Women who pay alimony.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It does happen.  Wives earn more money than their husbands.  Like the song says, what does love have to do with it?  There are high powered executive women who do pay alimony to car mechanics.  Here’s why:

In long term marriages of 13 years or more, and where the major breadwinner of the family is and has been the wife, chances are better than 50% that the husband will collect alimony, if the wife has historically and consistently been earning 20% or more than the husband. 

The law of alimony is need and ability to pay.  If the husband can prove need and the ability of the wife to pay for his support, then alimony will be awarded, provided the husband meets many of the 30 statutory factors in an alimony award.  Some of those include contribution to the marriage, age and health of the parties, lifestyle during the marriage, duration of the marriage, education levels of the parties, employment opportunities available and relative incomes of the parties. 

The biased attitude is:  what kind of man would accept that.  However, there are many women who cheat on their husbands.  It’s a gender neutral world in the eyes of the law. 

For more information about this or other divorce topics, please 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.

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Do NOT do divorce on your own if…

By Robin Roshkind, West Palm Beach, Florida

In today’s economy, couples are fighting with each other over money, one of the most common causes of divorce.  Some couples will attempt to do a settlement of all their marital issues on their own and without the advice of counsel, in order to save money in attorneys fees.  However, there are certain circumstances where a divorce REQUIRES the skills of an experienced divorce lawyer like those at my Firm, and a spouse would be penny wise and pound foolish to go it alone.

Here are the situations where having a divorce lawyer on your side is A MUST:

1.  Where a spouse is self employed.

2.  Where a spouse works for cash under the table.

3.  Where a spouse hasn’t filed a tax return in years.

4.  Where a spouse is the sole owner of a closely held corporation.

5.  Where there was a business formed by one or the other DURING the marriage, or where there is a spouse working in a family business.

6.  Where the spouse does not know the true net worth.

7.  Where the spouse does not have access to books and records.

8.  Where the spouse has no idea of the assets or debts of the marriage.

9.  Where there are children of the marriage that have special needs.

10.  Where there is a spouse who has drug addiction, gambling addiction, alcholism, shopaholic tendencies, or a paramour.

11.  Where one or the other spouse entered the marriage with assets.

12.  Where there has been an inheritence during the marriage.

13.   Where a spouse has mental health issues like bi polar, anger management problems, domestic violence.

14.  Where a spouse has a criminal record, restraining orders.

15.  Where a spouse cannot be employed or keep steady employment.

16.  Where a spouse is supported by family members.

17.  Where there are numerous real properties, income producing rentals, time shares and vacation homes. 

18.  If the marriage is more than 10 years and there is alimony, permanent alimony, rehabilitative alimony, bridge the gap alimony to be discussed and negotiated.

19.  Where a spouse has another family with children either prior to this marriage or outside of this marriage.

20.  Where paternity is at issue.

21.  Where the spouses are extremely unequal in education or ability to earn, or by measure of individual wealth. 

22.  Where a pre nuptial agreement should be contested.

If ANY of these circumstances apply to you, you should at least consult with an attorney before attempting a divorce on your own.  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.

Support payments and the lost job…what to do.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You are divorced two years and you are court ordered to pay child support.  In this economy, your company has fired you due to a payroll cut back.   You are seeking employment but it’s been a month so far and no luck.  What should you do?

You need to file a motion to abate child support payments pending finding employment.  If you do not, you may unjustly face contempt of court charges. 

There will be a court hearing before a judge on the motion to abate payments, at which time the burden of proof is on you to show that you are actively seeking employment. 

If you should get another job at a higher or lower rate of pay than your prior payheck, if there is a 20% difference between what you are earning on the new job and what you were earning on the old job, then a modification of child support is required, either upward or downward depending upon your current salary. 

For more information about this or other family law topics, call on one of the attorenys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

You may need a divorce TEAM to play your hand…

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The divorce process can be more complex than most people think especially when there are children and lots of debts or assets to “discuss”.  Other factors that complicate a case is domestic abuse, hidden money, affairs, mental illness, drug or sex addiction, alcoholism, gambling, income producing real estate, time shares, a business, and frequent flyer miles. 

