Coronavirus Stimulus Check for Debt

The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the lives of countless Americans.  Many have fallen ill, and others have become unemployed and struggling to make end’s meat. Whether the impact has been to your income or the expense of supplies needed to prepare for this emergency, the unexpected tragedy has caused great financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many different options for relief from debt due to Coronavirus. Filing bankruptcy or using the Coronavirus Stimulus Check for Debt may be good options to consider. To see which option may be best for your specific circumstances, contact a Florida bankruptcy attorney.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Stimulus Check for Debt

Congress recently passed the CARES Act, which may provide individuals meeting with a $1,200 stimulus check. For joint filings, the Coronavirus stimulus check would be $2,400. Plus, recipients may receive an additional $500 for each minor child. The money is certainly needed but it may not be enough to solve the bigger, more pressing financial problems. If you have outstanding debt or are falling behind on the mortgage or car payment the most effective use of the money may be to file a bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can be used to eliminate debt, stop a foreclosure or repossession, and even stop harassment by your creditors. There are two types of bankruptcy that individuals file – Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. A bankruptcy law firm in Tampa can explain the differences and advise on which type of bankruptcy may be best for your situation.

Coronavirus Debt and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy is the fastest type of bankruptcy and will give you and your family a fresh start from debt. There are many ways to use your Coronavirus stimulus check for debt, such as paying all of your creditors a little or paying one creditor all of it while hoping to deal with the rest in the future. Using your stimulus check for a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy may help ensure that no matter how much you owe you can get out of all the debt now to live your best post COVID life. Chapter 7 is the often most cost-effective way to ensure your debt doesn’t haunt you in the future.

Coronavirus Stimulus Check for Debt and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the other type of bankruptcy that individuals may use for COVID 19 Coronavirus debt. Chapter 13 is a tool we often recommend to people trying to save property such as their home or car. As long as you have the property you want to keep, you will be protected by the automatic stay. See 11 USC 362. These protections happen automatically once your bankruptcy case is filed. If you fell behind in your mortgage payments, instead of making a partial payment which the lender may not even accept, you can file Chapter 13 and force your mortgage lender into a five year repayment plan. You may even be able to use the court’s modification program to modify the terms of your mortgage.

Bankruptcy Attorney in Tampa

If you are having a difficult time meeting your financial obligations Florida Law Advisers, P.A. may be able to help. Our Tampa bankruptcy attorneys have years of experience helping people obtain a fresh start. We use our experience and skills in the courtroom to help achieve the results our clients need and deserve. Regardless, whether you need help with Chapter 13, Chapter 7, or other forms of debt relief our professional legal team will provide you with competent legal advice you can trust. Call us now at 800 990 7763 to speak with a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa.

Car Payments and COVID 19 (Coronavirus)

The coronavirus has impacted all of our neighbors in the Tampa Bay Area. Whether the impact has been to your income or the expense of supplies needed to prepare for this emergency it is very likely that you are worried about how to pay all of your bills on time. While it may seem like the world is pauseed, your car payment will continue to be due every month. If you are falling behind or expect to in the future you should be aware of every tool available, and one of the most powerful tools for saving a car is a bankruptcy.

Stop a COVID19 (Coronavirus) Car Repossession with Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

You can use a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to save your car even if your lender has a repossession out. As long as you still have your car when you file a Chapter 13, the car will be protected. See 11 U.S. 362. These protections happen automatically once your bankruptcy case is filed. Once you are in the bankruptcy, you can force your auto lender into a five-year repayment plan at a likely lower interest rate than you currently have. The new payment plan in the bankruptcy is based on the federal bankruptcy code Title 11 which means that the auto lender doesn’t have to give their permission. Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may be the solution to your high car payments being paid in this trying time.

Car Repossession because of COVID 19 (Coronavirus)

If your car was already repossessed or if you can simply no longer afford your car payment a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy can ensure the loan doesn’t haunt you in the future. When a car is repossessed or even voluntarily surrendered your lender will auction the vehicle. If they are not paid in full for your loan you will be sent a bill for the remaining amount. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can remove your liability for the debt so you can have a fresh start. Without a bankruptcy you can be sued for the balance owed which can lead to bank and wage garnishments for 20 years.For more information contact a bankruptcy attorney in Tampa to schedule a consultation.

Tampa Bankruptcy Law Firm

At Florida Law Advisers, we understand filing for bankruptcy can be a very confusing and intimidating process.  That is why we work so hard to make the process as easy as possible for our clients.  We will help ensure your rights are protected and receive the most benefits bankruptcy can offer. To schedule a free consultation with a Tampa bankruptcy attorney call us today at 800 990 7763.

child support florida

When dealing with a divorce in Florida, perhaps the most important settlement to be made between couples is sharing the raising of the children; the most common question with that issue is: Will someone have to pay child support? And if so, why and how much?

