Articles Posted in Family Law

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:

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:

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.

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.

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 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.