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Financial planning following a divorce

Once the dust settles and you and your former spouse have negotiated your property division, you want to pick up the pieces and set yourself up for success. Many people find that they are not able to enjoy the same lifestyle they did before because they only have one salary covering the household expenses.

To ensure your financial future post-divorce, here are some steps you can take.  

The impact divorce may have on retirement accounts

The divorce rate has doubled among those 50 or older in Michigan and elsewhere since 1990. At that time, the divorce rate among that age group was five per every 1,000 marriages. In 2015, that rate had doubled to 10 divorces for every 1,000 marriages. The divorce rate for those who are 65 and older has tripled since 1990 with six divorces for every 1,000 marriages in 2015.

Older couples may choose to get divorced because they become different people after raising children. They may realize that they have nothing in common and have no reason to stay together. However, getting divorced at a later age could have consequences for both spouses as it relates to their retirement. For example, if money inside of an IRA is to be transferred, it must be done after the divorce is final. Otherwise, a withdrawal could be subject to taxes and penalties.

Court orders Mary J. Blige to pay temporary spousal support

The divorce proceedings for R&B singer Mary J. Blige have revealed her financial troubles to her fans in Michigan and around the country. Despite insisting that her prenuptial agreement with her estranged husband specified that spousal support would not be paid in the event that the couple ended their marriage, a judge has ordered her to make temporary payments to him in the amount of $30,000 per month. This was in response to the his request for $129,319 per month.

The judge cited the need to maintain the lifestyle that the husband was accustomed to during the marriage. The court order applied retroactively to September 2016, and she was also required to cover his legal fees, which has obligated Blige to come up with over $200,000 as an initial payment.

Alternatives to traditional divorce representation

Many Michigan residents who are going through a divorce might want to represent themselves in court because they think that they cannot afford to retain an attorney. This is known as pro se representation. However, they may be concerned that going forward in this manner will create a huge disadvantage for their case.

Our firm offers services which can cost divorce litigants less than full-scale representation to help them navigate a courtroom battle successfully. For example, divorce mediation is an alternative to litigation. Mediation occurs outside a courtroom and is focused on finding solutions that are mutually agreeable to both parties.

Handling the family business in a Michigan divorce

More money, more worries is a truism that often applies when it comes to divorce. Couples with valuable assets face the problem of dividing them fairly under Michigan's equitable distribution laws.

Under equitable distribution, courts divide marital property based on what would be most fair to both parties. While this may present less difficulty when dealing with money in a bank account, what happens to assets that are not easy to apportion? If you own a business with your soon-to-be-ex, you may wonder about your options.

How to prepare financially for a divorce

Many Michigan couples see their marriages come to an end each year. Those who believe that they are headed for divorce may have several financial decisions to make ahead of time. However, before making any money moves, it may be a good idea to talk with an attorney in the state where the divorce is taking place.

It may also be a good idea to get a list of the household expenses and how much is spent on them each month. This may help people better understand what assets or debts may be in play during a divorce settlement. It may also help them start thinking about how their expenses may change after a divorce. Individuals getting ready for divorce should gather financial statements, bank records and loan balances.

Ways to improve a QDRO

When a Michigan couple's marriage comes to an end, they may be eager to sign the divorce papers as quickly as possible. However, that could be a mistake from a financial point of view. In cases where divorcing couples are splitting retirement assets, it may be necessary to sign a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Although an individual may find the order to be fair, it may be worth checking with a financial adviser first.

This is because a person could be subject to taxes and fees that he or she was not expecting or prepared to pay. It may also be possible to lose money as soon as the order is signed. An attorney may refer a person to a certified divorce financial analyst to review the document.

What you share online might be used against you in your divorce

Social media may be part of your daily routine, but when you are going through a divorce, you might want to be cautious about what you post.  Forbes reports that electronic communications and social media posts can often have unforeseen consequences in divorce proceedings. Many people present themselves much better on social media than they are really doing. In a legal aspect, this could be detrimental to your case. 

Here are a few of the ways your social media presence could be used against you in your divorce: 

  • Lawyers can present email and text communications as evidence in court. The existence of proof of what is said between two people is changing the divorce climate. You might have your credibility called into question if you say something that does not align with the way you have presented yourself to the court.
  • Pictures taken on lavish vacations or frequent dinners out might also call into question your financial situation. If you tell the court you are not making enough money to take care of the children but take a trip overseas, you may have to answer some difficult questions. 
  • Your spouse may use your LinkedIn profile to show you have more income than you admit to, if you present yourself as having a side business or bigger title than you say on your financial profile as presented to the court. 

3 reasons why 'playing nice' can backfire during divorce

One goal that many people have when they divorce is to get through the process as peacefully as possible. While that is certainly attainable for some people, others are going to have a very difficult divorce. This is particularly true in contested divorces.

Unavoidable contention can make divorce even harder, and it can be tempting for people think that "playing nice" will just make everything go faster and smoother. However, before you decide to do this, you might want to consider a few reasons why playing nice isn't always a good idea.

3 things you can expect from the property division process

Divorce can be a very messy situation, regardless of whether a split is amicable or contentious. This is because there are legal elements of divorce that must be resolved, and these elements aren’t always easy to understand.

For instance, you will need to divide your marital property when you divorce. This process is complex and invites countless questions from people who are understandably worried about their financial future. In an effort to make things a little easier to understand, we will discuss some basic expectations you can have regarding property division in Michigan.

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