Divorce and full disclosure. It’s part of the process.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach

When anyone files for divorce in the state of Florida procedurally,, one must follow the rules of mandatory disclosure.  This rule is 12.285 in the Florida Rules of Court.

What is says is if any party is seeking financial relief, or if child support is involved in the case, one must disclose all his/her financial information.  This includes filing a sworn financial affidavit, accompanied by supporting documents.  A financial affidavit includes one’s income, assets, debts, deductions, financial obligations to a prior family, and the like.  Documents required to be produced to the other party include pay stubs, tax returns, bonuses, deeds, mortgages, car payments, health insurance costs, child support paid to another family, if any, loan documents title documents, credit card statements, bank statements, stock account or other financial instruments.  In other words, all documentation that is evidence of one’s financial resources and obligation must be provided. 

Once both sides exchange these items, then in Palm Beach County divorce court, all parties and their counsel must attend mediation prior to going to court.  This is a court mandate, becu\ause most cases settle without a judge.  Mediation is where the parties andtheir attorneys can try to come up with a marital settlement agreement.  If that should fail, then a temporary relief hearing, a mini trial, is set before the judge.  The case at this point then turns from settlement to litigation, which is very costly. 

For more information about financial discovery in divorce cases, please click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091.

Divorce, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy…it’s a new year, a new you.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

This past year saw gas prices at an all time high, residential construction and housing at an all time low; builders, decorators, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, roofers, pool companies, car dealers/salesmen, and lots of others all out of customers and out of work.   Not to mention what has happened on Wall Street, and to our retirement portfolios. 

So it is not surprising that my law practice has seen more clients go through more divorces, foreclosures, and bankruptcies than ever before.  People have problems and stress.  If husbands and wives are relentlessly fighting (usually over money), relief is sought by divorce.  If the mortgage (or car payment) can’t be paid, the bank will relieve you of that obligation by foreclosing.  If you are seriously in debt, having run up those credit cards, bankruptcy is your recourse. 

While the picture is not pretty, neither was Year 2008.   It is time to plan for the future.   While I am hardly a doomsayer, I just throw out those three words: divorce, foreclosure, bankruptcy, as real legal options.  You have options.  And with options comes hope for a brand new beginning.  

For more information click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the Firm’s attorneys by calling 561-835-9091.

Sexual battery is a crime even if you are married.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many people don’t realize the ramifications of their actions under the law.  In Florida, if a husband forces himself upon his wife, without her consent, and commits a sexual act, that husband has committed rape, a crime, even though the woman is his wife.

Domestic violence in the home crosses all races, religions, and economic stratas.  The mere threat of physical harm by one spouse to the other is enough for the victimized spouse to get a restraining order.   If there is an unwanted touching, pushing, shoving, throwing a soda can in one’s direction, kicking the cat, breaking a window in one’s direction, these type of actions are enough to have the police investigate, file a report, and use to obtain a restraining order.

This injunction for protection forces the immediate removal of a spouse from the home.  In many cases, it alleviates the threats.  But when a spouse is suffering a severe mental illness, sometimes these restraining orders are provocative and cause extreme violence and sometimes death to the victim. 

The best defense is a strong offense.  Try to resolve the situation at the very beginning, before it escalates into a hopeless patter of bad or violent behavior.  One way to do this is to never return to the relationship.  Once domestic violence occurs, don’t give the perpetrator a second shot at you. 

For men and women alike who have been victims, there are safe houses or even hotels to escape to.  There are also social service agencies that can assist.  For more information, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091.

Stress is no excuse for child neglect.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

All kinds of marital problems can cause stress to both the husband and the wife.  Deciding whether to separate and divorce can be stressful.  Going through the process of divorce, even under amicable circumstances, can be a very stressful experience.

But where children are concerned, stress of the parents is no excuse for neglecting children.  If one spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, it is the duty of the other spouse to step in and make whatever arrangements have to be made to protect the children.  Certainly no child should be in a car with an alcoholic parent. 

Legal options are available to provide for the best interests of the children.  Grand parents, although they have no rights by operation of law, can file for and become temporary custodians of the children.   Relatives can file in the courthouse for temporary guardianships.  In either case, this gives the natural parents time to get back on their feet emotionally and financially in order to be a fit parent to their children. 

An unfit parent is detrimental to the children.  The other spouse should then file for temporary sole custody for the same reason. 

In conclusion, if you see a child that is abandoned, abused or neglected, there are ways legally to protect that child and you need to do something IMMEDIATELY about  this unfortunate situation.  For more information, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at the firm by calling 561-835-9091.

Marital Problems get worse around the holidays.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Around holiday time, things get tough enough with stress levels increasing for everyone.  If a marriage is already in trouble, these holiday external forces usually make matters worse.  Read the list below and you may see yourself here.

