Contemplating divorce, especially where there are children, custody issues, property, significant assets or a business involved?
Clients want to know how to survive a divorce financially and emerge in the best possible shape. Divorce is a rather unappealing word, one you never thought would apply to you, or if you’re lucky, one that never will. Sometimes we never see it (divorce) coming. Other times, its written all over the wall — if we want to ignore it or not is another issue. However, at some point, you have to deal with the reality of the situation. Prepare yourself with information! Get aggressive and affordable legal representation now. The experienced divorce and child custody lawyers at The Cromer Law Group PLLC offer FREE initial consult.
Divorce can emotionally and financially devastate you, your family and the business you worked so hard for. Some of the worst financial decisions are made during the pains of divorce — decisions that can affect the rest of your life and the lives of your loved ones. Because emotions are so understandably high during the divorce process, a divorce attorney’s ability to help your financial situation — both now and in the near future — can be severely restricted. Which situation are you facing?
Are you a woman and your spouse has just told you he wants a divorce … but you need his income to help maintain your family’s established standard of living? In fact, you didn’t have a clue he was contemplating a divorce. Now you’re confused, emotional, scared and you wonder if you can survive the divorce financially. Where will you live? What will you live on? Will it be enough? Perhaps you sacrificed your career to support his and you’ve now been out of the workforce so long, that your skills are no longer current or you’re just simply too old to find any meaningful and gainful employment to support yourself and your family. What type of job will you be able to get, if any? You may not even have sufficient money set aside to hire a divorce attorney or financial advisor; your husband may have intentionally handled all the family and/or business finances for both of you, or maybe he has moved marital and business assets into secreted accounts you can’t reach or don’t even know exist.
Are you an executive, advanced professional, or have a high visibility career and your divorce has begun… and it could jeopardize your ability to continue earning a living or facts could come out that might damage your reputation. For these clients, your divorce can put your position and even your livelihood at risk in ways other people may never have to consider. What will happen to your public image (your brand) and your privacy? There are few safe shelters for you, and anxiety and worry seem to come from all corners. Because you’ve been so successful in your professional career, you further worry that you’ll be forced to pay excessive alimony or be compelled to give up hard-earned assets — even if the divorce was absolutely not your fault.
Maybe your spouse was also your business partner; will you end up having to sell your own business to pay him for his share or to survive the divorce financially? Even if he wasn’t a business partner, are there enough other assets to prevent a court from ordering a fire-sale of the business to cover the percentage of marital assets owed him?
Few people would suggest being a parent is easy and the financial obligations are certainly not insignificant. This feat is especially difficult when there is only one parent being the primary provider and caregiver. If two parents are not raising their children together, one can be expected to pay support to the other parent. Whether you are worried about child support payments consuming your income or not receiving enough child support, an experienced lawyer can help assist you in pursuing the best legal options available. This may require that an attorney to file a motion to show cause the non-paying parent. If the custodial parent believes that he/she is entitled to an increase or decrease in child support payments, then a motion seeking to modify the child support order may be necessary.
The Michigan child support attorneys at The Cromer Law Group PLLC, have significant experience representing clients with child support, custody, visitation and other divorce or family law related issues throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, including most of southern Michigan.
Under Michigan Child Support laws, when child support is determined, it is based on current circumstances. As time passes, child support payments may need to be modified. A significant increase or decrease in either parent’s income can warrant a modification in child support. In addition, a child’s changing needs can also necessitate a change in child support payments. For example, if a child goes to college, child support obligations may be extended, so both parents share the responsibility of the college expenses. Although child support decrees are binding legal agreements, we know some people do not allows follow the rules. To best support our clients, we also handle the following support matters:
- Establishing child support guidelines
- Child support enforcement
- Child support recovery
- Challenging child support actions
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Pursuing a Legal Separation:
When facing difficult issues in marriage such as domestic violence or infidelity, it is common to consider divorce or legal separation. However, some people do not wish to pursue divorce on moral grounds, or because they need time to work on some issues that may allow a return to the marriage. In Michigan, you also have the option of pursuing a legal separation. This process requires you to divide your assets and obligations and resolve issues relating to the best interests of your children in a legally binding agreement. These agreements are usually comprehensive and should be drafted by an attorney to individually address all your concerns.
With a legal separation order, a couple can make important binding decisions about child custody and visitation property division and spousal support just as would occur in a divorce ending the marriage.
For people who wish to stay married but maintain separate living arrangements for any of a variety of reasons, legal separation can be an important legal tool. Many people choose legal separation for:
- Moral and religious grounds;
- Health insurance coverage – if you divorce, you are likely to lose coverage under your spouse’s healthcare insurance;
- Social security coverage – generally, a couple must have been married for at least 10 years in order for a nonworking spouse to qualify for Social Security under the working spouse’s benefits;
- Optimism – many couples remain married because they hope to work out their differences while separating their legal and financial affairs.
While these are all important reasons for people to choose not to end their marriage, there are also important reasons to consider resolving your marriage. If you decide to remarry in the future, for example, you will still have to pursue a divorce first, which is an additional expense. A divorce also brings about important emotional and social changes in your life, allowing you an opportunity to leave the past behind and move forward.
Legal separation is one of several options for families in transition. Make sure you are choosing what is best for you and that your interests are protected.
