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November 2016 Archives

Unnmarried couples should consider contracts and estate planning

Even unmarried couples may benefit from the counsel of a family law attorney. Specifically, an increasing number of Americans in intimate relationships are choosing to live together, rather getting married. According to data from the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau, over 15 million Americans are involved in live-in relationships. That translates to about 6.5 percent of Americans over the age of 18.

Creating a co-parenting plan for divorced couples

Divorce can be a stressful process even for couples who want to maintain a modicum of good will. In particular, the children of a marriage in the process of ending often struggle with natural feelings of anxiety about what their futures will entail. One idea to make the process smoother, to reassure the children that they are still loved, to make the process of child rearing predictable and to minimize conflict, is to create a co-parenting plan.

You need to make an estate plan to prevent intestate succession

According to a recent estimate, over half of Michigan’s residents have no estate plan in place. Thinking about the transfer of assets in one’s estate can be a daunting task, to be sure. Some may not want to think about estate planning until they reach retirement age. Yet such procrastination is missing an important point: State law provides default rules for individuals who die intestate, which is the legal term for not having a will.

Must you be the primary caregiver to have joint legal custody?

Family law courts recognize the important contributions provided by each parent in a child’s life. For that reason, many courts may presume that divorcing parents will have joint legal custody. Under that approach, decisions involving big events or issues in a child’s life must be made jointly.

QDROs: a valuable tool for dividing retirement plans in divorce

Intangible assets, like retirement accounts, may be easier to overlook in a divorce than real property or other tangible property items. Yet by one commentator’s estimate, they constitute the second largest asset category in divorces, after real estate. For that reason, it is important not to overlook 401(k) plans, pensions, and other retirement assets when discussing property division in a divorce.

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