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Do I qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? One of the main factors in determining whether or not an individual qualifies for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is whether your household income is under the median family income amount.

For cases filed on or after November 1, 2017 in Michigan, the following are the median incomes by family size:

1 earner: $48,626

Getting divorced at any age creates profound stress and uncertainty. However, this is even more so for older individuals. There are several considerations to help prepare yourself from financial pitfalls.

1.) Create an inventory of all assets, before meeting with your attorney. You should know how each asset is titled (jointly or individually).

2.) Be mindful of past employment and any pension or stock options that you may have.

Once your divorce is final with the Court, there are several things you should do to wrap up any lose ends. Below is a checklist of some post-divorce issues you may encounter:

1.) Look after your credit. Cancel joint credit cards, and ensure that you are aware of all of your old and new obligations.

2.) Update your estate plan. Ensure that you have removed your ex-spouse from your Will, Trust, and Powers of Attorney – both as a fiduciary and as a beneficiary.

What does your auto insurance policy get you?

Many people buy auto insurance because they have to, not because they want it. However, knowing what you are paying for is important to understanding if what you have actually meets your needs. It is important that you understand that portion of your policy that is no-fault and that portion of your policy that is not.

There are certain benefits you get from your own insurance company, without regard to fault. You are entitled to these benefits even if you only have PLPD or no collision coverage. These benefits are no-fault benefits. If you are injured in the auto accident, you are entitled to have all your medical bills paid. If you are unable to work, you are entitled to have 85% of your wage-loss paid for up to three years.

How to reconcile the valuation of a business, its potential equity distribution, and support obligations.

If you are a business owner, you want to ensure that your spouse is not able to “double dip” in receiving part of the business, and spousal support based upon your income. This would allow your spouse to receive double recovery on one asset.

Related Posts: Cases in the news: Bonk v. Bonk, Ways to manage financial pitfalls during late-in-life divorce, Same-sex marriage ban, Deciding where to live after divorce

The Hawaii Supreme Court is listening to arguments in a significant LGBTQ case, involving legal parenthood. The case involves a lesbian couple, where one of the women sought out a sperm donor and became pregnant while the other woman was deployed in the military. Upon returning from deployment, the non-pregnant spouse filed for divorce. The child was born before the divorce was finalized.

As a general family law principle, when a married woman gives birth to a child, the birth mother and spouse are presumed to be the child’s parents. A presumption that can be rebutted. In this case, the spouse argued that there was no way she could have been the child’s biological parent. The family court denied the spouse the right to sever her parental obligations. The spouse is claiming that the standards of presumed parentage do not apply to same-sex couples; however, to adopt such a view would be at odds with the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which set precedent that states cannot impose different terms and conditions on marriages between same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

Related Posts: Cases in the news: Bonk v. Bonk, Ways to manage financial pitfalls during late-in-life divorce, Same-sex marriage ban, Deciding where to live after divorce

The new tax overhaul will remove a 75-year-old tax deduction for alimony payments. The new rule will not affect anyone who divorces prior to 2019; however, it will certainly change divorce negotiations.

What’s changing? Currently, the spouse paying alimony can deduct it from their taxes and the spouse receiving the alimony pays taxes on it. The idea is that the payer is generally in a higher tax bracket. Thus, with the alimony deduction, they are paying less tax. The payee is generally in a lower tax bracket, and pays less tax on the income received. The current setup preserves more money amongst the ex-spouses. The new rules will result in alimony recipients receiving 10-15% less than what they would receive under the current law, and more money to be paid in taxes.

For more information on the consequences of the tax changes, contact SMDA, PC at (586) 264-3756.

While the overall divorce rate is decreasing, the divorce rate for people over the age of 50 has increased from 1 in 10 to 1 in 4.

MarketWatch created a checklist to help mitigate the financial risk associated with divorce over age 50. Below is a list of items to consider, prior to filing for divorce:

1.) The family home. Should either party keep the home, can one person alone take care of the costs and potential repairs?

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