Month: March 2015

ORGANIZING INFORMATION FOR A DIVORCE

The divorce process can often feel cumbersome for couples in Michigan. There are many logistics to work through, especially during a property division, and information that must be provided. This is the case whether a settlement is achieved via litigation or through the less-adversarial collaborative divorce approach. Before embarking upon a divorce or at the very beginning of the process, it can be helpful to know what types of data will be required and work to get it together up front.

For starters, collecting all information that provides details about the income of both spouses is important. This can include pay stubs, W-2s, 1099s or tax returns. The exact documentation required can vary based upon self-employment and other factors. Itemization of expenses, especially those related to any children will be required such as costs for tuition, childcare and extracurricular activities. Gathering information for the cost of health insurance and any other out-of-pocket medical expenses should be part of the preparation process.

From there, couples should be able to offer details about all assets and debts. The valuation of any retirement plans or other investments needs to be available. For homes or other real estate owned by a couple, tax statements and mortgage statements are among the basic information that will be requested. Whether or not down payment amounts were funded by separate or marital property will also come into play during the settlement process.

The lawyers at Quist Law Firm PLLC have extensive experience with divorce preparation and settlements and understand what information people must provide during the process.

WHAT TYPES OF GUARDIANSHIPS FOR MINORS DOES MICHIGAN LAW PROVIDE?

A legal guardianship can protect the health and welfare of a minor when parents are unable to do so for various reasons. The State of Michigan’s published Child Welfare Law document outlines the different types of guardianships for minor children. Understanding some of the parameters of these different forms of guardianships is important for anyone looking to help a child or children in this way.

Many people commonly assume that when a person has guardianship of a child, the parental rights have been terminated. That is not necessarily so in all cases. A limited guardianship, for example, simply suspends parental rights. It also requires the consent of the parent or parents. In a limited guardianship, a placement plan is created that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the guardian and the parent. This includes visitation time, financial arrangements and more.

A general guardianship is more broad-reaching and can be granted when parental rights have been terminated. It can be obtained without the consent of the parent or parents of the children involved. Parents, relatives, friends and even personnel from the state Department of Human Services can petition for a general guardianship. Child support and parenting time can be part of these situations.

Probate courts can provide temporary guardianship for periods of up to six months. A child in need of urgent healthcare could be reason for this form of guardianship to be established. This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about the types of guardianships available for minors under Michigan law.