Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Detroit Law Blog

How can we split our marital assets fairly?

Divorce brings many changes, not the least of which is determining how the marital property will be divided. Other than child custody matters, there is likely not another aspect of divorce that is quite as contentious.

Below are some suggestions for splitting the marital assets in a divorce.

What are your debt relief options?

When you're heavily in debt, it can be kind of like having a dark cloud hanging over your head every day. Getting rid of that debt is probably the No. 1 thing on your mind the majority of the time.

So, what are your options? Well, they vary depending on your circumstances.

Keeping employees from jumping ship during a company merger

When two companies merge, everybody gets nervous. That goes double (maybe even triple) for the employees of those companies because they are the ones who are often most directly affected by the changes, least prepared to make adjustments and most out-of-the-loop about what's actually happening.

So, how do you keep your good employees from jumping ship as fast as they can to find new employment (especially in an economy where jobs are currently plentiful)?

How do you find your spouse's hidden assets?

Trust is a terribly fragile thing, and it isn't uncommon for the trust a couple shares to be shattered completely on the way to a divorce. That can often leave one member of a couple wondering, "What is my spouse hiding?"

Frankly, it could be plenty. Some spouses are tremendously reluctant when it comes time to disclose all of their financial assets so that there can be a fair division of the marital property. While you can hire a forensic accountant and get your attorney's help to find some of the assets, it's also possible to track down a few things yourself.

Can bankruptcy help with tax debts?

If you've fallen behind on your taxes, can a bankruptcy help?

Many people erroneously believe that taxes can't be discharged through bankruptcy -- but that's untrue. While there are limitations on what you can do, bankruptcy may be a viable recourse for some people.

What do you do when an employee is drinking at work?

What do you do when you suspect that one of your employees is reaching for "liquid courage" throughout the day at work?

It's hardly surprising that employers frequently have to deal with on-the-job drinking by their employees. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, one out of every 12 adults abuses alcohol. Since a drunk employee exposes your company to professional and physical danger, you need to take action.

Choosing your child's guardian: What to consider

For parents, there's nothing more important in an estate plan than choosing a guardian for their minor children.

Naturally, you hope to live long enough to raise your own children. If an accident should happen, however, that claims your life and the life of your child's other parent, you need to be prepared. That means choosing a guardian for your children with care.

Mistakes you need to avoid when writing your will

You already know that getting your will together is really important in order to protect your family's future -- but it's also important not to rush yourself through the process once you've begun. If you rush, you're far too apt to make some serious mistakes.

What can happen if you make a mistake in your will? Well, some mistakes will invalidate your will entirely. Others will cause your wishes to be misinterpreted. Some mistakes may even be very expensive for your heirs -- which is also something you probably want to avoid.

Take care when hiring independent contractors for your business

In a nation where the "gig economy" has become the norm, independent contractors are all over -- and smart businesses are taking advantage of all the wonderful talent out there.

However, you do need to take care when you hire an independent contractor to work for your company. While there's a lot less paperwork involved than there is when you hire an actual employee, there are at least three important documents you don't want to skip:

Could you be overlooking important marital assets?

A lot of American women still tend to rely on their husbands to handle the family finances -- which can put women at a disadvantage if the marriage crumbles.

While spouses are supposed to disclose all their assets during the divorce proceedings so that there can be a fair division of the marital property, there are always a few spouses who are going to play loose and free with the rules. With that in mind, every divorcing woman (and man) should start thinking critically in order to identify potential forgotten assets in the marital pot, including:

  • Bank accounts, including accounts that were opened and maintained online
  • Real estate, including vacation property, timeshares and undeveloped land
  • Cars and other vehicles, including those used for recreation only
  • Life insurance policies, especially whole life and universal life plans that accrue value with time
  • Retirement plans, including 401(k) plans and others that are vested with a long-term employer or the military
  • Stocks held in any company, including restricted stock, online brokerage accounts and any deferred compensation a spouse may be due
  • Art collections, antiques (whether individual pieces or an entire collection), coin collections, stamp collections, wine collections, rare books and other valuable items that a spouse may have acquired during the course of a marriage
  • Cemetery plots and burial or funeral agreements, including pre-paid plans
  • Club memberships, including golf and country clubs
  • Intellectual property, including royalty rights, copyrights, patent and trademarks
  • Unpaid loans -- especially if there is a substantial likelihood that they'll eventually be repaid
  • Travel reward points and frequent flyer miles (which can add up to considerable amounts of money)
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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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