Emergency Room SignFar too many Americans find themselves in a financial crisis because of soaring medical costs. All it takes is one trip to the emergency room or a bad diagnosis for things to spiral out of control. But there are options. Will your medical debt be eliminated if you declare bankruptcy? Learn more about filing bankruptcy and what it means when it comes to medical debt.

Is Declaring Bankruptcy to Discharge Medical Debt an Option?

Sadly, nearly 1.7 million American households have experienced bankruptcy due to mounting medical expenses. This type of debt creates major stress and has become a fairly common reason to declare bankruptcy.

Man Looking Over Insurance PolicyGoing through a major life change like divorce can leave you with questions about the many details that must be addressed. For example, how do you deal with your insurance policies when you get a divorce in Florida? With insurance plans covering your whole family, you’ll need to make your policies reflect your new marital status. Here are more things to know about dealing with your insurance in a divorce.

Make a List of Your Policies

To get an overview of what needs to be changed, make a list of each policy that you have as a family. This includes health insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, life insurance and any other polices you have. Once you’ve compiled a list, you’ll know exactly what you need to address with your insurance agents, spouse and divorce attorney.

Military Father and ChildGoing through a military divorce comes with a number of laws and issues that don’t necessarily apply to a civilian divorce. If you are a military family facing divorce, it is important to be aware of the specific issues that you face. Speak with the experienced divorce attorneys at Parker & DuFresne if you’re seeking legal representation in a military divorce.

Where Can I File for Military Divorce?

Service men and women and their families often move frequently. In some cases, they may be stationed in a state that is different from where they maintain a permanent residence. This can make it hard to know where to file for divorce if you’re a military family.

Man Looking at ComputerWhen you owe tax money to the federal government, there are certain collection methods that are unique to the IRS. The federal government is permitted to take more extreme measures to collect money than typical debt collectors. These measures can include placing liens and levies on your property. If you are facing an IRS lien or levy, contact a Jacksonville bankruptcy attorney to learn about your options. Liens and levies have different consequences for your financial future.

What is a Federal Tax Lien?

If you fail or neglect to pay a tax debt on time, the federal government can make a legal claim on the property you own. This claim is called a tax lien. Your property basically becomes collateral to insure the debt that you owe the IRS. A lien includes all of your property for the amount of the tax liability. This includes real estate, savings accounts and other personal assets. A lien is publicly recorded and will have a negative impact on your credit report.

A person prepares to file divorce in Jacksonville with Calculator and W-2 onlineYou’re probably not thinking much about your taxes when going through a big life change like divorce. But if you’ve recently been divorced or are going through a divorce, it can actually have a big impact on your taxes. Below are some important things to consider about the effect on your taxes when you file divorce in Jacksonville.

Your Filing Status

Your filing status is the most obvious change on your tax return after getting a divorce. It’s also what determines many of the numbers on your tax return, such as your tax bracket, deductions, and exemptions. The impact your status has on your tax liability will depend on your own personal situation. Some people who file divorce in Jacksonville may find they owe more in taxes, others may owe less.

Child Support spelled out with gavel on top of cashThe myths and misconceptions about child support seem to be endless. Different states have different laws regarding child support and some laws are changed over time, which adds to the confusion. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with current child support laws in our state. Below, we dispel some of the most common misconceptions surrounding child support in Florida.

Myth: No one receives child support when both parents share custody.

Fact: While there are cases when this may be true, one parent will usually be responsible for paying child support. This is because child support is determined based on income and time spent with the child. Often, even with joint custody, a child will spend more time with one parent. Child support is designed so that both parents share financial responsibility for the child. Child support in Florida is not necessary if both parents earn the same income, have 50/50 time sharing and share equal financial responsibilities for the child.

An adult holding their child's handThere are several ways that child custody can be arranged in a divorce. When both parents want to be actively involved in the child’s life, shared custody and joint custody will be considered. They may sound like the same thing, but there are some important differences to be aware of. Be sure to work with an experienced divorce lawyer in Jacksonville to help you determine the best arrangement for you and your child.

What is Shared Custody?

In shared custody, both parents have shared legal physical rights to their child. Both parents receive approximately the same amount of time caring for the child in their separate homes. Generally, this works out best when both parents agree to a set schedule. If that’s not attainable, the judge will determine which parent has primary custody. He may also arrange a set visitation schedule.

A computer with bankruptcy and debt counseling website openBefore filing bankruptcy in Jacksonville, you’re required to complete credit counseling. The Federal Trade Commission states that you must complete this credit counseling from a government approved agency within 180 days of filing. You must also complete a debtor education course after filing in order for your debts to be discharged.

Why is Credit Counseling Required?

The main purpose of credit counseling is to help you evaluate your financial situation and ensure that bankruptcy is a last resort. Through counseling, you’ll determine if there’s a feasible way to handle your debts outside of bankruptcy without increasing what you owe.

A child holds a stuffed bear while hugging his parentIf you’re being investigated by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), you’re probably wondering if you need a lawyer. While many calls to DCF see no action taken, some may result in serious changes to your family’s current situation. Hiring a family law attorney can help protect you and your parental rights. Here’s what you need to know about dealing with the DCF.

What is the DCF?

The Department of Children and Families, or DCF, is a state government agency responsible for protecting children and helping troubled families. In cases of abuse and neglect, the DCF investigates any calls or reports that a child may be at risk. An investigation may go to court to try to remove a child from their home if they conclude that the child is in a harmful environment. The DCF also provides support services for families who are in turmoil, places children in foster care and arranges adoptions.

a retired couple looks worriedThe divorce rate among couples who are over 50 has been rising in the past few decades. On top of the emotional difficulty of divorcing later in life, there’s often a profound financial impact. This is especially true when dealing with retirement. If it looks like you may be headed towards a “gray divorce”, be sure to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. Here’s what you need to know about divorcing in retirement.

How Alimony is Determined in Florida

Permanent alimony is generally granted after a long-term marriage (over 17 years). In Florida, the court merely requires that an award of permanent alimony is more likely than not to be appropriate. The amount can vary dramatically, but you should expect alimony to be a factor when divorcing in your senior years. Work with a reputable divorce lawyer to ensure alimony is awarded fairly in your case.