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Kalamazoo Family Law Blog

Advice from divorcées: own your financial future

In the majority of marriages in the United States, the husband makes all of the financial planning decisions on behalf of the couple. This statistic holds true across generations—from baby boomers to millennials. The overwhelming majority of married women—80 percent—report they are happy with this arrangement.

However, when divorce enters into the picture, attitudes shift dramatically. Recent studies indicate that 59 percent of divorced or widowed women regret not having taken a more active role in their financial future.

Michigan grandparents’ legal right to see their grandchildren

A few years ago, you had a falling out with your adult daughter. Things were said and done that can’t be taken back. Now she’s given birth to a son—and you’d like to have a relationship with him. But your daughter won’t allow it. Do you have any legal recourse? What are you rights as a grandparent?

Under Michigan law, the court’s initial presumption will always be that a fit parent’s refusal of grandparent visitation—known as grandparenting time—is in the best interest of the child. However, if a grandparent files a petition for grandparenting time, the grandparent has the opportunity to convince the court that being prohibited from spending time together would actually be detrimental to the grandchild.

Why more millennials are getting prenups

When you hear the word “prenuptial agreement,” you might think of a contract intended for a Kardashian—someone with high income whose “I dos” aren’t really expected to last. But for the average Jane and Joe—the middle-income couple who has every intention of keeping their vows till death do them part—is a prenup really necessary?

For the millennial generation, more and more couples are saying “I do” to the prenup. Here are a few reasons this contract is becoming so popular:

Can a posnuptial agreement benefit my marriage?

You found your perfect match. From the moment the two of you met, everything fell into place. You shared the same hobbies, political views and religious beliefs. You got along well, and spending time together was natural. Pretty soon, you made the decision to get married.

By the time you tied the knot, you’d agreed on the basics—like how many kids you wanted to have and the kind of house you wanted to share. But the importance of collaborative planning for your future didn’t occur to you. Now a couple years into the marriage, your spouse is spending money through the roof, which is causing you anxiety about your financial security and putting strain on your relationship. What do you do?

Three tips to successful joint custody parenting

Following an acrimonious divorce, it’s common for there to be bad blood between exes. You may be ready to close the door on that chapter of your life altogether, and you could be angry that you have to share custody with a person you detest.

However, joint custody can be an opportunity to make things civil—and even collaborative—between you and your ex, which in the long run is good for your kids too. Today we provide three tips to making that process a bit easier:

How the new tax plan will impact divorce

Ever since the end of World War II, alimony has been tax deductible. Under the current federal deduction, alimony payers may pay as low as 60 cents on the dollar. Law makers have held a long-standing belief that this deduction was fair—that the government shouldn’t tax someone for money that was never available for them to spend in the first place.

However, the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will change all of that. Under the new law, the alimony tax break will be repealed starting in 2019. Experts expect this change to have a tumultuous impact in divorcing couples.

Cyber-spying becoming increasingly common in divorce

When one member of a couple decides they want a divorce, you might anticipate hurt feelings on the other side. You could predict anger, resentment and a drawn-out legal battle. What you might not expect, however, is for your ex to digitally stalk you, to trace your every move—and that this behavior could even be considered legal.

In this age of nearly unlimited connectivity and rapidly advancing technology, cases of cyber-stalking between divorcing couples is becoming increasingly common. The Department of Justice has found that 3.3 percent of divorced or separated couples in the United States are victims of cyber-stalking—which is more than twice the national average. A recent report identified the different types of digital spying that aggrieved exes have frequently engaged in.

What happens to child support when one parent moves away?

The requirement to pay child support follows a parent wherever they go. If one parent moves away—even to another state—Michigan and interstate laws demand that the parent continue to make the mandated payments. We’ve outlined below the regulations surrounding this process.

Notification of the move

What happens when divorced parents disagree over vaccination?

Under Michigan law, children must be vaccinated in order to enroll in school and other group activities. However, parents have the option not to vaccinate their child if they have religious, medical or personal objections to such immunizations. But what happens when parents disagree over whether to vaccinate?

In a recent case, a Michigan mother was jailed for five days after failing to comply with a court order to have her son vaccinated. The mother—a fervent “anti-vaxxer”—believes vaccinations pose health risks to children that outweigh their benefits. The father in the case disagrees.

Can I get the terms of my divorce settlement changed?

Your divorce settlement became final last month, but things are not as you’d hoped. It seems like almost all of your paycheck now goes straight to your ex-spouse, and you’re struggling to make ends meet. To add salt to the wound, you only get to see your kids every other weekend. Do you have any recourse?

You might. You could file a motion for post-divorce modification—a change in your divorce settlement that can make the terms more favorable for you. A post-divorce modification is a court order, which is legally binding and overrides the previous terms of the divorce. It can be used to receive changes in terms such as alimony, spousal support, child support and child custody.

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Kalamazoo Family Law Blog | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC