Credit-repair-101-300x200Filing bankruptcy is a powerful tool you can use to get free of debt and give yourself a fresh financial start. Part of this is the opportunity to repair your credit going forward. While your credit will take an initial hit right after filing, there are many ways to restore it. Bankruptcy stays on your record for 10 years in most cases. If you don’t take action to increase your credit score during this time, you might find it difficult to lease an apartment or buy a car. It is important that you move as soon as possible to start restoring your credit after you file bankruptcy.

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If you file bankruptcy in Jacksonville, consider why you had to in the first place. Was it due to overspending? Medical expenses? Loss of employment? Figuring out the cause of your situation will help you in making an effective plan moving forward. After figuring that out, create a budget to keep track of your expenses. This will help you avoid unnecessary spending that will hinder your goals of credit restoration. When you have a solid budget in place, get free annual credit checks to keep track of your score.

December-31-270x300President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December of 2017, overwriting a decades old tax law. The old rules allowed alimony to be tax deductible by the spouse paying. The spouse receiving the alimony payments was required to record them as taxable income. After the new law takes effect on January 1, 2019, alimony paid is no longer be deductible. If you are going through a divorce, you should consider finalizing it before the end of 2018.

How Will this Affect Those Going Through a Divorce?

The new tax law comes into effect on January 1, 2019. When it does, wealthier couples or couples in which one partner earns significantly more than the other will be affected the most. Because alimony will no longer be tax deductible, the spouse paying alimony will see smaller returns. Meanwhile, the spouse who received alimony might see less money coming in. This is mainly because the main incentive to pay more, the tax exemptions, will be removed.

A hand holds 3 burning billsGoing through a divorce is rarely easy and often stressful. A trusted Jacksonville divorce attorney can help guide you through the process, but the clients still have to keep certain things in mind. Divorce often brings up concerns about finances and children. It can be an emotional process that leads to many financial errors that make things difficult for everyone going forward. Here are 4 money mistakes to watch out for during a divorce.

Rushing Without Taking Everything into Account

No one wants to have to go through the hassle of a divorce. However, it is very important to avoid rushing, as it can cause you to miss important details such as:

A Street Sign Saying Debt Relief Just Ahead
Bankruptcy is a powerful tool for debt relief. It can provide a fresh start for people who have been living with the burden and stress of debt for years, and allow them to finally move forward. Unfortunately, there are many myths and misconceptions about bankruptcy that can scare people off before they learn about its benefits. When you work with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in Jacksonville, they can help you pick the right option that will have the best impact on your financial future.

Some Common Misconceptions About Bankruptcy

Misconception 1: You’ll Lose Everything

Wood blocks spelling small business and a cup of coffeeThere are more than 2.4 million small businesses in Florida, employing more than 3.2 million people. If you are one of them, you might be wondering if bankruptcy is an option to reduce your debt. Depending on how your business is legally categorized, you’ll be able to file a Chapter 7, 11, or 13 case. An experienced bankruptcy attorney in Jacksonville can help you determine if bankruptcy is your best alternative. Because Florida is a homestead exemption state, there may be some other things to keep in mind as well. Each of these can have different effects on your business.

What Types of Bankruptcy Can I File?

In the US, there are a few different types of bankruptcy filing categories, called “Chapters.” Chapters 7 and 13 are usually used by individuals for personal filing. Chapter 11 is used for businesses. These can all mean different things for a small business in Florida.

woman hiding money behind her backUnfortunately, divorce can be a very difficult affair that sometimes brings out the worst in people. One of the ways this happens is when one spouse attempts to hide their assets. There are many reasons why someone would keep certain assets hidden. They may simply want to hide money, or they could be trying to protect certain property that they do not want to risk losing. Though it may not be a criminal offense, hiding assets in a divorce in Florida can still lead to serious legal consequences.

What Are the Consequences for Hiding Assets in a Divorce?

The state of Florida practices equitable division of assets in the cases of divorce. However, this does not always mean an even 50/50 split. In some cases, the court may rule in favor of one spouse receiving more than the other. If the court finds that your spouse has been hiding assets, they will face various penalties, including:

chapter 7 bankruptcy vs chapter 13 bankruptcyFiling for bankruptcy can be a powerful tool for debt consolidation and relief. It can help you get out from under the financial burden weighing you down. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you may be wondering whether you should file Chapter 7 bankruptcy or file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The right choice depends on your current income, assets, debts, and your future financial goals.

What are the Major Differences Between Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a relatively quick way to wipe out general, unsecured debt like medical bills and credit cards, and it requires no repayment. It is designed for people with little to no disposable income available to pay back debt. Although it wipes out most debts, it doesn’t clear particular types of debt such as taxes, student loans, or unpaid child support and alimony. When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your nonexempt property is sold to pay back your creditors. The “means test” will help determine if you’re eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you make more than the median income of your state and have some disposable income to pay off debt you may be forced to file Chapter 13 instead.

divoice-court-desk-300x200Joint debt is considered to be any debt created by one or both spouses during the marriage. Upon divorce in Florida, the court decides which spouse is responsible for which joint debt. However, divorce court orders do not affect creditors, who will likely hold both partners liable for joint debt regardless of which spouse the court deemed liable. Common joint debts may include car loans, mortgages, credit card debt or other lines of credit. Below we answer some common questions about how joint debts are handled after divorce.

What Happens if the Court Ordered Spouse Decides Not to Pay Their Debt?

When a couple goes through a divorce in Florida, problems may arise if the spouse that was required by the court to pay the debt does not do so. Even if the final judgment in a divorce decree requires one spouse to be fully responsible for joint debt, that order holds no jurisdiction over the creditor. The creditor is likely to seek payment from the other spouse if the one ordered to pay fails to.

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.