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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Considering Getting Divorced After the Holidays in Michigan?


Q: I Am Thinking About Filing For Divorce After the Holidays.  Is There Anything I Should Do Now?

When you’re getting divorced in Michigan, there can be many different issues to resolve.


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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Errors Happen When You Don't Use a Lawyer in Your Divorce


Getting a divorce is difficult in many ways from the emotions to the financial strains.  One sure way to make matters worse is to attempt to navigate divorce laws and the legal process without a skilled family law attorney.  There are many technical issues, timelines and rules that must be followed in addition to having an overall knowledge of the divorce laws.  Sometimes, the court or the friend of the court makes an error and if you don't have an attorney that really knows what their doing, that error may go unnoticed and cause serious damage. A 
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Friday, July 12, 2019

A Short Blog About Vehicle Expense Deductions and Divorce


In some divorce cases, the court has to go through the parties finances with a fine-tooth comb in order to sort-out what is the appropriate income to use for calculating alimony or child support.  In the recently decided case of Eubanks v Hendrix, Michigan Court of Appeals No. 344102, May 23, 2019; the appellate court found that the referee and the court in that case did not quite get far enough into the nitty-gritty of the parties finances.

While some items and expenses may be allowed as deductions for tax purposes, the same deductions are not always allowed when determining a person's income for alimony or child support.  In the Eubanks case, the mother questioned how the court calculated the father's income, particularly the deduction for his vehicle.
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Monday, July 8, 2019

How is a Parent's Income Determined for Child Support in Michigan?


Child support is determined by a formula.  Base child support takes both parties incomes and the number of overnights each parent has with the child or children and plugs those numbers into a formula.  The formula then determines the base child support that one parent will pay to the other.  The formula will also calculate a health insurance adjustment, an out of pocket health care expense adjustment and a child care adjustment until a August after a child's twelfth birthday. 

This is relatively straight forward if each parent is a "W-2" employee, someone who is paid a standard monthly amount by a regular employer (not a family business or self-owned business) each month without receiving perks like the free use of a vehicle.


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Sunday, June 2, 2019

What Is Imputation of Income in a Michigan Divorce?


In some divorce cases it can be hard to properly determine a person's income for purposes of calculating alimony or child support.  This could be due to the manner of the person's work or where they work; such as working for the family business, being self-employed, working on a "cash" basis or seasonal employment.  It can also be due to someone quitting a job, refusing to get a job or refusing to go back to work.  The courts and the Michigan legislature have determined that they do not want an individual to avoid paying support, paying too little support or too much support because of this situation.  Therefore, the courts will impute income to a party.
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Monday, May 13, 2019

After a Divorce, Who Pays for Child Care?


In Michigan, child care is included in child support until the first August after a child's twelfth birthday.  After that, the parties can agree to share the costs of child care or each parent will be responsible for paying for child care that is required during that parent's court ordered parenting time with the child.  

How Much Does Each Party Pay Toward Child Support?

There are four basic components of child support.  There is the base child support, which is determined primarily by the incomes of each parent and the number of overnights the children have with each parent.  There are also three supplements; the healthcare supplement, the ordinary medical care supplement and the child care supplement.


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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

What if My Spouse Makes Cash Money That Isn't Reported to the IRS?


In a divorce case, one of the biggest factors that the court will consider when granting or denying alimony is the parties' incomes.  Many people are concerned that their spouse either works in an occupation that involves cash tips or the other spouse may own a business that handles cash but the parties have not reported this income to the Internal Revenue Service during the marriage.  The concern (other than potential issues with the IRS - the divorce court or judge will typically not report such activity to the IRS) is that the court will not consider this income when calculating alimony with a result of an inequitable alimony award.

Proving Cash Income in a Divorce Case 

Fortunately there are many ways that the court will allow a spouse to prove income in a divorce.  In one recent case decided by the Michigan Court of Appeals, Csercse v Csercse, March 19, 2019; the lower court awarded alimony to the wife for two (2) years after a three (3) year marriage based upon a number of factors, including the dominating and abusive nature of the husband.


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Friday, March 22, 2019

What are Temporary Child Support Orders?


Parents are expected to support their child financially even though the parents may divorce or are not in a relationship with each other. Not being with a child’s other parent or not having primary care of the child does not relieve a person’s responsibility to care for the child. Some parents are taken by surprise when they show up to court, and the judge orders them to
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Will the Court Consider Non-overnight Parenting Time When Calculating Child Support?


Will the Court Consider Non-overnight Parenting Time When Calculating Child Support?

Typically in Michigan the court will only consider overnight parenting time when calculating child support.  This is because the Michigan Child Support Formula considers only the following specific factors: the income of the parties, health insurance provided by either parent for the children, child care or daycare expenses until August after a child's twelve birthday and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent.

However, in most cases it is worthwhile to check the guidelines manual (which is available online, just google it).  The manual provides a variety of reasons why a parent may ask the court to "deviate" from the guidelines.  The manual states that in cases where a lawyer can convince the court that the application of the formula to a particular case would lead to an unjust or inappropriate amount, the court may consider a list of other factors which would allow the court to order more or less child support than the formula mandates.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Is There a Statute of Limitations to Collect Alimony or Child Support?


Is There a Statute of Limitations to Collect Alimony or Child Support?

An action to enforce or collect child support or alimony is considered a civil action to enforce a court order.  There is a ten-year statutory period of limitations.  The ten-year period starts form the date that the last support payment is due under the support order regardless of whether or not the last payment is made.  For child support, generally, the date that the last payment is due is the child's 18th birthday.  For alimony, the final payment date would be the last date for which the court has ordered spousal support, unless it is extended, then the last date would be the final date of the extension.


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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Are Bonuses Included In Income When Calculating Alimony or Child Support?


Are Bonuses Included in Income When Calculating Alimony or Child Support?

In Michigan, child support is calculated by use of a formula that takes into account each parent's income; the number of overnights each child has with each parent, health care premiums paid by a parent for the child, and childcare expenses until August after a child's twelfth (12th) birthday.  Alimony, also known as spousal support, should be determined by considering fourteen (14)  different factors.  The factors are overlapping so that income and ability to earn are referenced or are relevant to several of those factors.  Currently, most divorce lawyers, mediators and even the courts (due to a relatively recent change in the case law) use prognosticator programs to help determine at least a starting point for alimony and income is a primary factor in those formulas.

In any case, either through negotiation, mediation or trial, the determination of what constitutes the proper income for each party is very important and may have a significant effect on the ultimate award of support.


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