Thursday, December 29, 2022

New Year's Resolutions

Hi all! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and made some new memories. As we wrap up 2022 and begin a new year with 2023, I wanted to share some funny New Year’s resolutions with you. We often take them seriously like, start running, eating less sugar, and drinking less, but these ideas are sure to make you laugh, scratch your head, and even come up with some creative ideas of your own!

1. I will pick fewer internet fights.

- We all love a good “comment war” on Facebook, but let’s take this new year to be kinder to others and more open to hearing an opinion different than our own?

2. I will be unashamed about the fact that I am wearing pajama pants in public.

- I mean, I’d rather be comfortable if I must go shopping at Walmart and run errands. And PJ’s come in fun patterns! Give it a try sometime this year.

3. I will eat dessert first.

- I mean, c’mon… I really have to explain this one? Cake for breakfast anyone?

4. I will start checking things off of my bucket list.

- Your bucket list doesn’t have to be grand like, “cliff diving in Aruba,” or “hiking the Great Wall of China.” Instead, things like, “dye my hair,” “get a tattoo,” and “try a new food” can be small achievements that spice up your everyday life and give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience without breaking the bank or having to trek far from home.

5. I will not waste my money on a gym membership.

- I am the first person to encourage a healthy lifestyle (I run at 5am every day). But, before you spend your money on a fancy gym membership that you will only use for a month, start out small! Find a friend to walk with a few times a week, buy a yoga mat, or find some at-home exercise videos. Once you’ve gotten into the habit of working out and you know it’ll last long term, then consider splurging on a monthly gym membership.

From all of us at the Law Office of Marcie Baker, we wish you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. May 2023 be your best year yet!


Thursday, December 22, 2022

Spreading the Holiday Cheer

Happy Thursday, all! Since Christmas is this weekend, I wanted to share some fun holiday jokes to make you smile. Feel free to share!

From all of us at the Law Office of Marcie Baker, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season. Enjoy this time with family and friends and remember to find something good in every day. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Child Support and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Hi all! Can you believe December is already halfway done? I am trying to soak up as much of this holiday season as possible before it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Today I wanted to talk about specific debts and discharges when it comes to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

Many believe Chapter 7 Bankruptcy wipes away all debts, including any outstanding child support payments. Today’s blog will show you why this is not the case.

- Child support is considered a priority debt that is NOT dischargeable when you declare Chapter 7 Bankruptcy.

- This is the case with ALL forms of Bankruptcy. Declaring bankruptcy under a different chapter/provision will not stop you from having to pay child support.

- Even though filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy places a stay to prevent creditors from pursuing claims against you, this does NOT prevent actions to establish or pay child support.

- This also means that if you are receiving child support payments and file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you WILL NOT stop receiving those payments. Additionally, most child support money received before filing for bankruptcy is “exempt” so the trustee assigned to your case cannot take that money and use it to pay off creditors.

- The exemption, however, is not automatic. You will need to list any accumulated or present child support payments as an asset, and then record it as exempt property in order to protect it.

- Not only are you required to continue paying child support, but if you are trying to use Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to wipe out any past unpaid child support obligations, this simply will not work. Since it is a priority debt, you will be required to pay it and cannot use a bankruptcy filing as a “get out of jail free” card.

- Because you are required to continue paying child support, stopping or refusing to do so may affect your bankruptcy filing which will stop you from having a successful claim and getting the relief that you need.

- A payment modification may be requested depending on the income of the parent and their abilities, and this is a case-by-case determination, but, no matter what, you will continue to receive, or continue to be obligated to pay, child support.

I hope this blog sheds some light on what is and isn’t discharged when filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and what this can mean for your claim. As always, if you have any questions or confusion, please do not hesitate to contact our office!


***The information contained in this blog is not a form of legal advice. Please contact your attorney or our office with any legal questions related to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or child support.

Friday, December 9, 2022

FAQ’s About Collaborative Family Law

Hello all! It has been a while since we discussed another one of Marcie’s specialties, collaborative family law. This lesser-known area of Family Law can be very beneficial and today I would like to shed some light on it by addressing some frequently asked questions.

1.) What is the goal of collaborative divorce?

- Collaborative divorce is a more efficient money-saving option that allows couples to focus on what is important to them without waiting for the results of their case to be decided by a judge.

