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Clinton Township Divorce Law Blog

Understand how divorce impacts kids so you can help them

The end of a marriage is a difficult time for the adults involved, but this can turn even more challenging when there are children in the picture. Parents must take the time to help their kids through the changes that are coming.

Many factors impact how a child will perceive a divorce. The child's age and maturity level, as well as the events leading up to the split can matter. In order to help your children, you have to find out what's going on with them.

What is a valuation date?

When you get divorced in Michigan, a large part of the process is dividing your assets. Part of this process involves figuring out the value of each asset. As each asset has its value determined, it gets a valuation date, which according to Forbes is the date upon which the value of the asset is defined.

While this may seem like a simple concept, it is not. Some assets can easily be assigned a valuation date. For example, something that will not go and down in value anytime soon can be easily valued at just about any point and the date upon which that is done makes little difference. However, other assets can be very much affected by when they are assessed. For example, stocks can change in value drastically from one day to the next, so the date when they are assessed matters in a major way. It really depends on the assets you have as to whether the valuation date will be of much concern.

Frequently asked questions about child custody

For parents in Michigan, deciding custody issues can be among the most difficult aspects of divorce. That’s why it’s so important to have the right information. There are a lot of myths surrounding child custody cases, and if you aren’t properly prepared you will have a more difficult time making your case to the judge. The American Bar Association answers the following questions so parent can will know exactly what to expect.

How Is Custody Determined?

3 Ways to Recover Emotionally After a Divorce

The emotional aspects of divorce are sometimes harder to deal with than practical issues like asset division or who gets the family home. As a result, many people have a hard time moving on with their lives after a divorce is actually finalized. There is hope however, as illustrated by these helpful hints from WebMD.

1. Reinvent Yourself

Bitcoin can make divorce even more complicated

People have attempted to conceal money during divorces for decades in Michigan, but with the help of a lawyer, spouses can quickly uncover the assets. The recent rise in cryptocurrency, however, makes divorce even more convoluted. A person can hide their money by investing in bitcoin and leave behind little to no paper trail. 

So, what exactly is bitcoin? According to CNN, bitcoin was created in 2009 by someone anonymous using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is transferred without the use of banks or other third parties. Users can hide their real identities through using only a wallet ID number. Wallets can be stored in a cloud, on the computer or even on a USB drive. The versatility makes it easier to hide from a spouse.

How should I tell others about my divorce?

You've been a couple for years -- maybe even decades -- but now you're getting a divorce. Wouldn't it be easier if you didn't have to tell anyone about it? Wouldn't it be easier if you didn't have to answer the questions and listen to the condolences of family, friends and coworkers when you tell them about your divorce?

Unfortunately, every divorcing spouse will have to tell other people they're no longer married at some point. Here are a few things you should do to make telling other people about your divorce a little easier:

When back child support interferes with travel

There are many reasons why non-custodial parents should do all they can to stay current on the child support they are obligated to pay. Paying child support can be helpful for children and custodial parents, of course. After all, buying school supplies and covering other expenses can be difficult for a single parent. However, non-custodial parents obligated to pay child support should stay current for other reasons, such as avoiding the ramifications that may come with missing payments. Many people realize that falling behind on these payments can lead to arrest, wage garnishment or the interception of a tax refund. However, other consequences may also arise, such as having one's travel plans interrupted.

So, how can falling behind on child support affect travel? For starters, parents who owe a certain amount of back child support are not eligible to obtain a U.S. passport and may have their current passport revoked. Additionally, problems related to child support can affect someone who wishes to travel from a financial standpoint. For example, if they set up a payment plan in order to regain passport eligibility and get caught up on the child support they owe, they may have to cut into their travel funds in order to take care of back child support, which may leave them unable to travel due to finances.

How to Prepare for a Divorce

Like with most things in life, being prepared for your divorce is extremely important. Divorce proceedings can be exceedingly complex, from financial issues to determining custody and visitation for your children. Accordingly, navigating a divorce in Michigan is often a challenge from many different perspectives. Psychology Today offers the following advice to help people prepare for their divorce, which can help both reduce stress and streamline the process.

Allow Yourself to Feel Negative Emotions

Studies: Joint parenting may be better for children

When parents in Michigan and across the U.S. decide to separate or file for divorce, there are a myriad of factors that must be considered. One of the most important decisions is custody and parenting time. It is easy to overlook the needs of the children involved in the situation when there are so many other things going on. While many parents are choosing sole custody arrangements in hope of providing a stable environment for their children, a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Family Psychology reported that joint custody may be the best choice for several reasons.

The study looked closely at children who were raised in sole-custody and joint-custody living arrangements, as well as those who were brought up in intact families. Researchers found that kids who spent a significant amount of time with both their mother and father had a higher self-esteem, higher school performance and fewer emotional and behavioral problems.

Man's mental issues not brought up during mediation, judge says

Married couples in Clinton Township who choose to divorce actually have options when deciding exactly how to end their unions. One of these is mediation. Proponents of mediation point out that it is a less-costly alternative to traditional divorce proceedings due to the fact that it can be completed so much quicker. In many cases, mediation may indeed prove to be a good choice for the parties involved. In others, however, it may be recommended that a couple choose to go the traditional route due to the unique circumstances of their separation. Cases involving mental health issues or domestic violence may certainly be among these. 

This fact was reaffirmed recently after a man shot and killed his three children along with his ex-wife's new boyfriend. He also shot his ex-wife before turning the gun on himself. Sadly, the only one to survive the ordeal was the ex-wife. She is now voicing her displeasure with the judge who signed off on her divorce agreement, saying that the judge had been made aware of her ex-husband's struggle with mental illness. The judge responded by saying that she could not have been told of this because the couple held no formal hearings during their divorce proceedings. They instead chose mediation, from which records indicate that neither ever mentioned any problems with family violence or mental health concerns. 

Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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