Child support laws will vary by state, so it is especially important that residents of Florida gain an understanding of the laws concerning child support as it applies to their state.

Child Support Explained: A Brief Summary

In its simplest form, child support occurs when one parent pays the other parent money for the financial support of the child or children. Child support will likely apply even when the children spend equal time living with each parent and there is joint custody (common in Florida). It is a rare case when neither parent pays child support.

Unfortunately, child support rarely functions in its simplest form. Since each state has their own laws concerning divorce and child support, when parents live in different states, child support can become more complex. In such a situation, working with a local family law attorney is essential, as these professionals have the experience and knowledge concerning interstate child support and how best to enforce the terms.

Child support laws also apply to parents who never married but are ending their relationship.

What Child Support Covers

The intention of child support is to ensure the child continues to be provided with an acceptable standard of living covering basic needs. All child support payments are meant for the benefit of the child, but as this includes shelter, some minor benefits may accrue to the non-paying spouse. Other needs that child support should cover include:

  • Food and Clothing – in addition to weekly groceries, account for eating out and school meals; regularly shopping for clothes is a must for growing kids
  • Educational Expenses – in addition to tuition (for charter or private schools), uniforms, books, supplies, and activities (after-school sports, music lessons, etc.) should be covered
  • Medical Costs – out-of-pocket medical expenses (deductibles, uncovered services, etc.) required to maintain a child in good health should be included
  • Hobbies, Activities, and Entertainment – there is more to life than good food, education, and health, so factoring in expenses for summer camps, swimming lessons, and movies can be considered basic needs as well

One should also note that child support payments are not set in stone. A parent finding child support payments either insufficient or becoming more difficult to pay due to changed circumstances may file a request for child support modification. Reasons for a modification request can include:

  • Medical Expenses – if a child develops a medical condition which increases costs of care, child support payments can increase
  • Changed Child Care Costs – as children grow, so do their needs and interests, especially in their teens when they want cars more than toys
  • Unemployment – an extended period of unemployment with minimal future prospects can affect either parent, the payer or recipient; a change of payments may be in order
  • Changes in Income – if either parent receives a significant increase in salary or gets a new job with higher pay, a review and possible modification of payments could apply

Awarding Child Support

There is a high likelihood in Florida that one parent will end up paying child support to the other parent. From a legal viewpoint, both parents, regardless of marital status, have a legal obligation to support their children.

The majority of states use the Income Shares Model which uses the following formula in determining appropriate child support awards:

  1. Net income of both parents is determined and are added together (and each parent’s share of combined net income is calculated as a percentage),
  2. The state provides a table (in your case, found in the Florida Child Support Guidelines) listing minimum child support amounts (based upon combined income and number of children),
  3. Additional expenses beyond basic needs (i.e., childcare and special medical needs) are identified and added to the minimum child support; this is known as the presumptive child support amount.
  4. The presumptive child support amount is then split between the parents according to their percentage of combined net income, with each parent contributing their proportion of costs.

Calculating Child Support Payments in Florida

The process of calculating child support payments in Florida is thorough but straightforward. Parents are given a Florida Child Support Worksheet that must be completed and filed with the courts. This worksheet declares the net income earned by each parent, along with listing specific expenses related to the children involved.

In addition to the worksheet, each parent must complete an income affidavit declaring annual gross income. Individuals grossing less than $50,000 per year file Form 902b while those earning in excess of $50,000 per year will file Form 902c.

The following is an example of one hypothetical Florida family who needs to calculate child support payments. The parents have joint custody of one child. The father’s net income is $3,000 and the mother’s net income is $2,000, making the father 60% responsible ($3,000 / $5,000 = 60%) for child support payments and the mother 40% responsible.

According to the Florida Child Support Guidelines, the minimum child support for 1 child living in a home with a $5,000 net income is $1,000.

Additionally, $150 per month is spent in childcare, $100 per month for health insurance, and $250 per month for additional medical care not covered by insurance is required. This makes a total of $500 extra; added to the minimum child support of $1,000 brings the total to $1,500 the parents must pay to support the child.

Under this scenario, the father is responsible for $900 of the child support (the $1,500 total child expenses multiplied by 60%).

You have been shown a very simplified example of an equally simplified child support calculation. Most elements when determining child care payments require a lot more detailed information and calculations.

For instance, when determining net income for each parents, all income must be declared, including:

  • Salaries
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Self-Employment Income
  • Retirement Income
  • Alimony
  • Investment Income
  • Worker’s Compensation/Unemployment Benefits

Likewise, the list of deductions subtracted from the above income sources to obtain net income is equally expansive, allowing expenses such as:

  • Income Tax Deductions (Federal, State, and Local)
  • Union Dues
  • Alimony Payments
  • Mandatory Retirement Benefits
  • Select Health Insurance Premiums
  • Other Child Support Payments

When dealing with a matter as important as determining the appropriate and proper amount to support one’s children, it is equally important to partner with a seasoned, professional, and caring family law attorney.

