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.

a gavel on a bankruptcy court benchMany people worry about what happens after they make the decision to file for bankruptcy. While preparing your paperwork is half the battle, it’s important to be prepared for what occurs after you’ve signed your petition. Here’s what you can expect after filing bankruptcy.

The Automatic Stay is Put in Place.

An automatic stay is a federal court order that goes into effect the moment a bankruptcy case is filed. It prevents creditors from making any effort to collect on debts you owe. You’ll be assigned a case number by the court, which you should give to any creditors that try contacting you. If they persist, they will have to answer to the bankruptcy court.

a man circling the word facts over mythsThere are plenty of divorce-related myths circulating out there. Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to believe. The Jacksonville divorce attorneys at Parker & DuFresne want to help you separate the facts from the fiction. Here are some of the most common myths about divorce in the state of Florida.

1. The divorce rate is rising faster than ever.

It’s no longer true that the divorce rate in the United States in on the rise. In fact, divorce has been steadily declining since the 1980s, especially among college educated couples. Approximately 70% of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary.

a pile of credit cards including visa and mastercardThe primary reason people file for bankruptcy is to get rid of their debt and have a fresh start. But while many of your debts will be discharged in bankruptcy, some debts may remain after filing. Read on to learn more about how to reduce debt by filing for bankruptcy.

Which Debts are Not Discharged with Chapter 7

When you file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, many of your debt will be discharged. There are some debts, however, that will not be wiped out. Some of these debts may be subject to denial or successfully objected by the creditor. Others are never dischargeable, meaning that they fall under a predetermined list of non-dischargeable debts. These include:

one woman whispering a shocking secret to anotherMany people are concerned with the negative stigma that surrounds bankruptcy. They want to know who will find out if they decide to file. While a bankruptcy is publicly recorded, typically only creditors or bankruptcy attorneys will actually view this information. You probably shouldn’t worry too much about your friends, neighbors, or others in your social circles finding out.

What’s Included in My Bankruptcy Record?

The information on file will include copies of any documents related to the filing. Values of assets, creditors’ claims and information on any funds exchanged in the process will be listed. It will also include notes about meetings and phone calls.

a series of legal textbooks about trustsWhen filing bankruptcy, you’re probably concerned with safeguarding certain important assets. Will establishing a trust protect your assets from creditors? The answer will depend on several factors, including the type of trust you have. There are two types of trusts, revocable and irrevocable. Below we’ll discuss the purposes of each and how they apply when you’re filing for bankruptcy.

Revocable Trust

A revocable trust, or living trust, is the type of trust commonly used in estate planning. One of its primary purposes is to help your family avoid the stress and costs associated with probate after your death. Any assets included in this trust are not subject to probate court. This saves considerable time and hassle for the beneficiaries of your estate. The assets in the trust will be distributed according to your wishes.