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Divorce laws vary by state, so consult a local attorney

As our regular readers know, divorce law varies from state to state. Because of this, big issues like property division, child support and alimony, can vary depending on where a couple files for divorce.

One issue that is determined by the state papers are filed in is when assets are classified as material. Depending on where one files, the cutoff date for accumulation of marital assets could be the filing date, the date the divorce is final, or some other date.

The state of filing also determines who has the right to inherited property. Generally, inheritances are considered separate property, and so are not subject to equitable distribution or equal division. State law does determine, though, how an inheritance is treated once it is shared by spouses. The term usually used for this is "commingling," and states have varied rules in this area.

Determination of child support also varies by state law. Some states focus on the non-residential parent's net income, while others focus on the non-residential parent's income and the number of overnights that parent has with the child. Each state defines its own way of making these determinations.

State law can also determine who pays the legal fees associated with a divorce, and whether college tuition can be ordered to be shared by parents. These rules, again, will vary by state though.

Michigan, like every other state, has its own way of making these and other determinations in divorce proceedings. Michigan readers who are considering divorce should speak with a family law attorney to get their questions answered and seek guidance about the process involved in getting a divorce.

Source: Fox Business, "How State Differ on Divorce Laws," Cindy Vanegas, May 7, 2012.

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