2.) Why is collaborative divorce any different than a normal divorce?

- Instead of a judge deciding your divorce, you and your spouse get to be in control of decisions.

- The process is more open since it is kept out of a courtroom.

- It gives you and your spouse a chance to evaluate individual concerns and express these concerns at agreed-upon meetings.

- It saves money and time that a normal divorce would not.

3.) Does the collaborative divorce process work for everyone?

- The short answer is no. Every couple is different, and each situation requires finding out what type of divorce process is going to work for you and your spouse. If you know from the beginning that you and your spouse are not going to listen to one another and refuse to compromise on anything, then the collaborative process likely isn’t for you.

4.) How involved am I in the collaborative divorce process?

- Very involved! You will attend all meetings regarding your divorce. Also in between meetings, you will have a form of “homework” to help prepare for the next meeting and to move the collaboration process along. This will help resolve issues and provide a chance to raise any concerns at the next meeting.

5.) How long does the process take?

- There is no “one-size-fits-all” for collaborative divorce. Just like the process does not work for everyone, it is also the same that each case is different and some collaborative divorces take longer than others. While it is true that the collaborative process often is shorter than litigating your divorce in court, how long it takes will depend on how willing you and your spouse are to compromise and solve any issues in a respectful manner.

6.) Isn’t collaborative divorce just mediation?

- No. In mediation, there is a neutral third party that helps solve any disputes between you and your spouse. In collaborative divorce, you work with a team that includes your lawyer who can help give you legal advice and guide you through the process while always being a familiar face.

Hopefully, this blog helped answer any questions or confusion about collaborative family law. If you would like to discuss this option further or have concerns related to your case, please do not hesitate to contact our office!


***The thoughts and information contained in this blog are not legal advice in any form. Should you have any legal questions please contact your attorney or our office to schedule a free consultation with Marcie Baker.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Can I Start A Second Job While Receiving Work Comp?

Happy Thursday, all! Can you believe it is December? This year has absolutely flown by and Christmas and New Year’s will be here before we know it.

Today I wanted to jump back into the world of Workers’ Comp. An important question many have when discussing work comp. is, “can I start/work a second job while receiving work comp. benefits? I hope to break down this question for you and provide some guidance on how to proceed when you are receiving work comp. Every state handles work comp. claims a little differently, so I will just be focusing on Florida for today’s blog.

- Taking a second job will impact the dollar amount of indemnity benefits you receive. This does not mean that you cannot take a second job, but you need to be aware that there will be an impact on the benefits you are receiving from the workplace where you were injured.

- It is important to remember:

o Your W/C benefits cannot be discontinued because you change your current job. However, a change in income may affect the indemnity benefits you are paid.

o Your W/C benefits cannot be discontinued if you accept a position doing light-duty work that pays a reduced salary. However, indemnity benefits may be reduced in certain circumstances.

o Your W/C benefits cannot be discontinued because you accept a lesser-paying position. However, if you are found to have voluntarily limited your income by refusing employment the benefits could be reduced or stopped.

- What are the reasons to change jobs? There are many reasons a worker may change or take on a secondary job. Here is a couple:

o There is a less demanding job that meets the recommendations the doctor had given about physical restrictions or light-duty work, that pays the same.

o There is a job that pays less but meets the doctor’s recommendation for reduced physical labor and lets you move on with your life.

- Another thing to remember is that any secondary income made when you have filed a work comp. claim and are receiving work comp. benefits MUST be reported. If you do not do so, your claim may be invalidated, or you could be accused of attempting to commit fraud.

- You need to discuss any restrictions or accommodations that you may need with your doctor before starting a second job. While you may want to get back to making a steady income, you need to be sure that doing so will not stop your healing process or injure you further.

- You may even be able to get a new job with your same employer! Another option after you have suffered an injury and filed a work comp. claim is to find a position of employment with your current employer where you can perform modified job tasks or work on light duty.

I hope this blog was informative and helped shed some light on the world of work comp. Please do not hesitate to contact our office or check out one of our other work comp. blog posts should you have any further questions!


**The thoughts, ideas, and contents of this blog do not constitute legal advice in any form. If you have any legal questions, please contact your attorney or our office so that we can assist you further.

Time to Say Goodbye

Happy Thursday, all! Enjoy this upcoming long weekend and the unofficial start to summer! Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and to...