At Florida Law Advisors, we specialize in all forms of family law, including advocating for fair child support payments for our clients and their children. Contact us today to learn how we can help you in your personal situation.

contested divorce

According to the American Institute of Stress, divorce ranks second out of 43 major life stressors. Second only to the death of a spouse or child, divorce can lead to unparalleled emotional and financial turmoil – especially if you are in the midst of a contested divorce. Below is a look at some of the challenges associated, and the key to resolving your divorce quickly and fairly.

What exactly is a contested divorce?

A contested divorce arises when a married couple disagrees on one or more issues referenced in divorce paperwork. For instance, a husband and wife may agree on property division but not custody arrangements. Or, they may disagree on all key issues surrounding the divorce. A divorce is considered contested as long as there is at least one outstanding issue that is unable to be resolved between a married couple.

How does a contested divorce happen?

“By definition, discovery is part of the pre-trial phase of a divorce in which each side obtains evidence and information from the other side. The goal of discovery is to make sure that both sides have the same information that will allow you to better negotiate a fair agreement as part of your final settlement.” – Jason Crowley, CFA, CFP, CDFA, Managing Partner of Divorce Capital Planning

A divorce usually does not become contested right away. In many instances, divorce proceedings become contested as spouses navigate through the discovery phase of their divorced proceedings. Also known as the pre-trial phase of divorce, the discovery phase involves depositions and a review of documentation to verify marital assets, custody, and income. This information is used by both parties to determine how assets and custody should be divided. A contested divorce can arise if any of the following occurs:

  • One or both spouses try to hide or lie about assets
  • One or both parties refuse to respond to requests for documentation or information
  • One of the spouses is steadfast in their desire not to get divorced
  • One or both parties have an attorney who advises them to contest the divorce
  • One or both spouses discover that the other spouse was unfaithful

What are some reasons why people choose to contest a divorce?

Contested divorces do not unfold on their own. They occur when one or both spouses proactively chooses to contest the divorce on any of the grounds outlined in a Petition for Divorce. In general, people decide to contest a divorce because they disagree with issues in three main categories: Child custody, marital assets, and spousal support. Here is a look at some of the most common reasons why people choose to contest a divorce:

  • One of the spouses does not want the divorce
  • A spouse feels that they are being treated unfairly
  • Unrealistic expectations lead one or both spouses to feel that they deserve everything
  • A spouse purposely contests the divorce in an effort to control the proceedings
  • One or both spouses hire an attorney who is known for battling

What are some of the biggest challenges facing parties?

There are a host of unpleasant consequences that can persist until the issues at stake are resolved. Here is a look at some of the biggest challenges facing parties in this situation:

  • Delays: An uncontested divorce can be finalized in just a couple of months while contested divorces often take at least a year to resolve.
  • Added Expense: The longer your divorce proceedings take, the more legal costs you may incur unless you can find a flat fee divorce program.
  • Stress: This can be especially painful for spouses and children when it seems like there is no resolution in sight.

What can happen if a divorce remains contested?

A contested divorce can lead to a host of unpleasant consequences until it is resolved. Even if both parties are in agreement on every issue except one, the divorce is still considered contested and will remain that way until both parties reach a resolution on all issues at stake.

In some cases, the judge may suggest that spouses attend counseling. This typically occurs shortly after a divorce is contested and is most likely to happen if the judge feels that the marriage could be saved or if one of the parties does not want the divorce to take place.

Mediation is another possibility for parties involved in divorce. Mediation involves the presence of a neutral third party or mediator who serves as a go-between for two spouses who are having difficulty resolving one or more issues.

If successful, mediation can prevent a contested divorce from proceeding to trial. If a trial is necessary, both parties need to be prepared for a lengthy, combative process that can go on for years. Going to trial can also be costly, especially if the process lasts a year or more. A divorce is not officially final until the judge signs a judgment and the court clerk enters that judgment into the court record.

What is the best way to resolve a contested divorce?

As outlined above, contested divorces are full of challenges. Attempting to navigate this sea of complexities on your own can be an overwhelming process. The single best way to resolve this situation is to seek the expertise of an experienced divorce lawyer in the Tampa area. With the help of a divorce attorney with a proven track record of success, you can resolve your divorce faster, helping you to minimize divorce costs and keep stress at bay.

Contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

With thousands of attorneys serving the Tampa Bay area, it is critical to choose a divorce attorney with a proven track record of success resolving contested divorces. The divorce lawyers with Florida Law Advisers, P.A. are committed to helping you resolve your contested divorce quickly and fairly. We invite you to contact us today to arrange a complimentary consultation with one of our skilled divorce attorneys. We look forward to serving as your trusted legal advocate.