What Is Marital Waste In Florida Divorces?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

My clients often ask me why something that happened 20 or 30 years ago in their marriage matters in today’s divorce court.   The reason is the divorce court judge in Palm Beach County cases can look back to see if there was any marital waste.  What exactly does that mean and why is it significant.

It can mean the following:  marital funds spent on a gambling habit; drugs; alcoholism; prostitutes; mistresses; extended family members; relatives overseas.  Marital waste is anything that marital monies are spent on that does not further the marital purpose. 

Some might consider marital waste as a dissipation of marital assets.  But dissipation can also encompass bad investments, or other waste of marital funds done in good faith in trying to maintain the marriage.  Selling a marital asset to pay marital bills is dissipation, but it is in furtherance of the marriage.  That is the nuance difference between the two concepts. 

The reason that dissipation of marital assets and marital waste are both important, is because the judge has to divide marital assets and debts between the husband and the wife.  It is not always a 50/50 split.  For example, if one spouse financed a gambling problem over the last 30 years, today in divorce court, that spouse is going to pay by getting less than his/her half of the marital assets.  Of course, marital waste or dissipation of marital assets has to be proven.  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.

 

What Is Dissipation and Marital Waste In Florida Divorce Law?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Anything that happened during a marriage a long time ago and long forgotten may certainly raise its ugly head when the husband and wife are in Florida divorce courts.  An example of this is as follows:  say for example that 15 years ago, the husband gambled away $100,000.  The act is long forgiven, but when it comes to dividing assets and debts in a divorce case, this will come back to haunt the husband.  The wife will claim that she should get $100,000 of some other marital asset, to even the playing field.  This is not the divorce lawyer’s idea.  It is the law. 

That example is a perfect way to explain dissipation of marital assets.  Other examples of dissipation of marital assets are substantial monies spent on a girlfriend or boyfriend,  monies spent on supporting relatives, making bad investments, incurring high interest for non payment of bills and the like.  Marital waste is usually associated with bad behavior like using marital funds to support a drug habit, gambling, or prostitutes, or excessive shopping.

If the waste or dissipation can be proven, then the injured party will be granted an unequal division of marital assets by the courts to make up for any benefit received by the other spouse even if it happened long ago.  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. 

 

 

Why Affairs Don’t Matter In Palm Beach Divorces

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

“He/she has been cheating on me!  This divorce is all his/her fault!”  Those are words that may be spoken in divorce court, but they will have no legal significance and the judge will probably tune it out UNLESS the testimony or evidence can prove there were substantial marital funds expended on the paramour.

Florida is a “no fault” state.  The spouse who is “wronged” does not get to punish the wrongdoer in the legal scheme of things because there is a big difference between moral wrongs and legal ones.  The court is not going to decide who was right and who was wrong.  The court is not going to entertain the reasons for the parties split.  The court is not going to micro manage your lives. 

Where there are cases dissipation of marital assets, due to drugs, gambling, affairs, the court MAY give the wronged spouse additional funds to make up for the misery.  This legal principle is called dissipation of marital assets by one spouse to support his sex, drugs, shopping or other addiction.  But remember, you the innocent spouse, married this person, and stayed married all those years.  It is something to think about.  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.

 

Why Sexting Is Bad For Your Finances In Divorce Court

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Did you ever notice how messaging on your IPHONE works?  Generally, outsiders cannot have access to information on your iphone unless you a passcode is entered. But if a text message is sent to your phone, that message appears right on the top of the phone, and for all the world to see.

So if you are getting sexting messages, or carrying on any kind of relationship outside the marriage, it will be obvious to your spouse when you run into the store to get a carton of milk, take a shower, walks the dog or otherwise leave the phone temporarily and inadvertently in the “care” of your spouse when at the same time a sexting message just happens to come in.

Yes, the proverbial cat will be out of the bag.  What does this mean?  Your spouse will now have at least some facts and evidence against you and will  take depositions to learn if any marital monies have been spent on this sexting partner of yours.  That legal principle is called ‘dissipation of marital assets’.

Potentially, the sexting gave it away.  Where marital funds are spent on a romance outside of the marriage, if the monies are substantial, you may have to give one half of those monies back to your spouse in any divorce settlement or adjudication by the court.  Be forewarned and be aware.  The moral of the story: there is no privacy in divorce court or on your iphone.  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.

