Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Detroit Law Blog

Do men or women live longer?

Doing your estate planning often means considering who will be the surviving spouse, what that means for the transfer of assets and the need for medical care, and how the assets will then get passed on to the rest of the family when the surviving spouse eventually passes away as well.

So, if you are in an opposite-sex marriage, who is likely to be that surviving spouse, the husband or the wife? What does that mean for your planning and the administration of your estate?

Parenting conflicts might be difficult to resolve

Situations that come up during the child custody process aren't always easy to handle. You and your ex will usually have to figure out how to come to an agreement. This might be complicated because the chance of you agreeing on everything is slim. Instead, there will likely be compromises and negotiations that take place to come to an understanding.

One way that you might be able to take some of the stress out of the situation is to keep an open mind about the options that are available. The creative solutions that are sometimes used for custody matters have to take your child's needs into account. When we can figure out what is in the child's best interests, we can get the matter handled.

Choose the best business structure for your situation

One of the primary decisions you have to make when you are starting a business is what type of business structure you will use. This is determined largely by whether you have any co-owners and whether you are planning on hiring employees. There is also the matter of what type of protection you might need for your personal assets. We are here to help you review the possible structures so you can choose the one that meets your needs.

For people who are going to do business on their own and don't have much risk to their personal assets, a sole proprietorship might be the best option. Typically, there aren't any fees that come with this structure. Depending on the type of business you have, there might be licensing fees or something similar to pay.

Areas of divorce for you to consider

There are several points that have to be determined before a divorce can be finalized. While some of these might be present in your case, others might not. In most of these cases, you and your ex can work together to negotiate the terms of each area.

The primary exception to this is child support. If you have children, the support payments are determined by a formula predetermined by the state. Other areas you might have to consider include:

  • Alimony: Spousal support payments can be negotiated during the divorce. Remember that these aren't automatic, so they won't apply to all cases. If you are able to work something out, you need to set the terms as clearly as possible.
  • Child custody: If you have children together, you have to come to terms for them. This should include things like a parenting time schedule, decision-making powers and any other terms that you and your ex agree on. Include as much information as you can in the parenting agreement so there aren't conflicts about them later.
  • Property division: All of the assets that you and your ex have amassed have to be split. This can be a challenging process, but remember to think about how various arrangements will impact your future. You also have to split up marital debts during this part of the process. If you have a prenuptial agreement, you will likely have the terms for property division listed there.

Differences exist between bankruptcy chapters

If there ever comes a point in which you realize that you are drowning in debt, you have to figure out what you are going to do about it. You have a few options here. You can ignore the fact that you owe money and continue on with your life, but this might come with suffocating collection attempts by the creditors. You can struggle to make the minimum payments and seemingly never make it out of the deep hole of debt. You can file for bankruptcy and walk away at the end with a fresh financial start.

If that last option sounds refreshing, remember that filing for this protection isn't without some decisions and sacrifices. One of the first things you will have to determine is what type of bankruptcy you need to file. Consumers usually file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, depending on their circumstances and needs.

Property division matters require carefully planning

When you are trying to divide assets during a divorce, you might come across some significant challenges. These will likely stem around the valuation of assets like retirement and investment portfolios. It is imperative that you have them valuated so that you can use the appropriate information during the division process. We know that this might seem like a big undertaking, but it is one that must be done, or you might make errors during the property division process.

As you take the value of the assets into account, consider what keeping them means. If they come with upkeep costs or if you will incur a penalty when you need to use the asset, you might not need to hang on to it. This can add another layer of complexity to the property division process.

Beware of behavior issues in children during divorce

A parent's divorce is a big adjustment for children. Going through a divorce can sometimes lead to kids acting out in uncommon ways. Trying to figure out what is going on and helping kids through their issues can be challenging for parents, but the kids need parental love and support now more than ever.

The way that divorce impacts children depends on the kids and the circumstances. A few things that parents should watch for are depression and aggression. These issues must be addressed right away because ignoring them can have dire consequences.

Estate planning: A positive start to 2019

The new year is a time when people want to make positive changes to their lives. One that isn't thought of often but that should be is estate planning. Having your affairs in order when you pass away is one of the best things that you can do for your family members. Additionally, you will likely find that you feel more secure and at peace knowing that they are taken care of when you are gone.

There are many things to consider when you are planning your estate. For most of these, including your will, living will, powers of attorney, guardianship and revocable trusts, you need to think about what happens if you die now. These can all be changed in the future, so you can adjust them as the situation warrants.

Think about what changes you need to make in custody for 2019

As the holidays approach, you are probably focused on making the season as special as you can for your children. There is one thing that you can do right now to help your children thrive in the upcoming year — review your child custody order to ensure that it still meets your child's needs. Handling these matters early is usually best, as it affords you the time to implement changes.

When you review the order, you can start to plan for 2019. Get your calendar out and write down the days that you will have your children with you. This can help you know what plans you will need to make. You can also figure out when you will take a vacation this year, if one is in the works.

Can bankruptcy help you with your finances in 2019?

The holidays are a tough time for many people, not only because of the emotional toll they can take but also because of the financial impact. Some people decide that they want to start January off with a fresh financial picture. If you are drowning in debt, you might be considering bankruptcy.

We know that you have probably been responsible with your money. The trouble that many people realize is that medical bills and other unexpected life events can trigger effects that make it hard to crawl out of the massive debt they have. Filing for bankruptcy might help you get your finances under control.

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Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.
1460 Walton Blvd , Suite 102
Rochester Hills, MI 48309

Toll Free: 877-600-7891
Phone: 248-218-1473
Fax: 248-650-5368
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