By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Many couples going through a divorce just don’t have the funds for separate residences. It is cheaper (not easier) to stay under one roof, until the divorce is final and the issue of the marital home is decided by the judge or agreed to by the parties.
For those couples lucky enough to have assets, or those in two income families, it is easier (not cheaper) to live separately and apart pending divorce proceedings. So how do couples decide who shall stay and who shall go?
First, you don’t lose your marital rights to the marital residence merely by moving out, if your name is on the deed or on the lease. The remaining party has no right to change the locks unless by agreement of the parties or court order.
Secondly, if there are children, it is understandable that they are going through enough changes during divorce. They should remain, if at all possible, in a stable home environment. So who is going to be the parent who will be or continue to be the major caregiver? It is that parent who should stay, as it is in the best interests of the children.
On the other hand, there are cases whereby only one of the parties can afford to pay the mortgage, maintenance, insurance and taxes. That is the party who should stay. The other should go, with or without children in tow.
In cases where neither party can afford the mortgage or expenses of the marital home, both should move out and rent the home or keep it as an investment property, or you both agree to list the house for sale and stay until it sells.
Lastly, where a home is in foreclosure or short sale status, you both should work it out to stay, because that is in both your best interests.
In some cases, both parties want the home or neither husband nor wife wants the home. Every case is different. If the spouses cannot agree, the divorce court judge will decide for you both.
by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Many of my clients have a misconceptions about whose property is whose when it comes to divorce in Palm Beach County. For example, a Mercedes Benz was purchased during the marriage with funds from a joint bank account. The car is titled in the husband’s name only. Whose car is it in the division of marital assets? Barring any prenuptial or post nuptial agreement that says otherwise, it is viewed by the court as marital property. Just because the title is in the husband’s name only, does not mean it belongs solely to the husband. Ultimately it might go to him in the equitable distribution scheme of the divorce, but it is not necessarily his just because of the title designation.
Another example is the marital home. Suppose one of the spouses owned the home prior to the marriage, let’s say it’s the wife. Once the marriage takes place, she refuses to put the home into joint names. When they get divorced years later, the husband still has an equitable interest in the home from the day of the wedding until the date of the divorce filing even though his name is not on the deed. For other examples of title interests in divorce law in the state of Florida, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.
By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida I get this question all the time from clients who are doing divorce planning. Divorce planning is another subject that is very important and I will address that in another article. However, moving out of the marital home raises lots of questions from clients, the most common addressed below: First question: DO I LOSE MY RIGHTS? If your name is on the deed to the marital home, the answer is no. Second question: WILL I LOSE MY KIDS? It is your children’s rights that are protected by law here, that being the right to have two loving parents. You will not lose your parental rights unless you are unfit to parent. Third question: CAN HE/SHE KEEP ME OUT? Only if there is a restraining order or some other court order giving your spouse exclusive use and possession. Fourth question: WHAT DO I DO IF MY SPOUSE CHANGES THE LOCKS? Change them back. Fifth question: CAN I TAKE MY STUFF? Only your personal effects ie clothing, cosmetics, shoes, hats, hand bags, papers. The rest is considered marital and subject to equitable distribution. Lastly: HOW DO I PROTECT MY RIGHTS: Photocopy everything and photograph everything else. For more information about this subject, divorce planning or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.
By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
Clients come in for a consultation for information. They either are thinking about getting out of a bad marriage or relationship, or their spouse has mentioned something about a split. I often get the question, how do I protect myself?
The first easy piece of advice is PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING. That includes the cars, the boat, the grand piano, grandmother’s sterling silver, jewelry, antiques, paintings, and collections such as wine, coins, stamps, even the big screen.
The second easy piece of advice is PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING. The wine lists, coin and stamp logs, mortgages, car titles, deeds, corporate documents, bank statements, credit card bills, income statements, tax returns, pay stubs, investment accounts, whatever you can get your hands on.
Drop the cartons of pics and copies off to your lawyer. Don’t leave them in the trunk of you car!
Lastly, don’t leave car keys, wedding rings and other small valuables lying around the house. They have a tendency to be “stolen”. For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com for more information.