Meddling In Laws and Your Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It may come as no surprise to you, but if you are going through a nasty divorce, other people are involved in your divorce too.  This would include your wife’s nail girl and hairdresser, or your husband’s golfing and fishing buddies.  You will be the topic of conversation from the country club to the office.

Everyone has an opinion.  Everyone has advice to give.  Everyone has either been through their own divorce or has been intimately involved in someone else’s divorce.

But there is legal significance in the State of Florida when it comes to blood relatives, and that is determined on a case by case basis.  For example, sometimes parents of adult children help them purchase a home by making the down payment or giving them funds for the purchase.  Now with the divorce, the couple is splitting and the home must be sold.  What happens to the earnest monies provided by the in laws?  The legal version of that question goes like this:  was it a gift or was it a loan?  The answer will have a definitive effect on the equitable distribution of marital assets scheme.

Another example is where there are children of the marriage.  The legal question is: do the grandparents have any right to see/visit/take care of their own grandchildren.  A third example is if the divorcing couple was spending marital assets supporting the wife’s mother or the husband’s sister, here or in another country.  The legal question there: is that dissipation of marital assets?

Entanglements between divorcing couples and blood relatives is endless.  If you think the in laws were meddling when you were married, just you wait until there is a divorce pending!  If you are going through a divorce or thinking about it, consult with 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.

 

I Filed For Divorce In Anger…Can I Change My Mind?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When people are having marital problems and stress, they lash out in anger and sometimes do things without thinking it through.  Such was the case of a husband who had just had it with his wife’s spending habits.  He broke down and filed for divorce.  The significant thing about that was the filing date is generally thought of as a cut off date for marital debt.  In other words, anything the wife spent after the date of filing for divorce, would ultimately remain her debt.

The problem was that this Husband had buyer’s remorse.  After filing for divorce, he realized he still loved his wife and was sorry he reacted so extremely.  Now he wanted to stop the divorce process and get his shopaholic wife some counseling.

This can be done in two ways: either a voluntary dismissal of the entire divorce case, or an abatement for three months, to give the parties time to either reconcile, or go to marriage counseling to determine if they will go forward with the divorce or dismiss it.

The moral of the story is, yes, you can stop a divorce if you want to, but you run the risk of the other party taking up the divorce and running with it.  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.

 

 

Divorce Allegations and Proof Required

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many allegations that can go flying around in divorce cases in Palm Beach County…drug and alcohol abuse, wife beating, illicit affairs and marital monies spent…these are just a few.

It is important to realize that whatever a spouse alleges in divorce court, must be proven in order for the judge to make a finding as to the validity of the allegation., and thereby rule upon it based upon fairness of the situation.

So, for example, to say or testify that your husband has been cheating is not enough.  You must show with substantial evidence that he purchased a car for his girlfriend, or is paying her rent regularly, thereby dissipating marital assets.  Another example:  If you find something incorrect on your wife’s financial affidavit, you must prove the falsity, rather than just put forth the allegation.

Trial judges don’t take your position on its face value.  What you allege in divorce court you have to prove.   And of course, the allegations have to be relevant and material to the issues at hand.  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.

Can A Cheating Spouse Be Punished By Florida Divorce Courts?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Sitting in my office, listening to potential divorce clients, it seems like no one is having sex within their marriage.  They are either sex deprived, or they or their spouse are cheating on the side.

To some extent, the Florida law protects cheaters, directing the “cheated upon” spouse to simply divorce the cheater.   That’s what is meant when we divorce lawyers say Florida is a “no fault” state.    However, the law does protect an innocent spouse from dissipation of marital assets.   What that means is if a cheater is spending significant sums of marital monies on the affair, that so called dissipation of marital assets can be considered in the financial scheme of the divorce.  There may be an unequal equitable distribution given in favor of the innocent spouse by the divorce court judge.

Case law defines significant sums as: buying a girl friend an expensive car, paying her rent, buying a condo for the paramour, taking numerous expensive vacations or shopping trips, all the usual but expensive trappings of keeping a lover.   A casual dinner out does not qualify.

If you suspect your spouse is the cheating kind, 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 for more information.  We may want to put a private eye on your spouse and use that testimony and evidence in court to get you the better part of the marital estate.

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