KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:

Understanding your rights and obligations to other people, companies, and the government is extremely important. Here we’ll provide tips, ideas, and suggestions for best practices and ways to better navigate the legal system from GLS to you!

Family Law:

  • Keep Your Kids Out of It: Your kids need to know how much both of you love them, and that your love will never change. When you involve your children in your divorce, it’s almost as if you’re asking them to take your side. Kids don’t want to take sides, and putting them in the middle is extremely dangerous to your relationship and puts them in an anxiety provoking situation. Keep them out of it at all costs – help keep their mental health and their relationship with you as positive as possible.
  • Even if you are not current on child support or not paying support, you are entitled to timesharing and visitation with your children.
  • All property accumulated in a marriage are likely to be deemed martial property and cannot be sold or given away during a divorce.
    If you are in fear of domestic violence or have been a victim of domestic violence you may qualify for an Order to keep that person away from you.
  • Who gets the house in a divorce? A judge can award the marital home to one spouse as part of property distribution in your divorce. This assumes that the house qualifies as “marital” or “community” property and not one spouse’s separate property. A court will look at several factors to decide who gets the house.

Housing:

  • Read your lease before signing;
  • If your lease ends and you do not sign a renewal you are now on a month-to-month that only requires 14 days-notice to vacate;
  • Know your responsibilities under the lease/know LL’s responsibilities under the lease;
  • Put all request for maintenance/repairs in writing;
  • Security deposit is not at issue until after you have vacated the property;
  • Low income, disability, age, lack of ability to find alternative housing arrangements, and other general difficulties will not prevent an eviction;
  • Evictions stay on your record, even if they are ultimately dismissed.

Tax Clinic Tip:

  • Don’t forget to file your taxes by 4/15/19! The deadline to timely file your 2018 taxes is 4/15/19. If you have a balance due and you do not file and pay your taxes by 4/15/19, you will face added penalties and fees on any tax liability that you owe. If your employer mailed you an incorrect tax form, diligently reach out to them and or the IRS in order to rectify any incorrect information. Filing a tax return using different information than that which is reported on your tax form may lead to increased processing time, penalties, and a potential audit examination! Avoid this by requesting a corrected tax form from your employer or reach out to the IRS. If you need help doing this, contact your local Low Income Taxpayer Clinic!
  • Keep in mind, if you are due a refund, failure to file your Federal tax return within three years of the date in which it was due will result in the loss of that refund forever.

LGBTQ Rights:

  • Florida’s Department of Health began listing both spouses on the birth certificates of children who have parents of the same sex on May 5, 2016. The move came after three same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit against the state in July 2015 over its practice of treating married same-sex couples differently by listing only one parent on their children’s birth certificates.
  • As of March 2018, several cities and counties within Florida have passed their own bans on conversion therapy on minors, namely Miami Beach, Wilton Manors, Miami, North Bay Village, West Palm Beach, Bay Harbor Islands, Lake Worth, El Portal, Key West, Boynton Beach, Tampa, Delray Beach, Riviera Beach, Wellington, Greenacres, Boca Raton, Oakland Park, Palm Beach County, Gainesville, and Broward County.
  • Conversion therapy bans have also been proposed or pending in other cities, for example in Sarasota, and St. Petersburg.

Budgeting:

  • If you cannot pay for it with cash, you cannot afford it.
  • Having an Emergency Fund is a must.
  • Have a plan every month for Every Dollar you earn.
  • List your debts smallest to largest and knock them out.
  • Doing a budget takes about three months to really nail it. Don’t worry about not being spot on every time.
  • Download an app for budgeting or do it the old fashion way and write it down.
  • Don’t trade your today for your tomorrow.
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