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Farmington Hills child support attorney military divorce

Divorce is a fairly common occurrence these days, especially when compared to decades ago. Recent studies show that approximately 40 to 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce. Although this may be a somewhat disheartening statistic, it is a reality in today’s modern world. Regardless of whether the breakdown of a marriage was caused by infidelity, addiction, or financial problems, for many couples, legally ending their union may be better for everyone in the long run. Once a couple decides to divorce, many issues will need to be addressed, such as property and asset division, spousal support, and child support if children are involved. Child support in Michigan is determined based on various factors, but what if one or both parents are serving in the U.S. military? Service to our country can affect how child support payments are implemented. 

Legal and Parental Obligations

All parents are responsible for the emotional and financial security of their children, no matter whether they are married, divorced, separated, or they never tied the knot. This obligation applies to parents in the Armed Forces as well. Several laws exist to ensure children are provided with the necessities to live a healthy and joyful life. In most situations, the parent with the majority of the parental responsibilities and parenting time (the custodial parent) will receive child support payments from the other parent (the non-custodial parent). 

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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 divorce mediation attorneyWhen people think of divorce, they often imagine highly contested court battles between two parties looking to secure the majority of marital assets. In reality, many divorces can simply be amicable separations between two spouses that recognize that marriage is no longer healthy or functional. In these situations, alternative methods can be used to resolve the complicated matters surrounding the end of the marriage. Divorce mediation is one such method. 

What Is Mediation? 

Divorce mediation is a process in which two divorcing spouses work together with a neutral mediator to resolve the various issues that must be addressed during the divorce. Mediation can be used to resolve conflicts involving the division of marital assets and spousal support agreements. When children are involved in the divorce, the mediator should be experienced in helping parents come to a conclusion on what is best for their children. A mediator can help the couple reach workable, mutually beneficial agreements on issues such as child custody and child support

The Benefits of Mediation

Divorce mediation can represent a fairly seamless way for a divorcing couple to reach agreements on issues that could present potential conflicts. First and foremost, mediation can save you valuable time and money. Divorce litigation can take an extended amount of time and require both parties to pay significant lawyer fees and court costs. Once your divorce case goes to court, the resolution of various issues will be entirely out of your control. Mediation offers both parties a say in the final decisions that are made, which is especially critical in divorce cases involving children. Lastly, mediation offers you the chance to work with your former spouse to reach agreements. If you are sharing custodial responsibilities for your children, this can help you begin building a relationship post-divorce. For more information on the benefits of mediation, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. 

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Posted on in Divorce

Novi MI divorce lawyerWhen a couple decides to get a divorce, each individual processes it differently. However, the first step for everyone should be to hire a good divorce lawyer. From there, it is important to work on your physical and mental health as you begin a new chapter of your life. If you are a father going through a divorce, this step is especially important as new studies show that divorced fathers are more prone to depression and suicide. Here are a couple of reasons to explain this outcome.

Married Men Live Longer

In traditional families, the wife was most commonly in charge of doctor’s appointments.  If a divorced man is not used to making his regular doctor appointments, he may not remember to schedule them. Thus, he can miss check-ups for melanoma or prostate exams, check-ups that are necessary to detect fixable problems before they turn into cancerous diseases. According to one study, 42 percent of divorced men don’t have a regular physician. Moreover, men who have never been married have a 70 percent higher death rate than married men. Of course, a tumultuous marriage can raise blood pressure and stress, but overall, married men are healthier. 

Divorced Dads Are More Careless With Their Health

The first thing divorced fathers abandon is their personal health. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have someone checking up on them or perhaps it’s depression, but divorced fathers are more likely to eat fewer fruits and vegetables, not use protection during sex, and become riskier drivers. 

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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:

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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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MI divorce lawyerWith our lives running on Internet time — in minutes, not months — you may well wonder why there is a two- to six-month minimum waiting period between the initial filing and the finalization of a Michigan divorce.

Here are four good reasons the law requires these waiting periods and how they can actually benefit you.

1. Opportunity for Reconciliation

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Three Advantages of Being First to File for Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyAre you thinking about a divorce, but are unsure if you want to be the one to actually start the legal process? This might tip you into action: The spouse who files for divorce first has several advantages over the other spouse.

1. Choosing the Court Location

When you file for divorce, you must do it in the state and county where you currently live. Suppose that you currently live in Oakland County, Michigan, and the person you are divorcing has recently moved to Illinois. If you file first, your divorce will be handled in the Oakland County court. But if your spouse files first, your divorce will be handled by a court in Illinois, which could prove very inconvenient for you. 

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Novi, MI divorce lawyer answering divorce summonsMost married people naturally assume that they will have some warning of marital problems--a discussion about marriage counseling, perhaps, or mention of a trial separation--before anyone actually takes legal action. Yet quite a few people are completely surprised when they are served with divorce papers. 

What should you do if your spouse files for divorce unexpectedly? Here are three things you can do after being served with Michigan divorce papers:

1. Give Yourself a Little Breathing Space

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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

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Farmington Hills divorce attorney, 2018 tax law, alimony, taxable income, alimony payments Spousal support, also known as alimony, presents some of the toughest questions in a divorce settlement. Should one spouse have to make monthly support payments to the other after the divorce, and if so, in what amount and for how long?

How Alimony is Determined in Michigan

Under Michigan state law, there is no given formula for calculating the amount and term of spousal support payments. Instead, the spouses and their attorneys may either decide this amongst themselves or leave it to a judge to decide.

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Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce mediation lawyerAfter you have made the decision to pursue a divorce, it is not uncommon to feel uneasy about airing your marriage history in open court. To avoid this, many couples find mediation to be a more effective and far less stressful and expensive way to settle the outstanding issues in their divorce. In addition to working with a resourceful family law attorney, it is critical to understand what is necessary to prepare for a mediation session. 

What You Need To Do To Get Ready

Mediation is often considered the low-key route to divorce, the process still has the ability to make people nervous, and this understandable. No matter what you call it, the end result is still the same, and to many, the end of one’s marriage can be nerve-wracking and emotional. Here are a few tips to consider when preparing for mediation sessions:

  • Get all your financial files in order. Spend time in advance of mediation making sure you have copies of bank records, statements, receipts, and records of all debts, loans, and assets that hold financial value to both you and your spouse. 
  • Make sure your emotions are in check. While mediation is supposed to be a less stressful path to divorce, depending on your relationship with your spouse, it is not uncommon for emotions to bubble to the surface. Do your best to control yourself and avoid outbursts, as they can be quite counterproductive.
  • Be ready to negotiate. You should enter mediation with the mindset of someone who wants to work toward a compromise, not argue. A little give and take will go a long way in resolving things quickly. 
  • Prepare a budget. Know your income and expenses, and enter mediation with a budget that accounts for your financial needs. Be realistic, but be sure to account for everything you (and your children) will require on a monthly basis. 

A Good Thing To Know In Advance

If, during the course of the mediation session, you have a question or concern you wish to share with your attorney, it is perfectly acceptable to ask to speak privately with your lawyer. Do not wait to ask questions and fully understand the legal ramifications of your decisions until it is too late. 

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