Robert D. Paulbeck, Attorney at Law
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Trenton Legal Issues Blog

Under what circumstances can Michigan parenting time be modified?

One of the first steps parents in Trenton take after deciding to end their marriage is to have a Michigan judge enter a temporary custody order in their case. A mom or dad who isn't awarded primary custody of their son or daughter is referred to as the non-custodial parent. How much parenting time they'll be given with their child depends on a variety of factors.

If the non-custodial parent fails to obey a parenting time order, then the primary custodian can submit a written petition to the Friend of the Court asking for enforcement. It may be possible for the non-custodial parent to make up their missed parenting time. Alternately, mediation sessions may be scheduled to resolve differences in opinion.

Odds of divorce go up with these risk factors

Wondering what the odds are that you'll get divorced? It's impossible to pin them down exactly, of course. While many people are fond of saying that half of all marriages end in divorce, this does not take into account the many different factors that impact every unique relationship. It's not as simple as saying that one out of every two couples will split up.

What we can do, however, is take a look at some of the most common risk factors for divorce. These things make your odds of divorce higher than they would be otherwise. While that still doesn't give you a specific number, at least you know that it's more or less likely based on your personal life and experiences. Some risk factors include:

  • You were very young -- 18 years old, for instance -- when you got married.
  • You and your spouse have different drinking habits or other addictions.
  • Your parents and/or your spouse's parents got divorced.
  • Your wedding cost more than $20,000.
  • You had a baby together right after you got married or even before the marriage.
  • You have a relatively low level of education, e.g., no college degree.
  • This is not your first marriage and you already ended things with a former spouse before you and your current spouse decided to tie the knot.

Young people who won't get an inheritance still expect one

Not everyone gets an inheritance. However, many people expect their parents to leave them something. What is perhaps most concerning is that more children expect an inheritance than the number of parents who expect to give them one.

In one study, millennials were asked if they thought their parents would have an inheritance to leave them. The majority -- 68 percent -- said that they did. However, when their parents were asked if they expected to leave behind financial assets for those children, a mere 40 percent said they did. The majority of parents will not leave an inheritance to children who probably expect to get one.

When is it better to walk away from an affordable house?

Looking for the right home is not easy. There are many factors to consider beyond your wish list. Among these is finding a great home at a price within your budget. It is not out of the question to find a really good deal on a house you love. However, it is prudent to be aware that a good deal may not be as good as it looks.

The selling price of a Michigan home determines its mortgage payments and influences the property taxes you will pay in the future. While it may be tempting to jump at the chance of buying a low-priced home that you love, you can save yourself long-term grief by looking for signs that it's too good to be true.

Social Security Administration may start watching social media

Americans have an ongoing love affair with social media -- and it has become normal for many people to post regular updates about their lives on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Well, now, Uncle Sam -- in the form of the Social Security Administration (SSA) -- would like to take an unfettered peek at what you post. That way, they can use your posts in order to weigh the veracity of your disability claims.

What details should I include in my will?

Adults often hear that they should have a will. Many people know that it's important to have one. They understand that it ensures that their assets are passed on seamlessly to their heirs. What few people know though is exactly what details are needed to ensure that the process goes off without a hitch. This is why, if you contact a clerk of court in Trenton, they'll always advise you to seek legal counsel for guidance.

One of the first decisions that you'll need to make before youdraft your will is choose whom your executor or personal representative will be. Whomever you pick, the person needs to be someone whom you can trust. They'll be responsible for paying your final expenses and creditors, filing your last tax return and distributing your assets to your heirs.

3 steps for uncovering hidden assets in your divorce

If you have the feeling that your ex-spouse is hiding assets from you during your divorce process, you might be correct. The truth is, hiding assets is unlawful, but it's also fairly common. If you suspect that the hidden assets exceed $500 or $1,000, you might want to expend some of your resources to look deeper into the matter.

Here are three general steps that divorce attorneys and forensic accountants use to investigate hidden assets:

Divorce: The danger of trying too hard to make the kids like you

One issue that many parents run into during or after a divorce is that they become obsessed with trying to make their own children like them.

In some cases, they want the kids to like them more than their ex. In other cases, the children do not cope with the divorce well and they blame their parents, who then work twice as hard to win back their affection.

What happens when the SSA reviews your disability case?

If you are unable to work due to a disabling medical condition, mental illness or injury, you could be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. However, once you have these benefits, it may come as a surprise to you to learn that you do not have a guarantee that you can keep them forever. The SSA does, on occasion, go through and evaluate the cases of people currently receiving benefits.

According to Social Security laws, the SSA will review your case at some point in the future. It is helpful to learn what they look at when reviewing cases. As with all matters relating to disability issues, you may want to seek guidance to get the accurate information you need regarding your ongoing eligibility.

Doctor's orders and Social Security Disability claims

Are you closely following your doctor's orders? Are you taking all your medication? Are you going to your follow-up appointments on time? Are you working on losing some weight, as per your doctor's instructions?

If not, you could be putting your Social Security Disability (SSD) claim in danger. Not following doctor's orders is one of the top reasons that people see denials of their claims. In Social Security's logic, if you aren't doing everything you can to correct your own condition, you're essentially "creating" a disability that isn't real.