I pay about $3,000 in child support each month and my oldest just started college. I pay $1,000 per month to the school toward tuition and room and board. Can I deduct this payment from the child support and pay only $2000?

In Michigan, the answer is no in most cases. Because the Court does not have jurisdiction to order you to pay college tuition (except in very rare circumstances) the Court cannot give you credit for college tuition paid against child support. The same is true for other types of expenditures for the kids, i.e. clothing… Read More »

My father and mother owned a home for over thirty years. My father died two years ago and my mother is in the nursing home. Can the State take her home after she dies?

If your mother’s care is being paid for by Medicaid, then the answer is “yes”, the State may request reimbursement against your mother’s home after she dies. This is because of a law known as “Estate Recovery”.  Estate Recovery means that the State may seek reimbursement from your mother’s estate for the money the State… Read More »

We will be moving my father into a nursing home in February. The cost of the nursing home is about $7,500 per month. I have heard there are ways to “spend down” his assets and then apply for Medicaid for his nursing home care. Is that true?

Yes, there are legal ways to do “Medicaid planning” and spend down your father’s assets.  For example, you may be able to buy a car, or you may pay for anything else if it benefits your father.  To name a few (there are more), you can buy clothing, furnishings, entertainment, a prepaid funeral contract, extra… Read More »

Will I have to pay Alimony? I have a fairly short term marriage (3 years), no kids but I make a lot more than my wife. I am not sure how to plan.

There are a number of different factors used to determine whether alimony (referred to as spousal support) should be considered. Length of marriage, difference in income, education of parties, special needs of the parties, earning potential and history, fault and other factors are all considered. You will need to provide more information to determine the… Read More »

My husband has dementia and he recently fell and broke his hip. The doctors say he needs 24/7 care. We have a home and some modest savings, and he has a large IRA that he rolled over from work when he retired. Can you let me know what my options are if he is in a nursing home?

You have some good options.  Two major things you should know:  (1) we can protect your home and savings; and (2) there is a recent change in the Medicaid rules that allows specific protections for IRAs.  This type of legal planning is complicated, but when done properly you can protect all of your family’s assets… Read More »

I was awarded money, plus interest, in my Judgment of Divorce. The Judgment was finalized some years ago. My ex has paid very little and still owes me most of that money. I was told I only have a limited amount of time to go to Court to enforce the Judgment and make my ex pay. Is this true?

YES! It is true that a Judgment of Divorce must be enforced within a specific time period. The “Statute of Limitations” bars legal action after a certain amount of time. For example, in most personal injury cases you have 3 years to sue and in most contracts cases you have 6 years to sue. To… Read More »

My father is 81 and was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s. He is still okay but I can tell his memory is starting to get worse. My mother also has health issues and can take care of him now, but I can see a time in the near future where she won’t be able to take care of him 24/7. Is there any special planning they need to do?

Yes, you should make sure both your parents have a written estate plan in place that covers incapacity and transfer of their assets after they are gone. This is generally going to be a Durable Power of Attorney (for handling finances), a Patient Advocate Designation (for carrying out medical wishes), and a Will or Living… Read More »

My husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. I am fine taking care of him at home right now, but I understand the disease can progress to the point where he may need 24/7 care. Is there any way to plan ahead of time to protect our home and what we have saved over the years in case he needs nursing home care in the future?

Yes, there are ways to plan ahead of time and, in fact, you should plan as early as possible when you are faced with a progressive brain disease like Parkinson’s (or dementia or Alzheimer’s).  If you start early, we can set aside certain assets in a special trust to make sure they are protected.  Because… Read More »

Can I Get My Prior Criminal Conviction Expunged?

The laws regarding the setting aside (expungement) of convictions can be complicated. Either felony or misdemeanor convictions may be set aside depending on the extent of your criminal record. Even if your conviction was deferred or dismissed by statute, it may still be considered a part of your criminal record and it may still result… Read More »