1.  BLENDED FAMILIES.  Where there are children from several former spouses, it is difficult to even plan a holiday meal where everyone can be together. 

2.  DEADLINES TO MEET.  Christmas and Hanukah fall on specific dates.  Presents have to be ready when the time comes, which means shopping and wrapping has to be done on time and is often rushed.

3.  MONEY IS TIGHT.  Especially in these troubled times with the economy being what it is, and some of us even being jobless into the new year. 

4.  FIGHTING OVER HOW MUCH TO SPEND or what bills to pay or not pay. Everyone has an opinion and this causes marital friction.

5.  DIFFICULT EXs.  Put the kid on the plane……..or not. 

6.  NOT IN THE MOOD.  Too stresssed for sex.

7.  ADDICTION AND CELEBRATION.  No champagne for alcoholic or drug users.  Or DUIs for those that imbibe.

8.  COMING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  Everyone knows the stress of travel whether it is on a plane, train, or auto.

9.  STAYING TOGETHER DURING THE HOLIDAYS FOR THE SAKE OF THE KIDS.  Many couples stick it out until January.  

10.  SHOULD YOU OR SHOULDN’T YOU?  There is a way out.  For marriages that can’t outlive the pressure, the way out is separation and divorce.  Consult your local shrink, then call us.

For more information, click on our website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at Robin Roshkind, P.A. by calling 561-835-9091.

Legal Mistakes to avoid when getting a divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You have decided to get a divorce.  You have selected a divorce attorney you feel comfortable with.  Now here are the pitfalls to avoid if you want effective legal representation.

1.  DON’T KEEP FACTS FROM YOUR ATTORNEY.  Your attorney needs all the information and stories and circumstances.  You don’t want your attorney to hear something from opposing counsel that you failed to disclose.

2.  DON’T ALLOW EMOTION TO OVERCOME LOGIC.  You need to be clear headed at a time like this.  Your future depends upon it.

3.  DON’T BELIEVE YOUR SPOUSE IS YOUR FRIEND.  Even in amicable situations, your spouse is looking out for #1.  You should too.

4.  DON’T HAVE UNREASONABLE EXPECTATIONS.  Two people are now divided.  There will be two households, two families, double the expenses.

5.  DON’T ASSUME FACTS AND FIGURES ARE ACCURATE.  Divorce lawyers are only human.  Check all documents for accuracy. 

6.  DON’T ASSUME YOUR SPOUSE WILL BE COOPERATIVE.  Even under the best of circumstances, you are potentially adversarial.

7.  DON’T THINK THE COURT SYSTEM WILL BE FAIR.  What you think is fair, and what is fair, may be two different scenarios.

8.  DON’T BE LEFT IN THE DARK.   If something is written in “legalese” and you don’t understand it, ask your attorney to explain it to you in plain English.

9.  DO READ AND UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU SIGN.  Signed agreements become court orders and are binding and enforceable.  You have a duty to read and understand what you are signing.

If you need additional information, click on the Firm website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at Robin Roshkind, P.A. by calling 561-835-9091.

Get A Divorce, Get A New Life…A New Year’s Resolution.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

As a key player in the divorce law in Palm Beach County, Florida, I never push anyone into getting  a divorce.  It is a very serious and personal subject.  Only the client can decide the right timing of such an important life changing matter.

But there is something to be said for a fresh start.  Often after the holidays, spouses just can’t take it anymore, and they make a visit to the divorce lawyer to find out about their rights, options, and obligations under the law.

For those thinking about making a fresh start in life, my Firm website has much information.  Click on www.familylawwpb.com or call for a consultation with one of the Firm attorneys at 561-835-9091.

Divorce and New Beginnings.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

With the dawning of a new year, many of you who are recently divorced are going through the beginning stages as a single or as a single parent.  Once the judge’s gavel comes down on the divorce decree, you turn the page to a new life.  However, there are certain things you must address to get a fresh start.  The following is your checklist:

1.  If you are female and getting your former name back legally in the divorce proceedings,  you need to take certified copies of your divorce decree to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Also, don’t forget about your passport, credit card accounts, and social security.  Change your name on bank accounts, IRAs, 401Ks, insurance policies,  security accounts, leases, and any other legal documents that identify you.

2.  For husbands as well as wives, do a new will and change the beneficiary from your spouse to your children. 

3.  Same with insurance policies and benefiaries,  and trust documents.  You don’t want  your spouse to be the trustee any longer.

4.  Make necessary changes to the title of your vehicle, boat, real estate deeds.

5.  Don’t forget those frequent flier accounts.  They are worth something.

For more information, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091.