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Mark R Petersen

Mark Petersen’s Answers

69 total


  • Will I need to claim the insurance as part of the estate or do I not need to mention this type of insurance to the state?

    A family member living in a nursing home on Medicaid just passed and I was appointed executor of the estate. I just received a ltr from the state (NJ) inquiring about the value of this person's assets at the time of death. It's less than $1500 cas...

    Mark’s Answer

    The actual life insurance funds are yours as the named beneficiary and cannot be attached by Medicaid or any other estate creditor. However, New Jersey may count the face value of the insurance policy as an estate asset for estate valuation purposes. The value of a life insurance policy is typically included as part of the estate value even when the actual money is not part of the estate (not subject to pay estate expenses/creditors). Life insurance proceeds and Medicaid can be complicated and it is possible that NJ has specific laws to deal with this issue. I would recommend you consult with a NJ probate lawyer.

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  • What should I do about the request for increased child support when I am not able to see my son?

    Idaho - Divorced about 1 year ago - 2 kids (20-year-old in college, 17-year-old at home). Awarded 50/50 custody, with child support based on state formula. About 3 months ago the 17-year-old decides he no longer wants to stay with me 50% of ...

    Mark’s Answer

    Unless the mother files for a modification of the current custody and support order you do not have to voluntarily stipulate to a higher support amount. If the mother files for a modification, and is able to prove a substantial change in circumstance, then you will likely have a child support adjustment based on the lack of overnights with your son. Child support changes depending on overnights - if you have 25% or less of the overnights you have a standard custody arrangement and higher child support. If you have 26-50% of the overnights you have a shared arrangement with child support decreasing the closer you get to 50%. If she files and your son refuses to spend overnights with you, it is probable that you will have a child support increase. I wouldn't worry about hiring an attorney unless she actually files for an increase in child support. Keep in mind that if she files, you can always stipulate to the higher amount without incurring unnecessary fees if you are in agreement. If you have any other concerns or questions, or are served with a modification, I would seek out an experienced family law attorney in you area.

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  • How to prove best interest of child

    I manage everything. apts, takin classes,

    Mark’s Answer

    Although the information you provided is limited and unclear, it appears that you are questioning what would happen to your child in the event that you passed away.

    In the event a parent passes away, the other parent would be the default parent to receive custody/guardianship of the child. However, if that parent has "issues" and is not fit to be a full time parent, an interested third party can file a guardianship action and seek to be appointed the child's guardian.

    Although you cannot prevent the other parent from having default custody/guardianship, in your estate planning documents (i.e. create a will and guardianship nomination) you can specifically name/nominate a successor guardian and also detail why you do not believe the other parent should be the child's guardian. This does not control the outcome of the guardianship, but provides the Court more information regarding the child's best interests if custody/guardianship became an issue between the other parent and the person(s) you appointed as the guardian.

    I would advise you to prepare the necessary estate planning documents to protect your child.

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  • What is the average child support for Idaho.

    Last estimate 2009- / 200 judge figure

    Mark’s Answer

    There is no "average" child support in Idaho. Child support is determined under the Idaho Child Support Guidelines and the major influences on child support are (1) Number of Children; (2) Child Custody Arrangement; (3) Income of both parents; (4) Medical Insurance premiums for the children; and (5) tax exemptions. Without the information above, it is not possible to determine child support.

    If you need to perform a child support calculation, a local family law attorney could do this for likely at minimal cost.

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  • What is there to do when you reopen a custody case?

    I recently "won" the court case that I filed. I have sole and physical custody of my son. It became a default since his father didn't respond. (It was in the newspaper for 20 days!!) Now (two months after the case was closed) his father decides to...

    Mark’s Answer

    His two options to change a default order are: (1) setting aside the default order; or (2) modify the default order.

    To set aside a default order, he has to prove that there was fraud, mistake, the judgment is void, etc. Typically it is difficult to set aside a default judgment. However, if he can prove that service was improper then the Court could set aside the judgment.

    To modify a default order, he is required to show a substantial and material change in circumstance that justifies modifying the order. The determination of whether or not a substantial and material change in circumstance is left to the discretion of the judge and is analyzed under the best interests of the child standard.

    If the father has reopened the case, I strongly encourage you seeking legal assistance to deal with either of these scenarios.

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  • I want to fight my sister on our estate I have withdrawn from it for two years but need to see appraisal

    and whatever i need to make my case. would i start with the attorney of the estate (LLC) AND ARE THEY GOING TO TELL HER WHAT IVE ASKED FOR ? ALSO DO I TELL THEM EVERYTHING I KNOW OR JUST THE PAPERWORK IS NEEDED

    Mark’s Answer

    If you are a beneficiary to the will or trust, you have the right to require an accounting of all estate assets either through a trust or a probate proceeding. This may be accomplished through the estate attorney but is typically done by contacting the Personal Representative or Trustee directly. Since it may be necessary to involve the court system, I recommend you obtain an estate/probate attorney in your area that can assist you in making the proper demand and follow through with any required court action.

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  • How does my get more physical custody than his son's mother.

    My son filed for custody of his son the mother was served and asked to drop it. Has not been in consistent contact since mid march. He has offered her time with son and she has refused. She contacts wanting to see child meet in open location. Her ...

    Mark’s Answer

    Your situation sounds complicated and in order to have a change to get your grandson back you need to hire an attorney immediately who is experienced in family law so he/she can assist you with filing the necessary court documentation.

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  • Husband wants me to move out . do i have to

    no job and no money and no where to go

    Mark’s Answer

    To answer this question I would need some additional information but a short answer is that if your home is community property (i.e. purchased during marriage) then each of you has equal right to the home and neither of you can force the other out of the home. Once a divorce is filed, a judge could issue an order regarding possession of the house that may require you to vacate the house.

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  • Does the State of Idaho recognize a Legal Separation Agreement?

    My husband & I are separated; he moved out this past week. We do not want to divorce, however, as a result of my husband's "determination" to resolve the tough stuff when emotions are charged; well, we definitely need the geographic separation & t...

    Mark’s Answer

    Legal Separation's are allowed in Idaho but due to the complexity of the separation agreements I highly recommend obtaining a competent family/divorce law attorney. Separation agreements deal with all issues that a divorce would resolve, including custody and support if you have minor children and the division of property and debt (including each individual's responsibility towards the property or debt). These issues can get complex and your DIY forms typically do not contain the language you need to deal with complex issues.

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  • My grandchildren were taken by welfare.what rights do i have?what rights do the other family members have?how do i fight them?

    grand children taken away from parents and placed in our home then welfare took them and put them in foster care with strangers.the oldest girl accused the next door neighbor of molesting her so welfare took them from us.there was a little girl li...

    Mark’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Fighting Health and Welfare is a difficult battle. I highly recommend you immediately obtain legal counsel in Caldwell that has experience fighting Health and Welfare in Child Protection cases.

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