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Michigan Divorce Blog

Entering complex, high asset divorce? Know your options

Navigating the divorce process in Michigan or another state typically involves several types of challenges, including negotiating terms for new parenting plans (in cases that apply) as well as property division issues and/or spousal support. When existing assets are of higher-than-average value, things can get complicated. This is known as a high asset divorce; it is also the type of divorce where most people choose to seek experienced legal support. 

Researching what types of options are available ahead of time is always better than simply showing up in court hoping to obtain a satisfactory outcome. Informed decisions and purposeful actions are keys to protecting one's interests and rights in a high asset divorce. Such divorces often carry business or tax implications. Involved parties may also face challenges regarding various domestic or off-shore bank accounts, retirement funds or real estate issues.  

Four ways to protect business interests during divorce

Any marital asset is generally subject to division during divorce. If one spouse is a business owner, this can mean the business is subject to division in the event of a divorce.

Can a business owner protect the business? Entrepreneurs can take proactive steps to better ensure the business survives the divorce. Four examples include:

  • Organize paperwork. Gather copies of business accounts. Ideally, this will show business accounts that are distinct from personal accounts. It is best if family finances were kept separate from business finances. If not, avoid any future borrowing from family accounts to fund business expenditures. Keep these as separate as possible. This can help to keep the business separated from the divorce proceedings.

Dear Professor Lex

I am involved in a case where an order was entered. The order was signed and approved by opposing counsel and me as to form and substance. Now opposing counsel has indicated to me that he is going to make a motion to set aside the order. Do you believe the order bars him from bringing the motion?

Aspects to cover when negotiating a child custody agreement

Making the decision to dissolve a marriage can be a daunting task, especially if the future of any children is a factor. Child custody can be one of the tougher aspects of divorce, and in some cases, may prove to be a highly contested topic. Fortunately, Michigan parents may be able to reduce the difficulty of the situation by focusing on what is important in a successful parenting plan prior to entering negotiations.

There may be a multitude of variables to evaluate when negotiating such an agreement. One factor to consider involves the age and scheduling needs of the kids, such as those pertaining to school and extra-curricular activities. The work schedule and physical location of each parent may also play a role in the process, and seeking an agreement that meets the needs of the children while allowing them ample access to each party may seem somewhat challenging.

Will my child's extracurriculars be covered by child support?

Through hard work and determination, you and your spouse have enjoyed a financially healthy marriage. Your children take part in a number of activities after school that cost a lot of time and money, but you are fortunate enough that you can afford it. Then it happened, your bread-winning spouse asked for a divorce. You may now be wondering how you will pay for all your child's extracurriculars on your now reduced income.

Divorce is difficult on children. Parents try to keep life going as close to normal for them, even though the family dynamic is changing. However, finances may take a hit when dividing one household into two. Thankfully, in Michigan and elsewhere, child support is there and available to help keep your kids doing what they like to do.

Seeking a modification to an existing child custody agreement

Change may be a part of everyday life, and having a plan in place that covers every possible scenario can be challenging. For parents who have an existing child custody agreement in place, a change in circumstances could prompt a need to revisit the arrangement and request a modification. Since this can be complex, a parent could benefit from speaking with a family law attorney in Michigan for assistance in navigating the process.

A parent might have attempted to cover every aspect when negotiating the original child custody agreement. However, accounting for possible scenarios such as a future change in employment can be difficult at best. A similar change could also spark a need for relocation, which can disrupt one's ability to comply with the terms of the current arrangement.

Preparing for the financial side of a high asset divorce

When facing the end of a marriage, many individuals may have concerns about how the outcome of the situation will affect their lives. Those who possess a considerable amount of assets may wish to safeguard their financial futures throughout this period, but they might be uncertain how best to approach the situation. When facing a high asset divorce, one could benefit from speaking with a family law attorney in Michigan for advice on the financial aspects of a similar process prior to entering negotiations.

While preparing for negotiations, a person may find it advisable to gain an understanding of marital finances. Regardless of one's level of involvement in this area in the past, practicing due diligence could prove crucial. Acquiring documentation of all marital assets may not only assist a person in obtaining the proper value of each in turn, but it could also prove invaluable in preparing him or her for subsequent negotiations.

Child custody: Behavior of parents could affect their kids

When considering divorce, an individual may have some level of concern regarding certain aspects of the process. For parents in Michigan, seeking to safeguard the future of their children by reaching a child custody agreement that is in keeping with their best interests could be imperative. Since a similar process can be stressful and daunting, parents may find it beneficial to consider how their actions and behavior during this period might affect their children.

Studies suggest that the end of a marriage could have a variety of affects on children, ranging anywhere from anxiety or depression to feelings of guilt or fault. Similar changes in behavior can impact everyday life, which could lead to a drop in performance in school or other activities. Although the news of divorce alone could have a similar effect on kids, studies also suggest that the behavior of the parents may have a substantial influence on how their children handle the situation.

Leaving emotions out of decisions concerning child custody

When facing the end of a marriage, many individuals may have concerns about how the outcome will affect their future, especially if kids are involved. Although parents in Michigan may have trouble seeing eye to eye during this time, they may both agree that the well-being of the kids is of the utmost importance. When facing a similar situation, parents may find it beneficial to focus on reaching a child custody agreement that is in keeping with the best interests of their kids.

It is no secret that divorce can be a stressful and daunting process. However, the outcome of the situation can have a substantial impact on the future of everyone involved, and making decisions based on current emotions could prove detrimental in various ways. Although it might be difficult, if parents can set aside their differences and focus on reaching a parenting plan centered around the needs of the children, the result could prove beneficial for all parties.

Valuation of assets and tax concerns in a high asset divorce

Dissolving a marriage is a major decision that can impact a person's life in various ways. The financial ramifications of a similar life event can be significant, regardless of one's monetary status. With a considerable amount of wealth, preparing for the future could be even more crucial, as an individual in Michigan may have a lot on the line during a high asset divorce.

There may be certain key factors to consider before negotiating property distribution, such as the value of each asset. While larger assets such as a home may seem appealing at the time, they may actually have less value than others. Since Michigan is an equitable distribution state, where the division of property must be fair, but doesn't necessarily have to be equal, understanding the value of assets could be crucial to pursuing the most favorable outcome possible during legal proceedings.

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