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Three Steps to Protect Your Finances During DivorceDivorce is stressful for a number of reasons, and adding financial struggles on top of everything can set people over the edge. Before couples begin the divorce process, they often expect things to be cordial and expedient. Things can quickly get ugly when the possibility of divorce becomes a reality. The division of marital properties and assets can bring out the worst in individuals with some spouses going so far as hiding assets or lying about their financial stability. Whether or not your spouse is involved in foul play, it is important to take additional measures to protect your finances during your divorce to avoid paying for it later.

Gather Your Records

Some divorcing spouses will take advantage of their joint financial accounts right before the divorce becomes official by buying expensive things or making large purchases, draining the account to keep the money away from their ex’s pockets. Obtaining documentation of the amount within all of your accounts before the divorce is a good way to protect your joint and individual accounts from these sort of actions. With the proper evidence, you can prove that your spouse’s spending habits have changed drastically throughout the divorce, jeopardizing your financial stability in the future.

Create Your Own Accounts

Many couples share all of their financial accounts, especially females or stay-at-home parents. While this connection may not seem problematic throughout your marriage, once divorce becomes a possibility, it can leave you reliant on your soon-to-be ex-spouse. One of the first actions that divorcing couples should take is to open their own bank account and get their own credit card. Not only will they begin building up their own credit, but they will also have sole control over the finances. Many divorcing couples will close their joint accounts at the beginning of the divorce process to avoid unfair spending or foul play.

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Who Gets Wedding Rings and Family Heirlooms in a Divorce?

Farmington Hills divorce attorney property divisionThe wedding ring handed down from your husband’s grandmother. The antiques from your wife’s family that were inherited during your marriage. Expensive purses and jewelry given by a husband’s mother to his wife as Christmas gifts. These are all examples of items that have both sentimental and financial value which can become bones of contention during a divorce. How do Michigan courts typically divide such items?

Engagement Rings

Michigan courts have ruled that if a couple breaks off their engagement prior to the wedding ceremony, the giver (purchaser) gets the ring back. Fault is not a factor here; that is, it does not matter who broke off the engagement or if one person was more to blame than the other.

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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.

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