FISHER'S LAW OFFICE NEWSLETTERS
Welcome to the NEWSLETTER of Fisher's Law Office, providing you with legal information you can use in your everyday life. If you have questions, don't hesitate to call or send us an e-mail today.
1. GETTING A DRIVER'S LICENSE JUST GOT A LITTLE HARDER IN FLORIDA
As of July 1, 1999, anyone seeking a first time Florida Driver's license must show two forms of identification, not just one. An acceptable form of identification is a birth certificate, passport, social security card, Florida voter registration card, marriage certificate or military I.D. Students can bring school records stating date of birth. The law also provides for family bible records of birth or birth announcements in baby books to be used as acceptable identification as well as life insurance policies and Florida vehicle registration certificates.
2. DIVORCE ALERT: GUARD YOUR STOCKS AND BONDS
The Florida Supreme Court ruled in June 1999 that the value of stock brought into a marriage is not subject to the normal 50/50 division. The Florida Supreme Court made the ruling in the famous Farrior v. Farrior case.
Warning: If shares of company stock you brought into a marriage go up in value, your spouse could still argue that he should get a part of the increase in value. Never allow your spouse to manage your money, property or shares of stock. Lastly, never use marital money to pay income or intangible taxes on stocks and dividends you owned before you were married and never put your spouse's name on anything you owned before the marriage. If you have questions about this, see a lawyer right away.
3. WEIRD LAWS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF
By popular demand, Fisher's Law Office presents more weird laws you've never heard of.
4. HOW WEALTHY IS AMERICA?
In 1988, Americans had total assets of 21.5 trillion U.S. dollars. In 1998, Americans' total assets totaled 43.2 trillion dollars. Twenty-five percent of Americans' net worth is invested in shares of stock in private companies.
5. TAX CUT FEVER
Connie Mack, the Senator from Florida, and Trent Lott, a Senator from Mississippi, have proposed substantial changes to U.S. tax laws. These changes include increasing the marital standard deduction to $14,400.00 and reducing capital gains tax rates to 15% for short term gains and 7.5% for long term gains. The tax proposal also includes a phase out of the 55% death tax over a ten-year period.
6. YOUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AT WORK
Since November 1998, 90,000 people have been refused the right to buy a gun because they were felons. Of these people, 17 were arrested for lying on the form asking whether or not they had ever been convicted of a felony even though all 90,000 had lied on the form.
A disease you thought was cured may not be cured. According to the June 21, 1999 issue of the Tampa Tribune, North Korea, Iraq and Russia have substantial stores of smallpox virus ready for military use. Also, North Korea has vaccinated all of its soldiers. Everyone born in America after 1972 is vulnerable to smallpox. One hundred fifteen million Americans have been born since that date and none of them have been vaccinated for smallpox. Unfortunately, the Center for Disease Control only has seven million doses of vaccine and refuses to sell any vaccine to civilians. The Center for Disease Control allows the military to get vaccinated. If you want to get your child vaccinated, consider going to another country.
8. STRANGE REASONS FOR LEAVING WORK
The Wall Street Journal obtained a survey of individuals leaving executive positions in the U.S. Here are some of the reasons given for leaving an executive position:
9. IMPORTANT TAX ISSUES FOR PEOPLE GETTING DIVORCED
If you are getting divorced, your taxes are going to go down. The reason for this is that Congress taxes people who are married at a much higher rate than people who are divorced. Also, if you are divorced and you have a dependent child, you can claim "head of household" status if the child lives with you. This preferential tax rate is lower than normal tax rates.
If you receive a home from your spouse in a divorce, don't worry. Under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, the first $250,000.00 of gain from selling your house is tax free. If you are still married, the first $500,000.00 of gain from selling your principal residence is tax free.
The bad news is that you are required to file your own tax return once you are divorced. Fisher's Law Office recommends that even people who are married continue to file their own separate tax returns to verify that all income and deductions are correct.
10. GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS AND YOU
There are three major statutes in Florida that provide grandparents the right to visit their grandchildren:
11. CHILD ABUSE RED ALERT
If you've ever been accused of child abuse and have a new baby, watch out. Under a new policy enacted by Kathleen Kearney, Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Family, social workers will automatically check on the welfare of a new baby if a new baby is born into a family that had older children removed from the home. Moral to the story? Leave the State if you're going to have a new child and you don't want the State to interfere in your family.
12. TEN SECRETS TO SUCCESS IN LIFE:
13. PATERNITY ACKNOWLEDGMENT WARNING
If you are the father of a child born out of wedlock, be warned. Workers in Florida hospitals are trained to make you sign an "Acknowledgment of Paternity Form". Do not sign this form. The form does not provide for visitation rights and does not set the amount of child support. If you sign this form, the government will use the form to sue you and deny you the right to a blood test to determine paternity. If you have questions, call us today.
14 . DO YOU HAVE CREDIT PROBLEMS?
Here are some do's and don'ts about credit:
15. LEGAL INS AND OUTS OF OWNING A HOUSE
Here are some hints to help you in buying, paying for and dying with a home.
16. SOMETHING YOU NEVER THOUGHT WAS COVERED BY INSURANCE
If you are changing your tire of your automobile on the side of a road and you are mugged, don't worry. You're covered by your personal injury protection ("PIP") auto insurance. It's true. Justice Leander Shaw wrote in a Supreme Court opinion on May 6, 1999 that attacks on the side of a road are an ageless and foreseeable hazard associated with use of a car. Because of this, any medical costs associated with a physical attack on you while changing a tire is covered under your personal injury protection insurance policy.