not remarried. According to the Community Survey, the overall divorce rate in Michigan is 11.5%, which is higher than the national divorce rate of 10.9%.

Here is the list of the 10 cities in Michigan with the highest divorce rate:

...

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. 

...

Novi MI divorce attorneyGetting a divorce can be financially costly. With court costs, filing fees and attorney’s fees, the expenses can add up quickly. These are in addition to any other financial issues you may be facing as a result of the divorce, like the monetary impact of going from two incomes to one and selling your shared home. 

Divorce can put a financial strain on even the most affluent couples, and it is not uncommon for people to come out of a divorce with debt or damaged credit. Having good credit is key for obtaining loans for things such as homes or cars, so having a good credit score is pretty important after you are divorced. 

Here are a few tips to help you rebuild your credit after your divorce:

...

Farmington Hills asset division lawyerOne of the most common things that married -- and divorcing -- couples argue about is their finances. When you get married, you often combine your two separate financial situations into one. This can make things easier on you when you are married, but it can spell disaster if you are attempting to separate finances because of a divorce. 

While a divorce is a normal time to stress about money and your other finances, some stress can be avoided with preparation. If you properly prepare your finances for your divorce, you will come out on the other side not feeling like you lost everything. Here are a couple tips to use when financially preparing for divorce:

Make Sure You Have All of Your Financial Documents

Before you can begin to prepare your finances, you must know what you are working with. This is why you should gather any and all documents pertaining to any part of your finances. Try to make sure you have documents such as:

...

Farmington Hills divorce lawyer, retirement account division, property division, retirement savings, divorce and financesMost Americans can expect to live for about 15 to 20 years after their retirement. But are we saving enough to live comfortably in retirement? Among families with income in the 50th percentile and above, over 80 percent at least have some type of retirement account, such as an IRA, 401(k), or defined-benefit pension plan. That is a good start, but most are not saving enough.

A recent survey found that just 40 percent of those aged 35-54 and just 50 percent of those age 55+ have over $100,000 in retirement savings. By most accounts, this is not nearly enough, even considering the addition of Social Security payments. According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, a median income worker can only expect their Social Security payments (after Medicare premiums) to equal 29 percent of pre-retirement income.

Hence, it is important to highlight the need to make sure retirement accounts are equitably divided in a divorce. It is all too easy to focus on pressing issues like child support and what happens to your house, and possibly miss out on what is due to you from a spouse’s employer-held 401(k) or pension plan.

...

Farmington Hills divorce attorney, child custody arrangements, file for divorce, divorce and finances, divorce and communicationThe longer you have been married and the more assets you have accumulated, the more complicated it will be to unweave the financial and logistical fabric of your married life. Additionally, once you officially file for divorce, you can quickly find yourself caught up in a tsunami of paperwork, meetings, and emotions. Therefore, it is important to take some preparatory steps before filing for divorce

Organize Documentation

  1. Make an itemized list of your income sources, assets, debts, and shared service accounts. Include bank/investment/retirement accounts, insurance policies, credit cards, loans, cell phone plans, etc. Also, include account numbers and passwords for online access.
  2. Gather copies of important documents such as tax returns and vehicle title and registration papers. 

Begin to Separate Your Financial Affairs From Your Spouse’s

...

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

...
Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top