Faupel Musser Love, P.C.

Ann Arbor Legal Issues Blog

Skipping college increases the odds of divorce

You probably did not think about divorce when deciding if you should go to college or not. You considered your career, the financial impact and a lot of other factors. You may not even have been married yet, so you definitely were not worrying about the end of that marriage.

However, studies have found that going to college -- or skipping it -- can have a massive impact on the odds of divorce.

Stepparents can adopt stepkids in Michigan in certain situations

When you fall in love with and marry someone who already has children, that usually means the children become a part of your life as well. In the vast majority of cases, your role as stepparent will be to provide your spouse with practical and financial support in raising the children.

You may need to familiarize yourself with the terms of the parenting plan if the other parent still has shared custody or visitation rights.

Proving that you deserve sole custody of your child isn't easy

Parents who question their ex's ability to raise their child may decide to wage a custody battle in hopes of being awarded more parenting time. Those who decide to do this often ask what it takes for a judge to decide to award increased custody to them as opposed to their ex.

While the factors that a family law judge considers vary by jurisdiction, every judge is expected to make decisions that are always in the best interest of the child.

Qualifications you must meet to receive a K-1 fiance visa

The growth in the use of the internet, even in some of the most remote places in the world, has made it easier for singles looking for love to meet others, even if both parties are separated by thousands of miles. This has led to an uptick in applications for K-1, also known as "fiance visas" in recent years in the United States.

A K-1 is a type of nonimmigrant visa that those individuals slated to marry United States citizens can apply for. Once their application is approved, the foreign-born fiance of the American citizen sponsor has 90 days to marry once they arrive in the U.S.

A Detroit judge upholds an adoption discrimination case

On Sept. 14, a Detroit judge decided against dismissing an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit that had been filed in federal court earlier this year. In the plaintiff's filing, they allege that Michigan's public child welfare purposely discriminates against those involved in same-sex relationships and individuals on religious grounds.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs had previously petitioned the judge in the case to bar state officials from publicly funding or contracting with private placement agencies that were against placing foster or adopted children with same-sex couples. They'd also petitioned him to order that state-funded placement agencies treat homosexuals and heterosexuals equally.

How can I get my groove back after my divorce?

If you're an Ann Arbor woman who is struggling to move forward after your divorce is finalized, the future may appear unnaturally bleak. This is particularly true when the divorce was unwanted.

However, even when you were the one who filed (or at least agreed that you needed to split), feelings of regret and uncertainty are common.

Child custody concerns: When could a parent lose custody?

Michigan family law courts will always make decisions that are in the best interest of the children involved. Usually, in the case of a divorce, the best interest of the child involves him or her being able to spend as much time as possible with both parents. For this reason, courts will almost always award joint legal custody -- and, in many cases, joint physical custody -- to both parents.

At the very least, even if the child lives full time with the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent will receive joint legal custody so he or she can play a role in making important decisions about the child's life, in addition to having regular and frequent visitations rights. It's only in rare circumstances that a biological parent would lose all of these parental rights. Nevertheless, it can happen.

The new alimony law may provide a tax break for paying spouses

When President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law a few months ago, it made it where come Jan. 1, 2019, alimony will no longer be able to be taken as a deduction on a paying spouse's taxes. It also made it where the recipient wouldn't have to pay taxes on those funds anymore either. What many haven't heard about though is how the new law allows paying spouses to continue taking a tax break.

In the past, the spouse responsible for making alimony payments has been able to take a deduction for them provided that they'd paid in cash. When the new law goes into effect, though, paying spouses will be able to instead transfer funds directly from their retirement accounts. Many see this as a potential upside to the new law.

Could 'bird's nest custody' work for you?

When Michigan parents divorce, they must make some hard choices about the custody of their children and where all parties will live once the split is final. The family law courts tend to prefer co-parenting arrangements unless there are mitigating factors that would make this untenable.

But not all kids adapt well to a life of shuttling between their parents' homes. This is especially true for kids with special needs. Those on the autism spectrum typically struggle with transitions anyway, and having to switch homes on a regular basis may prove too difficult for them, especially when they are young.

Child custody, living situations and factors the court considers

When seeking custody of your children in a divorce case, the court is going to carefully consider a lot of different factors to decide what is in the best interests of the children. Parents are naturally biased. While the court does want to keep families together and both parents involved, the children's best interests must come first.

One thing that the court considers is the living situation itself. Factors that play into this decision include:

  • How much privacy the child can have. This is especially important for older children and teens.
  • How many other children are living in the house. This can be important when divorced parents have children from other relationships who share their homes.
  • The gender of the child. This is related to the privacy issue, especially when the gender of the child and the parent are different.
  • The child's age. Young children typically need far less space than older children.
  • The parents' financial situations. Are you able to care for the children and provide for them? Can you give them a stable home life and meet their needs? Money isn't everything, but it does have an impact.
  • The parents' health. Some parents are not in good physical condition and may have trouble caring for a child. This can make a difference in where the child lives most of the time.

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When you are facing a difficult legal situation, turn to Faupel Musser Love, P.C. For a free initial 15-minute phone consultation, call 734-881-9484 or to schedule an in-office appointment, contact us online.

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