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Bingham Farms Divorce Blog

Sweep targeting individuals owing child support held

On Nov. 27, news sources in Michigan reported that the Macomb County Sheriff's office in partnership with the Macomb County Friend of the Court would be conducting a week-long enforcement sweep targeting local residents with outstanding child support warrants. According to law enforcement officials, extra deputies were assigned exclusively to the project, which was scheduled to begin on Dec. 4. Sources indicated that authorities try to conduct the warrant sweep on an annual basis.

The sweep was announced in advance to give parties with the outstanding warrants an opportunity to avoid being taken into police custody. An additional opportunity was reportedly available to some individuals who appeared voluntarily at the Friend of the Court Office to pay their dues. A review of the circumstances surrounding each of their cases could qualify some parties for a special program aimed at reducing the amount of child support arrearages that they owed.

How to protect current and future assets

Unfortunately, there are some common misconceptions about prenuptial agreements that could prevent people from writing a simple contract that might protect their assets in the future. Michigan couples that choose not to have a prenup because they think it represents control or implies they'll get divorced later might be making a mistake. The parties should take a look at their individual finances and if necessary, take steps to protect them.

People who own a business before they get married could risk losing all or part of it during a divorce if they don't have a prenup. With a prior agreement in place, a court might award part of the profits the business generated during the marriage or even half of the company to the other spouse. Business owners stand to lose a lot if they aren't prepared.

How to protect your business in a divorce

Multiple protective actions exist to secure your business from financial obstacles, including a divorce. For example, you may transfer your business to a trust or safeguard it through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. 

What if you did not do any of those things and now you face the end of your marriage? Is your business in jeopardy? Perhaps, as the court may consider some or all of it as marital property. Still, you have a few ways to prevent your spouse from taking more than he or she deserves. 

How women entrepreneurs can protect their assets during a divorce

When Michigan residents get divorced, they may need to determine how assets are divided. This can be especially challenging for women entrepreneurs whether they are sole proprietors or business partners with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. The more a woman entrepreneur knows about the actual value of her business and any potential debt or future growth her business can expect, the better position she will be in to have a favorable outcome during the divorce.

Negotiating is part of getting divorced. When splitting up a business or determining how much to accept as a buyout for a business, asset valuation is key in guaranteeing an equitable buyout after the divorce. Accurately evaluating the financial standing of the business is time-consuming, and it may require the involvement of outside professionals, such as a forensic accountant. However, it can make separating business-related financial assets easier during the divorce.

Steps in getting a divorce

Michigan residents who are seeking to end their marriages might wonder where to begin the process. Divorces differ based on individual situations, but there are a few elements that are common.

The first steps are the petition and summons. One person files for divorce, and papers are served to the person's spouse. It is best to not delay on legal issues whether they are related to finances or child custody. Not taking care of these issues sooner rather than later may count against a person in court. Consulting an attorney early on may help prioritize.

3 divorce myths to stop believing

If you talk to divorced friends or do research online, you will get a lot of advice on various subjects about marital separation. From who will get custody to who will get what assets, everyone is full of opinions. Unfortunately, a lot of these well-meaning people believe certain myths about divorce. Plus, even if one strategy worked for a friend of yours, it does not necessarily mean it will work for you. 

If you believe in some divorce myths or assume yours will pan out exactly like another divorce, you can end up hurting your chances of getting the best outcome. Below are some harmful myths about divorce and what you should believe instead. 

Deciding whether or not to divorce

Some couples in Michigan may have heard that half of marriages end in divorce. However, in some cases, divorce might be the right choice. If people going through a divorce can shift their thinking away from the idea that divorce means the relationship is a failure, they may be able to proceed with the divorce without emotions like guilt or resentment interfering with their divorce agreement.

If there is abuse in a relationship, this is usually an indication that the marriage is over. If there has been infidelity or if one person is tempted by infidelity and cannot get past it, this may also be an indication that it is time to divorce. If the couple tries counseling and it is unsuccessful, particularly if they have tried multiple counselors, this could also suggest that it may be time for divorce because the marriage cannot be salvaged.

Divorced fathers don't have to lose out on their children

Michigan fathers may dread divorce first and foremost because of its potential to impact their relationships with their children. Going from being a full-time father to a part-time parent can be a serious emotional and logistical challenge. This is one factor that works to keep parents stuck in relationships and marriages long after they would have otherwise chosen divorce. There are options for fathers, however, to help to make the parenting road after divorce a smoother ride.

When fathers come into their divorce discussions with knowledge and preparation, this can play a significant role in helping to bolster their ongoing and deep parental relationship with their children. Shaping a parenting plan or custody agreement can help both parents decide on sole, joint or shared custody as well as the mechanics and timing of visitation or shared living situations. The proper choice can vary for each individual family, of course, but knowing about the options can make a huge difference when establishing a custody schedule baseline.

With online dating, divorce rates may drop

Married couples in Michigan that met online may have lower divorce rates than those that met in other ways. Although there is a stereotype that online dating only leads to casual relationships, studies have found that it may result in more stable relationships.

One study used models to predict how couples would tend to pair up and stay together using online dating. It found that marriages that resulted from online dating had a better chance of succeeding. The results from this model are supported by another study that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to that study, only 7 percent of the 19,131 couples who met online and later married got divorced or separated. Furthermore, 7.6 percent of couples that met offline broke up while only 5.9 percent of those who met online broke up.

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.