Your marriage is falling apart…what to do?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It is Saturday night…instead of dinner and a movie, your spouse says to you “I am going out, don’t wait up”.   Or you find yourself in sweat pants and disheleved from the day, and you are doing a laundry. 

Or maybe you shipped the kids out to a friend for the night and all your spouse wants to do is watch TV.  Alone.   Or worst case scenario, you end up in a fight.  If any of this happens repeatedly, you have to know that something is wrong in the marriage.

The question is what to do about it… Here is the advice of a divorce attorney who is experienced in these sort of things.

1.  Avoid domestic violence.  If you find yourself in a heated argument, go walk the dog or go visit a friend for an hour.  Just get out of the house for a while to let things cool down.

2.  Realize the marriage is broken.  You have two optionns:  bail or fix it.

3.  Start seeing yourself as an individual.  Perhaps your needs are not being met, whether they are physical or emotional or financial.

4.  Protect yourself.  Have credit cards in your own name;  set up a cell phone account of your own;  get a post office box for your personal mail;  keep a lock on your computer; know at all times where the keys to your car are; remove personal papers and small jewelry from the house.

5.  See a divorce lawyer to learn your rights.  If  you have any inkling that the marriage is in trouble, find out what your rights are under the law and the specific facts of your marriage.

6.  Don’t listen to friends and family.  Every marriage is different.

For more information about this or any other family law related subject, 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.

Warning to (mostly) women…stash the cash.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Here’s the scenario:  Husband moves out of the marital home, away from wife and children, to live with Girlfriend.  Husband earns more than wife.  Husband has controlled the family finances.  When Husband moves out, he does not leave behind tax returns, pay stubs, credit cards, bank statements, his computer or $$$.  What is a wife to do?

The answer is:  be prepared for the worst case scenario.  That being the Husband (or wife if she is the major breadwinner of the family), can cut the spouse off completely, temporarily, leaving him or her without money for even groceries.  Yes, husbands and wives, this does happen, and all too often!

Needless to say, this type of situation leads to an acrimonious and costly divorce.  In order to protect yourself from this situation of not having $$$ for groceries, let alone an attorney, you should have a SECRET nest egg.  Cash stashed away for a rainy day.  You may need it for basic necessities, to pay the electric bill, to feed children, and to hire a divorce lawyer to get you some financial relief.

Very often husbands or wives have to borrow money from family and friends to sustain themselves until we can get into court to ask the judge for temporary support.  Moral of the story:  Don’t be caught without cash. 

For questions about this or other divorce topics, call one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

Know your tax and IRS rights.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

With constant fighting over finances, couples in this economy are especially hit hard.  A divorce can ruin your credit, cause lingering debt long after the divorce is over, and have the IRS breathing down your neck.

The following tips are for those divorced spouses who are subject to an IRS tax audit:

1.  Know that you can challenge an auditor’s decision.

2.  Penalties that are assessed, can be cancelled if you show a good faith effort to pay.

3.  Audits can be by correspondence instead of face to face.

4.  You can ask the IRS for an installment plan to pay any money owed.

5.  IRS notices may be incorrect.  You can challenge notices and sometimes they are cancelled.

6.  There is a problem resolution office of the IRS to resolve disputes.

7.  You have the right to appeal anyIRS decision within 30 days of receipt.

Often divorce lawyers work with accountants, bookkeepers and CPAs to gather financial information.  There may be tax ramifications of any settlement offer so it is important to consult with a tax advisor prior to signing any marital settlement agreement.  For more information call to speak to one of the attorneys at ROBIN  ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

Do divorce yourself? Hire a lawyer? It depends…

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In today’s economy, we are all trying to cut expenses and save money.  So if you think you can do your own divorce without counsel, you may be falling into the trap of being penny wise and pound foolish!

In a marriage where there are no liabilities, no children or no assets, ok, go it alone or pro se as it is called, when you do not have a divorce lawyer.   You will be working with court house personnel who cannot guide you, advise you or explain what you need to do.  Divorce is still paper intensive and you may or may not know how to fill out the forms or set a hearing for the divorce.

But, and this is a big but, where there are children, custody battles, child support disputes, questionable income, obscure assets or possibly hidden assets, or if your spouse is self employed, works on a cash basis, hasn’t filed tax returns in years, or other complex technicalities, you would be foolish to not have an attorney representing you.

