By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida
Divorce and taxes, divorce and health insurance, divorce and the marital home, divorce and credit, divorce and sex, divorce and children, divorce and child support, divorce and the computer, divorce and your cell phone, credit cards, bank accounts…the list can go on and on and on! There is so much to think about when you decide to divorce that it is overwhelming for the lay person. So here is my own check list to help you get through it:
- Tax ramifications. Before signing any marital settlement, seek an independent tax advisor. Most divorce attorneys, myself included, are not tax experts.
- Attorneys fees and costs. Who is going to pay?
- Children’s issues. These include time sharing, where and with whom the child will live, child support, vacations, travel to and from the other parent, schooling, extracurricular activities, clothing and personal effects. Parents need to collaborate on these issues for the well being of the child.
- Marital home. Is one spouse going to buy out the other? Should the home be listed for sale to a third party? Do you need to refinance or do a short sale? Should one spouse stay in the home until the children are grown? Divorcing parties need to agree, or a judge will micro manage this issue. It is the same for any other real estate investment property, time shares, vacation homes, rental income.
- Stuff. Who is going to get what stuff…did the spouse bring the antique silver into the marriage?
- Family pets. Pets are not people and under the law they are viewed the same way that “stuff” is.
- Joint accounts. Bank accounts, credit cards, car insurance, cell phone accounts, utility accounts…these all need to be separated. Discuss the timing with your attorney.
- Gifts. Gifts between spouses, such as jewelry or the big screen TV. These need to be “assigned”.
- Debt. Mortgages, car loans, credit cards, IRS, lines of credit…these need to be “assigned” also.
- Marital waste…on drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, a paramour. This issue is referred to in Florida as dissipation of marital assets. It is a serious issue and could cost you. Consult with your attorney.
- Alimony…there are all kinds: bridge the gap, rehabilitative, lump sum, permanent periodic, temporary. Alimony is statutory and is serious business, so consult with your attorney.
- Relocation with children. This causes many problems within the family. It is very often left to the judge to decide.
- Name change…usually the wife has the option of restoring her former name during divorce proceedings.
- More stuff. Cars, boats, trucks, tools, equipment, computers. Decide who gets what or a judge will do that for you.
- The business or businesses. If it was formed during the marriage, it needs to be addressed.
- Paper trails. Emails, photos and other paper trails. Consider this: they could be good for you or bad for you. Be careful.
- Friends and family…same as above, good or bad. But you need to follow the advice of your experts such as lawyers, CPAs, shrinks, doctors, financial planners and the like. That’s what you pay us for!
For additional information on any of these, please call my law firm, Robin Roshkind, P.A., for a consultation (561-835-9091) or visit the firm’s website at www.familylawwpb.com.