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Clinton Township Divorce Law Blog

What are my rights regarding child support spending?

You may be relieved to start receiving child support, but you might also be confused. Can you spend the money on anything you want? Is your ex allowed to tell you how to spend the money, or can he or she demand receipts? Will the courts step in? Like other Michigan residents who receive child support, you have important questions.

Child support exists to ensure your children’s basic needs are met, as FindLaw explains. However, what you deem necessary for your children’s safety and comfort can be broadly interpreted. Like some parents, you might decide to strictly limit your child support spending to the items that keep your kids fed, clothed and sheltered – such as school lunches, dinner ingredients, winter clothing and rent or mortgage payments. You might also consider medicine, doctor co-pays, household items and hygiene products to be essential.

The first holiday season after a marriage ends can be difficult

With the winter holiday season around the corner, people who have gone through divorce need to take time to plan what's going to happen. There are many things that you have to think about as you go through the "year of firsts" that attend the end of a marriage.

It is imperative that you make a plan early. This can reduce the stress that you feel throughout the holidays. If you have children, it is even more important to get things in order early so that you can enjoy the time you have with them.

Family law, from a first-timer’s perspective

For many people, family law issues are tough. From child support modification to filing a divorce petition and fighting over child custody, legal issues which involve former spouses and family members can be emotionally draining and may impact a person’s future in various ways. For some people, such as those who have never dealt with family law issues before (or even been to court, for that matter), handling family law issues can be especially difficult.

If you have no experience in the courtroom at all, you should try to prepare yourself for the case and develop an understanding of what to expect. For example, any family law matters you expect to encounter should be carefully reviewed and you should go over any laws that would affect you in this regard. Preparing yourself for court legally could give you some peace of mind and confidence in your case, but you may still feel anxious about going to court in general. It may be helpful to read about going to court and to find healthy activities that can help you handle your stress.

Protecting one's small business from property division

No one goes into a marriage in Clinton Township expecting that it is ever going to end. Statistics, however, seem to undermine the confidence of those who scoff at the potential of ever getting a divorce. Information shared by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows that as recently as 2016, 28,916 couples sought divorce in the state. Yet even when faced with such statistics, many approaching marriage do not even want to consider a prenuptial agreement. Avoiding creating such an agreement can be damaging, especially for small business owners. 

Even in cases where one established their small business prior to getting married, any profits that the business makes during their marriage are considered to be marital assets. Thus, in absence of a prenuptial agreement protecting one's business interest, it is almost an inevitability that the non-business owning will profit off the business in some way in a divorce. 

Debts and divorce

If you are like a lot of people in Michigan, when you have historically thought about getting divorced, your mind becomes keenly aware of the possessions or assets that you might lose in the process. Certainly, this may be part of a divorce but along the way, any debts you and your spouse have must also be addressed. If your debt situation is serious enough, you may even be contemplating filing for divorce. Knowing how or when to do this relative to your divorce requires some investigation. 

As explained by My Horizon Today, there are two primary types of consumer bankruptcy and one of these - a Chapter 13 bankruptcy - is a plan that may last between three and five years. If this is the type of bankruptcy right for your needs, it may keep you and your spouse linked longer than you want. Alternatively, if you start a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and then get divorced, you may incur additional costs to separate your bankruptcy.

How should I discipline my kids as a single parent?

Being a single parent is tough. This is particularly true when it comes to disciplining your children, which is often complicated by a number of issues after a divorce takes place. However, proper discipline is most important in this case, as illustrated by VeryWellFamily.com. The following tips can help you raise your kids in an effective and loving manner, no matter what other issues may come into play.

Keep rules consistent

How do I budget as a divorced parent?

Caring for your kids financially is no easy feat, but it’s particularly difficult after a divorce. Single parents often find themselves struggling to make ends meet, which can have all sorts of ramifications. While it can be difficult to create a budget for you and your family after a divorce, the following tips from TheBalanance.com can set you on the right path.

Figure out shared debt

Getting a divorce? Don’t do these things

When you tie the knot, you assume that you'll remain in love for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, there may come a time when things aren't working out. If this happens, you and/or your partner may realize that divorce is the best solution.

Getting a divorce sounds simple enough, but as you get started you'll come to find many challenges standing in your way. While all of these can be overcome with the right approach, you need to know what you should and shouldn't be doing from the start.

Becoming divorced to your spouse

If you are a Michigan citizen in an unhappy marriage situation, you may be considering divorce as an option. However, we at the Law Office of Lorrie J. Zahodnic recognize that the end of your marriage is not the same as the end of your relationship with your spouse. During the divorce process, the two of you will have possible contact, and if you and your spouse have children together, some measure of relationship will remain between the two of you for the rest of your lives. That is why we say that you become divorced to your spouse rather than from your spouse.

Even if the relationship is unsalvageable, and divorce is the only feasible means of resolving your differences, there is no reason to go to war with your spouse once the divorce proceedings are underway. According to the American Psychological Association, an amicable divorce is healthier for everyone involved; especially your children, who may otherwise suffer psychological damage as a result of ongoing parental conflict. 

What’s the difference between a divorce and an annulment?

If you wish to put an end to your marriage, you probably have questions about the best way to proceed. Some even look into ending their unions by way of an annulment, which can be a complex legal procedure in most cases. VeryWellMind.com explains these differences so you can make the best decision about ending your marriage.  

The most obvious difference between a divorce an annulment is how the marriage is regarded after the process is complete. With a divorce, the marriage is ended, and each party goes back to being a single person. With an annulment, the marriage itself is considered null and void. As a result, neither party is able to seek spousal support, nor are assets considered shared and subsequently divided. However the marriage will still be on record and if any children resulted from the union they will be considered legitimate.

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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