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Property

Bankruptcy and Divorce

Money is one of the biggest stressors in a marriage that can lead to a breakdown of the relationship.  Some couples come to the process with considerable debt.  It’s important to consider whether there are sufficient resources to pay down the debt so that each party can support themselves and the children with the resources […]

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Complete the Retirement Transfer Process Right After Your Divorce

I have written before about the need to get any Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) done quickly after the divorce is completed. A recent Michigan case invalidated a QDRO when wife waited until after her former husband’s death to submit the QDRO. In that case the QDRO attempted to divide the former husband’s pension.  The […]

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Preventing Credit Damage in Divorce

It is impossible to totally prevent credit damage if your former spouse has access to joint accounts once the divorce is imminent or has begun, unless your spouse is also committed to maintaining BOTH of your good credit. However, there are ways to minimize the risk of credit harm. 1. Obtain a credit report from […]

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Car Titles

Many of my clients own their cars jointly with their spouses. This is a huge liability problem whether you are married or are divorcing. The greatest source of potential liability for you is your car. Why? At what ever weight the vehicle has, when it’s moving at the speed we drive on roads, it becomes […]

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Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO’s)

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders provide an exception to the general rule that once you have deposited money into a retirement account, you cannot withdraw it or transfer it without incurring a penalty and paying taxes on the amount withdrawn or transferred. These are orders that are available in divorce cases, or incident to a divorce. […]

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Disinheriting Your Former Spouse

Many people think that disinheriting a former spouse means writing a new will. It can mean more than that. If you and your spouse have executed powers of attorney and medical durable powers of attorney that name each other, you may want to designate a new person to have authority over your finances or health […]

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Being a Financially Savvy Single

In a recent article, I described the steps you should take to secure your financial future before your financial your divorce. Now it is time to implement the plan. Hopefully, your attorney has sent you an instruction letter with your final judgment that lists the tasks that require your attention. We send a chart with […]

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Protecting Your Financial Future

It is important to know that the debt division that you agree upon in your settlement agreement or judgment of divorce is just between the parties. It does not bind your creditors. For example, if you owe $5,000 on a credit card that is in joint names, you can agree that wife will pay all […]

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Protecting Inheritances and Gifts that You Receive During Marriage or Bring into the Marriage

Gifts and Inheritances that you bring into the marriage or that you receive during the marriage are considered “separate property” in Michigan, provided that you can identify the assets and their source as being gifts or inheritance to you and that you keep them separate during the marriage.  In the event of a divorce, “separate […]

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Make Sure You Receive Retirement Benefits from Your Former Spouse

Incident to divorce or separate maintenance (legal separation in some states), it is possible to divide retirement benefits that one spouse earned as an employment benefit or saved in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)or other retirement savings, without making that division a taxable event.  For example, husband worked for an auto company during the marriage […]

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