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As a Jacksonville Gay and Lesbian Estate Planning Lawyer it is satisfying to report positive actions that benefit the LGBT communities in Florida. The Volusia County Council just approved Central Florida’a first countywide domestic partnership registry. This registry will take effect July 1, 2012, and will extend legal protections to gay and lesbian families who reside in Volusia County.

Days ago, the City of Gulfport in Pinellas County also passed a domestic partnership registry. Domestic partnership registries give protections to same-sex couples and non-married couples that most heterosexual couples take for granted. Among these safeguards are: making medical decisions for an incapacitated partner, being notified in a life threatening emergency, hospital visitation rights and participating in the care of your “non-legal” children.

Bringing it closer to home, there will be Jacksonville City Council public hearing on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 5:00 to discuss the inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance.

Because the beneficiary designation was never updated post divorce finalization, the Supreme Court of Florida has ruled a former spouse still entitled to death benefits payable from a retirement plan. Unambiguous language in the Marital Settlement Agreement can avoid a beneficiary designation even where a spouse has neglected to remove their now ex-spouse.

However, some designations can be revised prior to a divorce, but Federal law does not allow the changing of a beneficiary designation on some financial plans without written spousal consent, which is difficult to get when something like a 401(k) is in dispute. This spousal consent rule can create a small hurdle; most beneficiary designations can be changed and should be as soon as possible after a divorce.

An experienced Jacksonville Family Law Attorney should be sure to ask you about beneficiary designations before finalizing a divorce. Be sure to ask the attorney working on your divorce if you are unsure about certain designations. If you are not currently working with an attorney, the most advisable practice is to secure an experienced Jacksonville Family Law Attorney as soon as possible.

taxes.jpgA headline that includes both “taxes” and “divorce” is naturally going to be a slightly depressing topic. At least you can appreciate the fact that living in Florida allows you to escape state income taxes that many Americans have to pay each year. Nevertheless, tax season is still a daunting time.

For those going through divorce, however, filing taxes is often more complicated than simply filling out some forms using commercial software. The main issue for many couples who are still technically married but soon to divorce is whether they should file joint taxes. Even if the couple is now divorced, their marital status on December 31 of the tax year is the date on which the federal government defines your status for tax purposes. So, if you were married on December 31 and divorced later in January, you may still be able to file jointly with your former spouse.

Many couples in this bracket avoid filing jointly simply because their relationship has soured. This may be a mistake: there are many tax benefits in marriage, and some of those benefits go away if you file a separate return.

Interested in a Gun Trust or one of our new Asset Protection Gun Trusts? This special is for today only. If you contact us by email or telephone today, we will knock $100 off the price of your Gun Trust. To learn more about what a Gun Trust is visit the Gun Trust Lawyer® Blog If you contact us after hours on Dec
The Law Office of David M. Goldman has decided to do 12 great specials for our new and existing clients.

If you want to be the first to find out about the special offers by the Law Office of David M. Goldman for the remaining 12 Laws of Christmas, be sure to check this blog daily or subscribe to our blog updates.

This special is for any new or existing Foreclosure Defense clients and can offer you a substantial discount and save you a substantial amount of money. While we understand that not everyone will be able to take advantage of the offer, for those of you who can it should be considered. If you pay for 2 months of Foreclosure Defense we will give you a credit for an additional month at no charge. For more information on Strategic Default or Foreclosure Defense in Florida, please see the Florida Foreclosure Defense Lawyers Blog.

The Law Office of David M. Goldman has decided to do 12 great specials for our new and existing clients. Many of the specials will only be valid for the day they are mentioned, but we will honor this special as long as you contact us about it by December 25th and pay for it by the end of the year.

If you want to be the first to find out about the special offers by the Law Office of David M. Goldman for the remaining 12 Laws of Christmas, be sure to check this blog daily or subscribe to our blog updates.

If you or a family member has been accused or are under investigation for a Crime and are looking to hire a Florida Criminal Defense lawyer to represent you, we have an offer that may make it easier to hire an attorney around the end of the year. The Law Office of David M. Goldman is offering to reduce any new retainer by $500 for representation for a felony or misdemeanor crime. For more information, you may review the Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyers Blog.

The Law Office of David M. Goldman has decided to do 12 great specials for our new and existing clients. Many of the specials will only be valid for the day they are mentioned, but we will honor this special as long as you contact us about it by December 25th and pay for it by the end of the year.

If you want to be the first to find out about the special offers by the Law Office of David M. Goldman for the remaining 12 Laws of Christmas, be sure to check this blog daily or subscribe to our blog updates.

12 Laws of Christmas – Day 1 Create a Will for $25

Have you been in need of a Florida Will or have a family member that is in need of a new Will? Have you considered using an online service but been afraid of what you might create or what mistakes you may make? Now, you can have a lawyer create a will for only $25. This is not a will that you would find at staples or in a form book, but a fully customizable will based on your needs and desires.

The Law Office of David M. Goldman has decided to do 12 great specials for our new and existing clients. Most of the specials will only be valid for the day they are mentioned, but we will honor this special as long as you contact us about it by December 25th and pay for it by the end of the year.

military divorce.jpegIf you are an active duty service member, Congress has granted you with certain rule exemptions in court matters. You should not lose a court case just because you’re overseas or otherwise unable to attend court because of your military service. This is due to the Service Member’s Civil Relief Act.

One court in Kentucky, however, apparently did not get the memo that military service members should be given some leeway. In that case, a woman filed suit against her former husband for failure to pay child support. The husband wrote to the court, claiming that he had no attorney and needed the hearings to be scheduled at times that would allow him to appear by phone. Instead, the court went ahead with the proceeding without the husband’s presence.

The wife later filed to hold the husband — who was unable to attend — in contempt for not complying with the previous order. The husband again asked the court to hold off and specifically mentioned the Service Member’s Civil Relief Act. The court again ignored his plea and required him to pay his ex-wife’s attorney fees.

An issue facing same-sex parents is what rights the non-biological and non-adoptive parent has with respect to their children.

Like many couples, same-sex and heterosexual, whose relationship ends, the children are the focus of the split, and not necessarily in a good way. Child custody and visitation issues become contentious. As time evolves, so does societal perception of what makes a good parent. However when faced with a parenting conflict, it is advisable to contact an attorney who deals with the unique concerns facing those in the LGBT community.

A new set of guidelines have been published that will assist the non-legal parent should the biological or adoptive parent use anti-LGBT laws to attempt to deny visitation and/or custody.

As a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney, it is expected that, on a daily basis, I see family members disputing. Usually these disputes are over matters such as divorce, child custody, and domestic violence, which all have the effect of tearing apart the family unit. Along with that, a matter that most people do not consider that is detrimental to a family, is money and personal property. This is why it is essential that everyone have a will or some other form of estate planning.

Being a Florida Family Law Attorney, I have heard horrific stories about family members fighting over the deceased person’s money or personal property so badly that those family members never speak again. By having a will or estate plan, you can be the one who decides which family member gets what, so that it is not left to them to fight over. You should contact a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer or Estate Planning Attorney to discuss the options you can take to prevent your family from tearing itself apart.

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