WN Law PLLC

divorce Archives

Retirement after a later-in-life divorce

Divorce is on the rise among older Americans in Grand Rapids and across the country. While the rate of divorce for younger Americans and the population, on the whole, has been on the decline or remained steady, the opposite has held true for people age 50 and up. In fact, since 1990, their divorce rate has doubled, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. People who are remarried or who have only been married for a few years are more likely to divorce, as is the case for younger couples as well. However, many "gray divorces" also take place among people who have been married for decades.

Parentage and the child support process

In many Michigan child support cases, parentage may need to be established either because it is in doubt or because the father contests paternity. Maternity is typically established via the mother's giving birth to the child. The child support and paternity rules vary from state to state, but generally, paternity is established in one of several ways. If the couple was married at the time of the birth of the child, there is a often a presumption that the husband is the child's father. If the parents are not married at the time the child is born, the father can choose to acknowledge paternity voluntarily.

When student loan debt leads to divorce

Many Michigan millennials are struggling under the burden of student loan debt. Overall, only 22 percent of people of their generation are free of debt, and student loans are a major factor in that statistic. Student loan borrowers owe an average of $34,144, and that number is only growing for future generations. In the past 10 years, the percentage of borrowers owing $50,000 or more has tripled. This means that student loan debt and repayment is a major factor in how people handle their money and make decisions about the future.

Changes ahead to alimony, other elements of divorce

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 may change the divorce landscape for some couples in Michigan whose divorces are finalized after the end of 2018. The law sunsets in 2025, so it may not last, but in the meantime, couples should be aware of the changes. One of the major changes is to alimony payments.

Why it's important to update beneficiaries after divorce

When people in Michigan decide to divorce, it can be particularly important for them to take action after the divorce to ensure that their life insurance policies and other important accounts are appropriately updated. Some people deal with matters like life insurance policies in the divorce decree, whereby a former spouse disclaims interest in a policy or account. However, after the holder of the policy or account owner passes away, the insurance company will give the funds to whoever the named beneficiary is on the account. Life insurance companies, pension funds and other companies do not automatically receive divorce decrees when they are filed. Therefore, these changes will not be made unless the newly divorced policy owner contacts the company to change the beneficiary.

Planning for alimony

Michigan residents who plan to get a divorce should know that due to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, they will not be able to deduct any alimony they have to pay to comply with separation of divorce agreements that become effective in 2019 and later. For the recipients of alimony, they will not have to pay taxes on the alimony they receive. As a result, people who get a divorce after 2018 are less likely to have after-tax income that can be used for alimony, and the federal taxes that will have to be paid are likely to increase.

Financial planning an important element of divorce process

Many financial decisions will confront couples in Michigan who choose to end their marriages. Although people have long recognized the appropriateness of legal advice when seeking divorces, consultations with financial planners have become increasingly common, especially when people strive to have a collaborative divorce. The collaborative process aims to eliminate the need for court battles by bringing the two parties together privately to negotiate the terms of a settlement.

An estate plan can benefit everybody in a family

While estate plans can help Michigan residents protect their assets while alive and after death, they can cost money to create. The amount of money that a person may spend on their plan depends on their needs. However, it is advised that those who are looking to hire an attorney or a trust administrator should hire a licensed professional instead of trying to save money.

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WN Law PLLC
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Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: 616-426-9491
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