HOLIDAY IN THE SUN – SUMMER VACATION

Ladies and gentleman, we did it. Another school year completed, another summer upon us. I have a piece of advice – be reasonable with your co-parent this summer. Your kids should enjoy a summer break and holiday with their other parent just like they should with you. Certainly, you should not be taken advantage of, but, try not to sweat the really small issues. Remember, if you give them a tough time about a summer holiday, break or vacation, they are going to do the same right back, creating a never ending, and, unnecessary cycle of pettiness and unpleasantness. If you have any questions about summer parenting time or other divorce issues, please contact us.

THE WRONG WAYS TO TRY TO LOWER SUPPORT PAYMENTS

Are you the payer of child and/or spousal support and wish your payment(s) were less and lower? Thinking about quitting or reducing your employment/working hours and that will do the trick? Not so quick. In Michigan, there is a legal principle called the imputation of income. Obviously, the Courts cannot force someone to physically go to work and make money. That said, the Court can calculate your income to an amount it believes is fair, reasonable and/or justified. For example, you make $100,000.00 per year and quit your job. If you go to Court saying I cannot pay support, the Court will say, “Too bad, if you don’t want to work at that job, thats on you, but, you don’t get to quit, not work and have an income of $0.” Similarly, if you elect to work less than you can/should, the court can impute you at a higher income for support calculation purposes. What does all of this mean? If you want to attempt to lower your support payments, speak with a family lawyer about (1) negotiating directly with your spouse or (2) assessing the filing and success of a Motion to Modify Support before the Court and the Friend of the Court. If you have any questions on this or any other divorce issue, please contact us today.

TAX DAY REMINDER – ADVICE FOR TAX FILERS FOLLOWING DIVORCE

We advise every Emmer Law PLC divorce client during the divorce, and, in writing in the final Judgment of Divorce, to seek advice and counsel from a tax professional or accountant. Emmer Law PLC and Attorney Max S. Emmer do not provide expert tax advice, and, always instruct clients to seek that out as there are significant changes to your tax returns, filings, statuses and credits upon divorce (especially with shared minor children). Should you have any questions, please contact us.

THE DONT’S OF SOCIAL MEDIA WHILE DIVORCING

For better or worse, we live in an era where social media in not just prevalent, it is ubiquitous. Despite many positives, social media, unfortunately, provides permanent evidence of what people do, say, feel, believe, and experience in their day-to-day lives. Often times, it is not mere rainbows, ice cream cones, and backyard soccer games.

Ideally, my clients would delete social media before they file for divorce, keep it inactive the entirety of the divorce proceeding, and, maybe reclaim their profiles a few years later. But, oh well.

If, after this, you feel compelled to continue actively using your social media profiles during your divorce, my professional and personal advice would be:

  1. DO NOT post any pictures, stories, tweets, or comments of you with other potential dates, romantic partners, paramours, or suitors.
  2. DO NOT post anything controversial (and, yes, for these purposes, we’re going old dinner party rules in leaving sex, religion, and politics in the don’t post silo).
  3. DO NOT post anything about your current spouse or the divorce. The only exception here is if you and your current spouse expressly agree to make a brief, joint post/announcement on social media to friends, family, and others. Nothing more.
  4. DO NOT post anything related to drinking (even social drinking), drugs or excessive partying or nighttime misadventures (even if legal).
  5. DO NOT post about your shared children in any way that could appear as slighting, boxing out, or in any way putting the children in the middle of the divorce.

Let me be clear – my advice is not meant to infringe upon your right to live your life freely and independently. It is, rather, to ensure you do not provide ammunition to your soon-to-be-ex and their attorney to make a mountain out of a mole hill for any little thing; I assure you they will be looking. This is also for the benefit of your children – do you want them (or their friends) seeing anything about you or your soon-to-be-ex regarding this private, sensitive, and ongoing family matter? Of course not.

Post something political – Your current spouse may argue you will try to radicalize/politicize the child.

Post with another man/woman – Your current spouse will say “Who is this? Were you with them during our marriage?” or “I can’t trust them with the kids, who knows who they even hang out with or bring around.”

Post something about your current spouse or the divorce they don’t like – Your current spouse and their lawyer will argue you are bad-mouthing and harming their reputation.

Post at 1:00AM holding drinks at a bar? Current spouse’s lawyer will argue you are more concerned with partying and being out than creating a suitable home life for your children.

Does all this sound far-fetched, ridiculous, or sensational? Welcome to the world of family law and divorce.

Living (or at least appearing to live) a private, uneventful life during your divorce will, I promise, save you from a great deal of headaches and scrutiny.

If you have any questions on this or any other family law and divorce issues, please contact us.

CO-PARENTING IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Does your ex let your minor child broadcast all day long on TikTok or Instagram and you don’t like it? Do you and your co-parent view social media usage for your kids differently? Well, then, you’re like many parents, including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Co-parents should strive to be on the same page when it comes to age appropriate social media usage. If you disagree, perhaps talk with a family therapist or co-parenting counselor. If that doesn’t work, you may have to go to Court if it is such a hot button issue. If you have any questions about this or any other family law issue, please contact us.

PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENTS

Ah yes, the ever romantic topic of Prenuptial Agreements! While people may have their personal views and distaste for prenups, they are important, useful documents and legal instruments. If you would like to discuss preparing a prenuptial agreement prior to your upcoming wedding, or, would like me to review a proposed agreement given to you by your prospective spouse, please contact us today.