Divorce cases that have multiple issues are best tried with a team behind you.  The team can include a CPA to trace assets, evaluate businesses, determine real income; a psychologist or THERAPIST to determine what is in the best interests of the children, or to help you deal with the pressures of divorce; a PSYCHIATRIST for extreme cases of addictions, bi polar behavior, and medications; a trained MEDIATOR to facilitate settlement negotiations; a TAX ADVISOR to project tax ramifications of settlement offers;  an INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL to guarantee support payments; a FINANCIAL PLANNER or investment advisor to help you get back on your feet after divorce;  a REALTOR to list or appraise the marital home;  an APPRAISER to value jewelry, artwork, antiques; and of course, your DIVORCE LAWYER to guide you through the court system and the entire process legally. 

Not all cases require all professionals and every case is different.  But when people ask me why a divorce is so expensive, it is because various expert witnesses are needed at a trial, or in preparation for settlement talks.  It is much better to have THE TEAM on your side than to go up against one.

For more information 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.

Changing the locks…when is it legal?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Can a husband or wife be thrown out of the marital home?  The answer is “it depends”.  Certainly if there is domestic violence and the police are called, if they arrest one of the spouses, there is a no contact order put in place until a hearing before the court two weeks later.  The alleged perpetrator is immediately removed from the marital home.

If a spouse voluntarily moves out of the marital home, but his/her name is clearly on the deed, or the lease, as the case may be, the remaining spouse under the law cannot change the locks unless the moving spouse has all his/her personal effects and gives permission.  Under this circumstance, it is advisable for the moving spouse to take photos of the contents of the marital home before moving out.

Moving out of a marital residence, in the state of Florida, does not constitute abandonment.  In other words, if a moving spouse has a title interest in the leasehold or fee simple property, he/she does not lose rights by vacating.

In divorce cases, often a temporary relief court order awards a marital residence to one or the other spouse for exclusive use and possession of the marital residence, pending the divorce proceedings.  In that case, and with the court order, the remaining spouse can change the locks.  The moving spouse is allowed access to get personal property from the home, often accompanied by a police officer and by appointment with the remaining spouse.

For more information about changing the locks or other divorce topics, call on 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.

Are you in an abusive relationship?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In some bad relationships, the partner has  you convinced that everyone lives this way.  Or that everything wrong in his or her life is your fault.  If  you don’t know any differently, you buy into that after years and years of being told that.  It becomes a way of life.  You become worn down by a controller.  I am a lawyer, not a shrink.  But in my experience, I have seen enough of this, and enough is enough.

Read a book, listen to the celebrity gossip, go to the movies, and  you will see that you are not alone in this situation.  The biggest first step is to be aware.  The next biggest step is to do something about it.

Here are some indicators that should be telling  you that you are being abused:

1.  You rationalize or defend your partner’s behavior.

2.  You blame yourself.

3.  You have no confidence.

4.  You feel like a prisoner in your own home.

5.  You are constantly watched and questioned.

6.  You are isolated from friends and family.

7.  You accept cheating, lying, stealing by your partner.

8.  You are constantly yelled at like a child.

9.  Your partner hits, pushes, or throws things at you.  Or worse.

10.  Your partner destroys your belongings or throws them out in the garbage.

11.  Your partner convinces you of how much you need him/her.

12.  You have lost your love of life, your sense of humor, your spirit.

If you see yourself in any of these scenarios,  get professional help.  If that doesn’t work, get out. 

For more information about abuse 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.

The amicable divorce…

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The ugliest divorce involves hidden assets, custody battles, addictions, violence, dissipation of marital assets, extra marital affairs and the emotions of revenge, jealousy, and hate.   Sometimes even mental illness is involved.  Ugly divorces are taken to court and cost a fortune in attorneys fees.

Unlike the ugliest divorce, the amicable divorce involves agreement to agree by both the husband and the wife.  Often times they have lived separate and apart for years.  The marital “stuff” has already been divided and the children are well taken care of by both parents in a cooperative manner.   Amicable divorces are quicker, cheaper, and healthier for the family.

Where you have one spouse who wants to be amicable, and the other spouse is stubborn and obnoxious, amicable divorces are all but impossible.   Believe it or not, the amount of assets may determine whether the divorce is amicable or litigious.  Generally speaking, the more “stuff” there is to fight over, the more the spouses fight. 

To determine whether your case is going to be amicable or ugly, seek the advice of counsel if you are not too sure.  Be careful who the opposing attorney is, as well.  Remember, some  litigators really like to litigate.

For more information about this or other divorce topics, call on 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.