By far, the worst case scenario is where your spouse has a divorce lawyer and you do not.  Guess who the fool is in that case!

So in deciding whether to retain a divorce lawyer or not, think about what is at stake.  For more information call one of the attorneys at ROBIN
ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

The Psychological Cycles of Divorce. A helpful guide for your understanding.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Deciding to get married is easy.  Deciding to divorce is a much more difficult exercise.  In the State of Florida, if one spouse seeks a divorce, generally, the other spouse has no say in the matter.

So if you are on the receiving end of “I want a divorce”, here are the cycles that you may go through:

1.  Denial.  You may not yet realize what is happening, or if you do, you have hopes of getting the marriage back on track

2.  Anger.  Once you realize this is for real, you get angry.  How could your spouse do this?

3.  Guilt.  The next step is to think it is something that you have done to ruin the marriage.  You blame yourself for the breakup.

4.  Depression.  You go through a sadness stage.  You may lose or gain weight; have sleepless nights; anxiety attacks; crying bouts; chronic fatigue.

5.  Forgiveness.  You realize what is going to be and you start to forgive your spouse and yourself.

6.  Acceptance.  You are beginning to plan your future.

7.  Recovery.  You are ready to move forward into the future.

There also may be physcial ramifications of each of these stages.  Your immune system may be effected and you may be susceptible to colds.  You may find yourself hyperventilating with an anxiety attack.  You may feel tired all the time.  Overwhelmed with divorce paper work.  You may be unable to focus and concentrate.

You may find yourself forgetful, scattered, confused.

If you find yourself unable to cope with the divorce process, seek professional assistance in a marriage counselor and retain an attorney you have confidence in.  That will take away most of the worry.

For more information about this or other divorce subjects, call one of the attorneys at the Firm at 561-835-9091 or click on the ROB
on the ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

Angry children and divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When it comes to divorcing parents, children have strange reactions.

Sometimes they blame themselves for parents who split up.  Other times, they become insecure and effected by the circumstances which they have no control over.  This may result in your child becoming an angry and problematic child.  He or she may act out in school, stop eating, having nightmares or exhibiting other behavior of a troubled child.  Below are some helpful hints toward curbing anger in your child:

1.  Teach your child how to express feelings and to saywhat is bothering them.  Then you can make it known that the divorce is not because of them.

2.  Help your child understand that anger has to be controlled.

3.  Explain the range of anger from frustration to mad to malicious and what behavior is unacceptable.

4.  Teach your child how to deal with anger.  Discuss deep breathing, counting to ten, and using self talk to calm down.

5.  Point out anger coping skills a child can use such as writing down an event that upset them; taking action to avert a temper tantrum; asking for a hug or comfort.

6.  Most importantly, set a good example.  Going through a divorce is not easy.  If you set a good example of anger control, your child will learn how to copy your coping with anger.

7.  Lastly, if you are having problems with your child, seek professional help with a child psychologist.

For more information about children and divorce, call one of the attorneys at Robin Roshkind, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

New Shared Parenting Laws you need to know.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Florida statutes talked about shared parental responsibility.  The meaning behind it included things like keeping the other parent informed of the whereabouts of the children, allowing children to communicate with the other parent by unlimited telephone or internet access, informing the other parent of any medical emergencies, no disparagement or alienation of affection of the other parent and things that required joint decision making.  Violations of this statute were to be brought to the court’s attention and the most severe recourse was a change in custody.

Florida laws also talked about custody and visitation.  One parent was the primary residential parent and the other was the “visiting” parent. 
With new statutes, the law now talks about SHARED PARENTING.  More specifically, custody and parental responsibility is now a parenting plan, and visitation is now time sharing.

For reference, see Florida Statute 61.046(13) through my web site at www.familylawwpb.com

The statute combines parental decision making with time sharing schedules, in the best interests of the children.  If the parents cannot come to agreement on the issues or the parenting plan, then the court will have to micro manage the children.   The parenting plan takes into consideration the reorganization of families to try to reduce post dissolution arguments. 

If you have questions about this or other divorce topics, call one of the attorneys at the Firm at 561-835-9091 or click on the ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. web site at www.familylawwpb.com.