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.

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.