Child Custody in Michigan
If you are contemplating filing for divorce, separation, or have a paternity issue, you may be worried about how custody and child support will be determined and whether you will be able to spend quality time with your children. We inform our clients with the requisite information necessary to allow them to evaluate their objectives and to vigorously pursue realistic results. In Michigan, child custody is divided into two categories:
- Legal custody: referring to a parent’s ability to make major life decisions for the minor child, such as those involving healthcare, schooling and religious issues.
- Physical custody: where the minor child will physically reside the majority of the time.
Both legal and physical custody can be awarded as either joint custody or sole custody depending on the best interests of the children. When determining child custody matters, a judge may evaluate many factors to determine what is in the best interests of the children involved. Although there are several factors that a judge considers, a judge may deem certain factors more significant that others. Judges may consider some or all of the following factors to determine child custody:
- The love, affection and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child, in his or her religion or creed, if any.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties involved, to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care and other material needs.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
- The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
- The moral fitness of the parties involved.
- The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
- The home, school, and community record of the child.
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
- The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.
- Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
- Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.
Fair and Equitable Division of Marital Assets:
Whether you have a significant number of personal or marital assets requiring a complex division, want to keep your home, or are worried about payments of spousal support, we can assist you in a divorce proceeding to make sure that your assets are protected, allowing you the opportunity to confidently move forward into the future with financial independence.
State laws determine how property will be divided at the time of divorce. You want an attorney who has the experience and knowledge of the relevant case law and courtroom disposition necessary to defend your rights in your divorce proceeding. Our property division attorneys can protect your financial security, so that you can confidently look forward to a brighter future after your divorce.
If you believe that your spouse is hiding or concealing assets, we can assist you in a thorough investigation of their income and potential hidden assets using forensic accountants and other experts. By consulting with tax planners, financial planners, business counselors, CPAs, private investigators and other professionals as appropriate, we are able to counsel clients on how to effectively invest and manage wealth acquired through property division.
We will use our experience, knowledge, and commitment to ensure that you receive a just share after a divorce. Do not lose your opportunity to protect your rights and your assets.
Please contact one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys today for your free consultation, if you would need additional information on the following legal issues of concern:
- Property division
- Division of marital assets
- Real estate appraisals
- Valuation of business interests
- Evaluating family business ownership interests
- Valuation of professional licenses
- Valuation of stock options
- Evaluating separate vs. marital property
- Prenuptial agreements
We will protect your financial and legal interests, so you are protected now and in the future. Alimony is determined by guidelines set by the state. Some factors a judge may consider when determining whether to award alimony or spousal support are the following:
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and health of the parties
- Contribution to the marriage
- Past relations and conduct of the parties (fault)
- Ability of each party to work and their respective incomes
- Ability of a party to pay spousal support
- Need for support
- Source and allocation of marital assets in property division
- Marital standard of living
- Present situation of the parties
- Prior standard of living of the parties
- Whether either is responsible for the support of others
- Educational level of the person claiming spousal support
We will make compelling arguments on your behalf reflecting your needs and circumstances to help ensure that your rights are protected. At The Cromer Law Group PLLC, we are dedicated to helping our clients move forward after a divorce, knowing in full confidence that their finances are secure. We can assist you with any of the following:
- Post-judgment modifications
- Enforcement of support/collection
- Division of marital assets
- Prenuptial agreements
Whether you are seeking to collect support or prevent an unreasonable support duty, we can aggressively prepare and present your support case. We are powerful negotiators and will seek to find the best solution for your family. Protecting the family both emotionally and financially requires the tailored family legal services that we can provide. We take the time to understand each client’s unique situation and the circumstances related to their divorce or legal matters. Through our extensive preparation and investigation, we will help devise solutions that best suit the needs of your family. If we are unable to come to a reasonable support agreement, we are prepared to take every case to trial to protect your best interests.
In Michigan, a prenuptial agreement or “prenup” is a very important tool for anyone entering into a marriage who wants to best protect personal assets acquired prior to the marriage. Whether you have significant assets and have been married before or are entering into a first marriage, it is crucial to make decisions now to minimize or, even, prevent disagreement or future litigation in the event that your marriage does dissolve. That’s not being selfish. That’s being practical and realistic because over 50% of marriages unfortunately end in divorce. A prenuptial contract can help you protect your financial interests into the future.
At The Cromer Law Group PLLC, we will draft a prenuptial agreement that will protect your best interests and meet your specific goals and objectives. Contact one of our divorce lawyers today for a FREE initial consultation. Know your rights regarding divorce, custody, support and visitation before your make an uninformed decision that may affect your future.
Divorce attorneys all around are seeing an increase in the number of prenups, particularly as people are marrying later in life. In addition more and more women are initiating prenups especially as more are becoming wealthy in their own right and want to ensure that their interests are protected and their property is safe should a marriage end in divorce.
In addition to protecting personal property and assets for oneself many people also wish to protect assets for children and grandchildren. Leaving a legacy has become more and more important to men and women alike.
Although there are “do-it-yourself kits” for prenups, we caution people against them because oftentimes the legal documents from such kits are not tailored to suit the specific needs and/or defenses of the individuals involved, nor do they adequately address the specifics or recent changes to Michigan law. There is nothing worse than reasonably thinking that you’ve protected yourself to later find out that the document you staked your future independence on, is worthless in court.