WN Law PLLC

divorce Archives

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.

Contempt a major factor in some divorces

A researcher and marriage counselor, John Gottman, has identified contempt, criticism, stonewalling and defensiveness as elements in a marriage that make it more likely to end in divorce. Of the four, contempt is the most destructive because shows a lack of respect between partners. When couples in Michigan engage in any of these behaviors, divorce could be in their future.

Spyware and GPS trackers used in some in divorce cases

After a separation or divorce, some people in Michigan could be the target of stalking by a former spouse. When the Justice Department did a study on stalking in 2012, it found that although 1.5 percent of the adult population reported experiencing stalking, that number went up to 3.3 percent for people who had been divorced or separated. Stalking may now be done by digital surveillance as people increasingly use GPS trackers and spyware to keep tabs on their ex-spouse's whereabouts and activities. Some attorneys say that clients can leave them criminally liable if they use evidence in the divorce gathered in an illegal way.

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WN Law PLLC
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Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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