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

Dealing with back-to-school time as a divorced parent

Back-to-school time is hectic for all parents. However, if this is the first fall since your separation or divorce, it can be particularly challenging.

If you haven't yet finalized your custody and visitation arrangements, now is a good time to do that. If you have, it's important to stick to the parenting plan you agreed to.

What does estate planning help you accomplish?

As Michigan readers know, estate planning is a beneficial step for every person, no matter the size or value of his or her estate. However, many people fail to take this step because they believe they are too young or not wealthy enough to justify this effort. No matter your age, income, assets or health, there are certain things you can accomplish with a thoughtful and carefully drafted estate plan.

The basic goal of any estate plan is to decide what will happen to a person's wealth and assets after his or her death. However, there are many other things you can do through your estate plan, from planning for the care of your pets to deciding what type of health care you may want. If you do not have a plan, it is beneficial to learn more about why you should take this step.

An executor of an estate has many responsibilities

Most times before an individual appoints someone as executor of their estate, they'll consult with them to let them know of such before they do so. Just because someone selects you to be their personal representative, though, it doesn't mean that you'll know what your responsibilities are when you're called upon to exercise them.

In most cases, it's only in those instances in which a person has served as an executor before or works as a financial planner or attorney that they actually understand what's expected of them in this role. For everyone else, it's a bit of a learning process.

Appealing a divorce decree is not easily done

For many, the phrase "divorce decree" sounds resolute. Just by hearing those words, many may would conclude that once a judge's order is put into place and that no changes to the settlement could be made.

However, this is far from the case. There are many changes in circumstances that may warrant making modifications to a divorce order. There are two primary methods for seeking changes to a divorce order.

Detroit metro home values on quickly increasing

A recent report published by ATTOM Data Solutions reflects that the current home appreciation rate is currently the lowest it's been since the second quarter of 2016. Their data shows that during this year's second quarter, homes in the United States have been selling for $255,000 on average. This marks a 6.3 percent increase over what it was last year at this same time.

Real estate analysts insist that even despite declining home values across the country, we're still living in a market where sellers can call the shots. A decline in home appreciation rates and an increase in mortgage rates has been met with some skepticism from buyers, though.

There are many reasons that your disability claim may be rejected

The Social Security Administration (SSA) receives countless applications from individuals requesting disability benefits each year. Of those that they receive, though, as little as one-third of claims are accepted. When appealed, an even higher percentage are rejected, even in cases where evidence of a permanent disability is clear.

There are many reasons that these claims are rejected. One of perhaps the most common reasons is because the applicant earns too much to qualify.

Detroit is stopped from foreclosing on homes with unpaid taxes

A class action lawsuit, which had been previously filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against both Wayne County and the City of Detroit, was settled on July 3. Upon its signing, Wayne County homeowners who'd failed to pay property taxes would longer be in peril of losing their homes to foreclosure anymore.

As part of the settlement, homeowners who are in the rears on property taxes will now be able to pursue one of three different options to save their homes from foreclosure.

Do you understand the basics of guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal tool available in some situations to allow for the protection and well-being of another person. A guardian would act in the best interests of a person who is either too young or incapable of making important decisions independently. Either a court can appoint a guardian or estate planning documents, particularly a will, can name a person to be a guardian.

This is a common way for Michigan parents to plan for the care and protection of their children in case they pass away unexpectedly. However, it may be appropriate to seek guardianship or work to appoint a specific person as guardian as a loved one in other situations. A guardian will have certain responsibilities and rights.

More disability payment recipients are returning to work

Data recently published by Statistica shows that the United States' unemployment rate is currently the lowest that it's been in years at right around 4 percent. This low of an unemployment rate would usually make it difficult for business owners to find employees to fill their vacancies.

One type of worker that may benefit from this low unemployment rate are those with disabilities. Currently, they only occupy 3.2 percent of all positions in the country. In 2016, their unemployment rate was just over 10 percent, more than double that of the general population.

Michigan's Attorney General says $250M in child support collected

On June 20, Michigan's Attorney General announced that he and his office have now successfully recovered $252,567,153 in child support from deadbeat parents during the past 15 years. The state's Child Support Division was founded in 2003.

The Attorney General commented that every parent is obligated under state law to support their children the best that they can. He also volunteered that he sees it as his department's responsibility to hold parents who are capable of paying accountable for doing so.