Sunday, March 25, 2012

Providing for Your Children’s College Education in your Divorce Judgment

By: Carole L. Chiamp

An often asked question in divorce is how college education of the children should be handled.

In Michigan, child support ends when your child attains the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever is later, but in no event beyond his/her age 19 1/2. There is no Michigan law which requires a party to pay for college for his/her child

There is law which allows parents to agree, but not be compelled, to pay for college. That law is MCL 552.605b which provides in part:

(5) A provision contained in a judgment or an order entered under this act before, on, or after September 30, 2001 that provides for the support of a child after the child reaches 18 years of age is valid and enforceable if 1 or more of the following apply:

(a) The provision is contained in the judgment or order by agreement of the parties as stated in the judgment or order;

(b) The provision is contained in the judgment or order by agreement of the parties as evidenced by the approval of the substance of the judgment or order by the parties or their attorneys;

(c) The provision is contained in the judgment or order by oral agreement of the parties as stated on the record by the parties or their attorneys.

The Michigan courts over the years has dealt with this issue and held that agreements, when made voluntarily and incorporated into the judgment of divorce, will be enforced.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Divorcing? You Need to Find all Hidden Sources of Income

By: Carole L. Chiamp

Some family law practitioners have learned to look for unusual assets for division in divorce, such as frequent flier miles, country club memberships, season tickets to sporting events, accrued vacation and sick time benefits.

Family law practitioners should also be sure that all income is found for purposes of spousal and child support. As clients, you should be sure to advise your attorney about any possible income, other than the obvious wages.

Discovery should include income which is not listed on the 1040 tax statement. That might include the following types of income:

● Employer’s contribution to a tax-deferred savings plan;

● Interest and dividend income which is re-invested but not received;

● Social security benefits;

● Veteran’s benefits and fringe benefits;

● Lottery winnings, gambling winnings, prizes;

● Retained earnings of a closed corporation and depreciation on equipment which should be added back to income;

● Employment fringe benefits, such as use of a car, entertainment expenses, housing and health care;

● Inappropriate business expenses which should be added to income;

● Certain voluntary contributions to pension or 401k over the amount allowed by Michigan child support guidelines;

● Imputed income, such as an amount a spouse’s income is diminished but for his/her refusal to work or work full-time.

Only when all sources of income are on the table can you be sure that support is properly calculated.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Announcing Breitmeyer Cushman PLLC

Carol F. Breitmeyer and Kathryn M. Cushman are pleased to announce the opening of their new firm, Breitmeyer Cushman PLLC, focusing primarily on family law and attendant matters. Please visit our website at for more information.

We have offices in Detroit and Bloomfield Hills:

Wayne County
607 Shelby Street
Suite 550
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-4600
(313) 962-3600 fax

Oakland County
40900 Woodward Avenue
Suite 111
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(248) 723-3975

Please contact us for more information!