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Bingham Farms Divorce Blog

When couples should get divorced

Although many Michigan couples do whatever it takes to avoid getting a divorce, there are some cases where a divorce may be beneficial for all involved. These cases include when a spouse is physically, emotionally or verbally abusive to the other spouse or children, if the spouse has an addiction to alcohol or drugs or the marriage is an example of an unhealthy relationship.

When a spouse is abusive to other members of the family, the situation is not healthy for anyone involved. An abusive home life can cause kids to become extremely stressed, which can have an impact on their school performance and may even cause depression. On the other hand, having a partner who is addicted to alcohol or drugs can also put emotional stress and financial stress on the other spouse, especially if the addicted partner is not able to function.

Alimony and child support are not created equal

Michigan estranged couples may need guidance when it comes to evaluating the tax consequences of divorce settlement offers. In cases where there is flexibility around the amounts of alimony and child support, the decision as to these amounts may have a significant impact on the taxes of the parties. From a tax perspective, child support and alimony are very different things.

Specifically, alimony is deductible on the tax return of the payer and must be included as income by the recipient. Child support, on the other hand, is neither taxable to the recipient nor deductible by the payer. If payments are received but are less than the total amount of alimony and child support combined, only the amount paid over the required child support may be considered alimony, regardless of how the payments are categorized at the time they are made.

Getting divorced later in life

The divorce rate for people who are at or over age 50 has been increasing for the last few decades. When older Michigan couples divorce, they face additional issues because they will have less time to save for their retirement. It is important for them to plan carefully so that they can maintain their ability to retire on time.

Pew Research reports that the divorce rate for people who are 50 or older has increased by approximately 100 percent since the 1990s. Recovering financially after a divorce is harder for older people. They may have assets that are fixed and have already maximized their earning potential.

Considerations before signing a prenuptial agreement

When a Michigan couple decides to get married, they may want to consider getting a prenuptial agreement to protect their assets. Although considering a prenuptial agreement may not be romantic, it can help couples to get on the same page when it comes to finances and keeping separate property separate in the event they decide to get a divorce later on. However, there are certain things couples should consider before signing a prenup.

Couples should be prepared to have separate attorneys to ensure that their rights are protected if the marriage does not work out. Further, both individuals will need to fully disclose all of their assets, debts and other liabilities. If they fail to do so, the prenuptial agreement could potentially be considered invalid. Two copies of all financial documents should be provided for both attorneys.

2 misconceptions that could steer you wrong in a divorce

If you think your divorce in Michigan is going to mirror your friends’ separation, you may be in for a rude awakening. No two relationships are alike, and neither are two divorces. There may be similarities that make you feel you have nothing to worry about with your situation. But if you use the wrong approach to leaving your spouse, you may end up in a long and expensive divorce. 

It can be so easy for you to rush through the process without really taking time to get organized and strategize. If you do not plan carefully, you could end up with an undesirable outcome. Here is a brief overview of two misconceptions that can lead you astray during your divorce. 

Some occupations have higher divorce rates than others

People in Michigan may be more or less likely to get a divorce based on their profession according to the 2015 American Community survey presented by FlowingData. Among the occupations least likely to get a divorce were software developers, medical professionals, scientists and actuaries. Other occupations that have a lower divorce rate are related to rural lifestyles, such as farming, forestry, the military or fishing. People who work in fields involving nightlife or travel, including bartenders and casino workers, have the highest divorce rate.

At a glance, the professions with the lowest divorce rate offer more stable schedules. However, there is also a correlation with income. On average, occupations that have a higher income have lower divorce rates. There is also a correlation between divorce rate, income and the likelihood of a child's illness.

3 reasons experience matters when you seek a divorce attorney

Divorce does not have to be a stressful and contentious process. In fact, if you approach it with the right attitude and a solid support system, it can be the first step towards a better life. One of the most important components of your support system will be the legal counsel you select. Not all attorneys offer the same thing, and experience is one of the most important factors to consider. According to Forbes, in fact, experience is one criterion you should never compromise on in your search for an attorney. Opting for a less expensive yet less knowledgeable lawyer may be one of the most expensive mistakes you can make. 

Experienced attorneys are efficient

One of the most common concerns people have when initiating a divorce is how long the process will take. Nobody wants to be part of a long, stressful courtroom battle, but it's hard to predict how your case will unfold. Hiring an experienced attorney, however, can likely make your divorce a more efficient process. 

Setting common house rules to increase stability for kids

When Michigan parents get divorced, the children may split time between both of their homes. While this situation can work, particularly if both parents still live close to each other, younger children may have difficulty adjusting to two different households. One way divorced parents can make the transition easier for the children is to reach an agreement on house rules.

By having the same rules between both households, the kids may feel more stable during this time of transition. Further, the children also know what to expect regardless of where they are staying. Parents who cannot work together and change the house rules just to spite the other can cause harm to the children and even damage their relationships with both parents.

Dealing with a toxic ex while raising a child

For Michigan parents who have gone through a divorce, working with a toxic ex can be difficult, especially if the ex treats or behaves poorly towards the other parent and even the child. However, getting tips can be difficult due to the fact that there are many reasons the ex may be difficult. It could be due to domestic abuse, inability to properly parent the child or addiction.

Those who are in this type of a situation need to keep in mind that the children and their needs are most important. By keeping the children as the focus, parents may be able to better navigate the situation. As such, parents should only communicate with the ex when it is about important issues regarding the child. Parents should avoid bringing up unfinished issues surrounding a failed marriage or relationship. Further, parents can try to avoid the triggers that cause the negative reactions when they do have to talk.

Shared parenting can be a preferred outcome

Working divorced moms in Michigan and across the country can benefit from shared parenting arrangements. Making shared parenting the norm after divorce or separation can help both mothers and fathers to maintain and build their careers and their deep relationships with their children.

Canada, for example, has a higher percentage of women in the workforce, and many people in the United States have looked to their northern neighbor for tips that can help to decrease the risk of poverty for women and children. One such example is the predominant expectation of shared parenting in divorce and custody cases.