Grand Rapids Criminal Defense And Family Law Blog

Recovering owed child support payments

When one parent has physical custody of a child, he or she may rely on the help of the other parent to provide financial support to ensure a child's basic needs are met. Problems can occur when one parent is late with payments or stops making them altogether. People in Michigan may wish to know more about recovering child support payments.

Going to court may be necessary to get a parent to fulfill child support obligations after a divorce, and the parent petitioning the court should bring as much information as possible to illustrate the current situation and the problem. This could involve information that shows one party has not paid. If possible, one should also bring documentation that shows previous attempts to collect payments.

Divorce over 50 can be a financial bust

The number of couples in Michigan and around the country who divorce over the age of 50 has increased more than two-fold over the last 20 years. However, experts say that splitting in later life, a phenomenon known as "gray divorce", can create a unique set of financial problems.

In 1990, about 10% of all people who divorced were over the age of 50. However, by 2010, that percentage had climbed to 25%. Unfortunately, this trend comes with some major financial setbacks. For example, experts say that gray divorce typically causes a couple to lose 50% of their marital wealth. Worse, women end up losing more money than men in the split.

How safe is it to drive after using any kind of drug?

Like most people, you may associate impaired driving with intoxication from alcohol. Drunk driving is a common offense and receives lots of attention. However, it is not the only substance that causes impairment in a driver. Drugs of all kinds do too. 

It is important to know what drugs you can and cannot take before driving to avoid criminal charges. The consequences can be severe, so become familiar with Michigan law on the matter.

Keeping the family home following a divorce

When Michigan couples decide that it is time to get a divorce, determining what to do about the family home could be a difficult decision. If there are kids involved, the primary parent may wish to keep the home to make the transition easier for the children. In these cases, the person who wants to keep the family home may have to buy out the former spouse.

Before the former spouse can be bought out, the value of the home and each person's interest must be determined. Once the value of the house is determined, the amount still owed on the house is subtracted from the value. Then, the remainder is divided between the two former spouses.

Preparing documentation for a child custody hearing

Michigan parents who must go to a child custody hearing should submit their documentation ahead of time. This might include logs for visitation and phone calls, which can be used to show the involvement or lack of involvement of the noncustodial parent in the child's life. A noncustodial parent might also use these logs to demonstrate efforts to visit and contact the child that were prevented by the other parent. This can be unfavorable for the custodial parent since courts generally support parents cooperating to ensure the child has time with both of them.

Parents may want to provide other documentation as well. For example, report cards may be used to show the child thrives with a parent. Teachers, neighbors, childcare workers and others might provide testimony. A parent who is concerned about a child's safety with the other parent may want to provide documentation of injuries, such as medical reports.

Second marriages increase need for financial planning

Remarriage has become increasingly common in Michigan, especially among older adults. The Pew Research Center reported that two-thirds of married couples around the country in the 55-to-64 age group have gone through previous marriages. When people enter subsequent marriages, they typically have more assets and children than people starting their first marriages. This situation introduces questions about the division of assets among new spouses and children.

People typically want to shield assets from going completely to a new spouse in the event of a divorce because they had intended to transfer that wealth to their children. Prenuptial agreements provide legal tools for designating financial plans prior to entering a new marriage, and post-marital agreements can be entered into after the couple has wed. Executing both documents removes most doubts about future financial outcomes. Without these contracts that direct who gets what, the laws could favor the spouse. A divorce could then produce the undesired result of a child's inheritance going to a parent's ex-spouse and even the children of an ex-spouse.

How joint custody leads to better parenting

Parents in Michigan and throughout the country may actually become better at raising their children after a divorce. This is partially because they are required to take responsibility for their kids with no or limited guidance from the other spouse. In many cases, parents want to be there for their children after their marriages end despite the stereotypes that society may have. When it comes to divorced fathers, society believes them to be lazy or only partially engaged.

However, there has been a growing trend in recent years of men standing up for themselves and asking for greater rights to their children. Research tends to support the idea that parents typically are better at parenting their kids than they are getting along with each other. Therefore, allowing both parents to share custody can be beneficial for both the adults and the children that the law seeks to protect.

Women may have different motives for white collar crime

The CBS show Pink Collar Crimes has shone the spotlight on a niche area of law that many may find interesting. The numbers of incarcerated women in prisons in Michigan and elsewhere are increasing, but the criminal charges that landed them there can be very different from those involving men. As you know, women can commit the same crimes as men, including drug violations, assault and theft. However, when it comes to some allegations, their motives may be different from men’s.

You may wonder what exactly pink collar crime entails. As Forbes explains, this is a nickname attached to white collar crime when the allegations involve women. The charges can include embezzlement, financial fraud, money laundering and Ponzi schemes. Many women involved in pink collar crime include bookkeepers, accountants and office managers, but they can also include school volunteers and PTA moms who are in a position of financial trust – for example, being the treasurer of an extracurricular organization.

The truth behind myths associated with non-custodial parents

A non-custodial Michigan parent is simply someone who does not have physical custody of their child. However, there are several common myths that still linger about what a parent without custody is, what rights they have and how they interact with their children.

For starters, it is possible for a non-custodial parent to have legal custody even without having physical custody of a child. Another myth is that non-custodial parents are "deadbeats" because they don't pay child support. While the majority of non-payers are typically non-custodial parents, there are many of them who are responsible and loving. It's also commonly assumed that all parents not having physical child custody are fathers. However, many courts are recognizing the importance of keeping dads in the picture, so judges are often more willing to award joint or even sole custody to fathers.

Important documents women investors need before divorcing

Ending a marriage can be a life-changing experience for anyone in Michigan. Women, in particular, sometimes find financial matters especially burdensome after untying the knot. For this reason, divorcing women are often encouraged to get their investment portfolio and financial situation in order before officially filing for a divorce.

One way a divorcing woman can start this process is by gathering important documents. Because there is a tendency to sign tax returns without fully understanding what's on them, it can be helpful for a divorcing woman to obtain such documents, preferably for the past three years. Obtaining tax details related to a privately held business is equally important since personal expenses are sometimes paid through corporate or company accounts.

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