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Fort Lauderdale Bankruptcy Legal Blog

Are you struggling to decide whether to divorce?

How many times this month has the idea of divorcing your spouse crossed your mind? If you consider divorce more and more frequently, it may be time for you to weigh your options seriously and make a decision one way or the other. Whether to end your marriage is not a choice to make casually or quickly, but there may be negative consequences if you live with indecision for too long.

Perhaps you are simply under too much stress to make a reasonable decision about something so life-changing. If you feel overwhelmed with various factors in your life, it may not be wise to try to make a major decision such as whether to file for divorce. However, it may be time for you to step back from the stress and give yourself some peace to carefully consider your options.

Pursuing accountability for discrimination at work

Despite the adoption of laws prohibiting employment discrimination, people in Florida continue to be mistreated, fired or denied work because of their protected characteristics. There are legal options that people can pursue if they are subject to discrimination at work, especially intentional discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion or genetic information. Sex discrimination can include not only traditional gender discrimination but also unjust treatment based on pregnancy, sexual orientation or gender identity. As a rule, legal remedies are designed to put the victim in a position as if the discrimination had not occurred.

For example, compensatory damages for discrimination are designed to make the victim whole. Someone who was fired or never hired for a job due to workplace discrimination may receive back pay, benefits and placement in the job. The employer may also be required to change its practices to prevent future incidents of discrimination. Compensatory damages can also include related expenses caused by the discriminatory practices, such as medical bills, job search expenses, attorney's fees and court costs. Compensation for emotional harm caused by employment discrimination is also included under this umbrella.

Major companies urge Supreme Court to act on LGBT rights

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits most employers in Florida and around the country from discriminating against workers based on their race, religion, gender, or national origin, but the landmark 1964 bill makes no mention of gender identity or sexual orientation. During the Obama administration, the Department of Justice was committed to extending these protections to gay and transgender workers, but recent developments suggest that President Trump has abandoned these plans.

Three cases dealing with this issue are scheduled to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 8, and many of America's most prominent employers have joined together to urge the nation's highest court to extend Title VII protections to gay and transgender individuals Details about the amicus curiae brief submitted by companies including Microsoft, IBM, Xerox and Nike were released on July 2 by a coalition of advocacy groups representing the LGBT community.

Trusts may provide advantages wills don't have

The American Association of Retired Persons recommended in 1991 that families make use of trusts in place of wills for certain benefits. The benefits of trusts when it comes to Florida estate administration include disability planning, avoidance of probate, asset protection and inheritance earmarking. There are several different types of trusts, and they can be drafted to fit the specific circumstances of the client.

Wills do not include disability planning provisions because they are not effective until the person dies. With a living trust, though, the trust maker can name one or more trustees to manage his or her affairs in the event of disability or incapacitation. Trusts can help the parties involved manage their financial and medical affairs without the need of a guardianship proceeding.

Millennials facing increasing debt challenges

Millennials in Florida and other states have a reputation for shying away from credit card debt and credit cards in general, likely because the late 2000s recession is still fresh in their minds. But this may not be the case anymore. Credit card delinquencies of 90 days or more among borrowers 18 to 29 are on the rise.

Americans within this age group have reached a nearly ten-year high with their share of overall 90-day-plus delinquent credit card balances. People within this age group are less likely to be lured by cash back or zero-percent interest. However, they are often enticed by elaborate credit card bonuses and attractive perks. Rising interest rates and a strong economy are other factors cited. Accumulating credit card debt can present financial challenges for younger borrowers, even more so than student loan debt - another form of debt also on the rise among millennials.

How medical debt factors into a credit score

According to Consumer Reports, roughly 30 percent of all Americans have medical bills of $500 or more. An inability to pay those bills could have an impact on the credit score of those who live or work in Florida. For instance, a poor credit score or history could make it harder to rent an apartment. Furthermore, insurance rates, as well as interest rates on loans, could be higher for those who have a checkered credit past.

However, there is no guarantee that a medical debt will have a negative impact on a person's credit score. The FICO 8 credit model does not take into consideration any medical debt that is less than $100. It is also important to note that debt that is sent to collections does not appear on a credit report for at least 180 days. Therefore, debtors may have an opportunity to avoid having the debt reduce their credit score or ruin their credit history.

How attitudes about income affect marriage, divorce

How much income each spouse in earns in a marriage can affect the stability of that marriage in a number of different ways. Women in Florida and around the country are more likely to earn more money than their husbands than in previous decades. Even though this can cause some men to feel insecure and put a strain on the marriage, men may still be hesitant to marry someone whose income is substantially less than theirs. They may be concerned about losing their assets in a divorce.

According to the Pew Research Group, in 1981, women earned half or more of the income in only 13% of couples who lived together. That number had risen to nearly 33% by 2017. One study that was published in the journal "Demography" found that couples who earn roughly equal amounts are less likely to split up. In addition, a Pew Research Center study found that more Americans believed fathers should provide financially for their children than mothers.

Should you consider bankruptcy for outstanding tax debt?

Though the tax season has officially come to an end, you and many other individuals may still have tax-related worries on your mind. In particular, if you owe taxes this year or still owe from previous years, you may constantly worry about the tax debt you have accrued and your inability to pay the balances.

You are not alone in facing this type of ordeal, even though it may certainly seem that way. Numerous others are also facing this predicament, and you do have options for seeking help. In some cases, filing for bankruptcy may act as a viable way to handle your outstanding tax debt.

LGBT couples can have unique challenges during divorce

Since LGBT marriages were federally recognized in 2015, thousands of same-sex couples have gotten married. However, like heterosexual marriages, some LGBT marriages end in divorce.

Divorce can present legal challenges for any couple, but because same-sex divorce is relatively new, there are some unique challenges same-sex couples can face during the divorce process. If you are preparing for your own divorce, it can be helpful to consider some of the challenges other LGBT couples have encountered. 

How to prevent a foreclosure

Losing your home is a scary prospect. But being unable to pay their mortgage happens to more people than you may realize. You may have lost your job, had your hours cut back or are coping with a pile of medical bills. Many things can cause you to get a little behind on the bills.

Though it may be embarrassing, you will be better off if you deal with the problem as quickly as you can.

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