WN Law PLLC

Grand Rapids Criminal Defense And Family Law Blog

Divorce and cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have been around since the Bitcoin was launched in 2009, and interest and awareness of cryptocurrency holdings have since increased. Cryptocurrencies have also become one of the many different types of assets that divorcing couples in Michigan need to decide how to handle.

Some family law firms might not have a sufficient amount of understanding of or experience with cryptocurrencies. Having to address issues around cryptocurrencies in a divorce can make the process much longer and more complicated.

What Michigan spouses should know about divorce after 50

The divorce rate in the United States has declined in recent years. However, the divorce rate for those who are 50 and older has increased over the past two decades. One of the possible reasons behind this trend is that there is less stigma surrounding the end of a marriage than in the past. Therefore, older individuals don't feel compelled to stay in relationships that they aren't happy in.

Money can be another reason why older spouses get divorced. For instance, one person may spend too much or otherwise have trouble making sure that their finances are properly managed. The success or failure of a marriage could also depend on who is making the money. If a man increases his earnings, a marriage is more likely to succeed. The opposite is true if a woman sees her income go up.

Understanding knock-and-talk

You do not have to talk to the police in Michigan, generally speaking. While there are some exceptions, such as providing ID or asking if you are free to go, you do not typically have to have any interaction with state or federal investigators without a lawyer present. This is especially true if you have been arrested.

Additionally, you may want to close your blinds or window shades if you suspect that the police may come by your home. Although advocates for civil liberties have opposed the practice, police have the power to walk around the outside of your house without a warrant during a knock-and-talk conversation, looking through your windows for evidence of criminal behavior.

Preparing for child custody hearings

A Michigan parent may be nervous if they have to attend a child custody hearing for the first time. However, if they plan well, they can present a convincing case to the court and possibly get a successful outcome.

One of the most important steps in having a successful child custody case is learning about the state laws for child custody, specifically the laws of the state in which the custody hearing will be arranged. Before the hearing, parents should be aware of the issues they may face.

Cheating, lack of commitment among common reasons for divorce

Divorce rates are generally going down. Even so, it's still fairly common for couples in Michigan and other states to untie the knot. In order to get a better idea of why marriages sometimes fail, a study was conducted with divorced individuals who initially participated in a prevention and relationship enhancement program (PREP) before they were wed. The divorced participants were interviewed several years later to find out the reasons why their relationships soured.

Little or no premarital education and religious differences was cited as a reason for divorce among just over 13 percent of the divorced participants. One subject noted that while the PREP course was helpful with communication techniques, it didn't address issues related to the growth of a marriage. Just under 20 percent of participants questions felt that a lack of family support and health-related problems contributed to their marital problems. Interestingly, a separate study found that divorce risk is lower when husbands have a closer relationship with their wife's family and higher when it's the other way around.

Cellphone security rules may change for police

For many people concerned with privacy in Michigan, it is important to use a passcode or phrase to unlock a mobile phone rather than the newer fingerprint and face recognition technologies. While some people are simply uncomfortable with storing their personal data in a potential corporate database, many others have been convinced by multiple federal court rulings. Over the years, several courts have given much higher protections to data protected with an alphanumeric passcode rather than with biometric safety features. Law enforcement agencies have generally been allowed to use fingerprints or facial features to unlock devices without the owner's consent.

On the other hand, mobile phone owners cannot be compelled to disclose their passcodes or passwords due to the constitutional protection against self-incrimination. Therefore, people concerned with dealings with law enforcement may be particularly inclined to rely on a passcode instead. However, one federal judge's ruling could point the way to higher protections for biometric security features. The judge ruled that police could not use biometric features to unlock mobile phones when they sought a search warrant for a suspect's home. The case involved alleged extortion being conducted over the internet, and police wanted to use biometrics to unlock any phones in the searched home.

Recovering back child support in state or federal court

Parents in Michigan who are owed back child support might be able to recover payments through state or federal courts. Those who seek to recover via state courts can prepare for court appearances by gathering evidence that they have already attempted to collect outstanding child support from the other parent and that the non-custodial parent has not made child support payments for a significant time period. In cases where the parents were not married when the child was conceived or born, the court may require evidence that the father was made aware of his paternity.

In 1992, the federal government passed the Child Support Recovery Act. This law was designed to make it easier to prosecute parents who are not meeting child support obligations and to act as a deterrent against non-payment. The circumstances in which a parent may rely on federal courts to help with child support recovery are limited. Federal courts will first consider whether recovery is available through the state courts, whether the payor has a history of moving to avoid payment obligations and if the payor has attempted to conceal his or her whereabouts to avoid making payments.

Do you need an attorney if you agree on everything?

Divorces can cost a lot of money. On average around the United States, the process of divorce costs about $15,000. In an attempt to reduce costs, some try to go through the process without a lawyer, and that is a huge mistake you do not want to make. 

The truth of the matter is you are not an expert on divorce law. You could end up making a huge mistake or overlook a key detail in the final paperwork. This can cost you dearly in the long run, so always have an attorney in your corner to help you out. 

Avoid these common real estate mistakes in a divorce

Divorcing couples in Michigan who own a home have several options for dividing it, but they should make sure to avoid some common mistakes as well. One error people make is fighting to keep the home only to find out they cannot afford it. Before deciding to take the home, a person should make a monthly budget that accounts for all expenses associated with it.

Another common error occurs when the couple refinances the mortgage to remove one of them from it but does not do the same with the deed. This can seem like a way to reduce paperwork, but it can also lead to problems later on if the divorce is no longer amicable and the owner wants to sell the home and runs into financial problems.

Why fiscal honesty is important before marriage

Those who are planning on getting married in Michigan and elsewhere will ideally have a financial talk prior to doing so. This can help them identify and potentially rectify monetary problems before they negatively impact a marriage. It can also ensure that both partners are on the same page when it comes to how to handle their money. The conversation should include everything from each person's credit score to the amount and type of debt that they have.

Couples who don't feel comfortable having a financial talk on their own could enlist the help of a third-party to facilitate it. A local church, financial professional or a therapist could work to ensure that each side can talk about their finances without feeling judged or ashamed. These conversations may create the foundation for a prenuptial agreement. While few people actually use them, it can be a powerful tool in helping a marriage function as smoothly as possible.

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Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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