Who pays for a prenuptial agreement?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement between a future bride and groom as to how they are going to live under the marriage, how they are going to split assets, debts, income, and bills during the marriage, and what happens if the marriage should fail by divorce or break by death in sickness.

Normally, it is the party who has the wealth or higher income who needs the prenuptial agreement most for the obvious protections.   It is this person who hires an attorney to draft his or her wish list as a starting point to the negotiations.  However, the other party also needs advice of counsel to determine the prenup’s validity, disclosure of finances are accurate, and enforceability.

So where two lawyers are involved, they can each pay their own attorney, or the person with the most assets or income gives the fees to the other for payment to his or her attorney.  Pre nuptial agreements are very technical, and while you can pull a template off the internet, when dealing with large amounts of assets and existing debts, it might be penny wise and pound foolish to do this yourself.  It is a binding and life effecting document.  It should not be amateur hour in its preparation.

Because prenuptial agreements are so far reaching, expect to pay a lawyer at least a $5000 retainer to draft or review one.  They normally run 35 pages or more if done properly.  For more information about this or other family law topics, call one of the lawyers 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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Cancelling a wedding…who gets stuck with the bills?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A word to the wise…Buyer beware!   If  you and  your beloved are making a wedding together, be careful what you pay for.   For example, if the bride is buying her dress, and also decides to pay for the flowers, live music and the wedding invitations, and the groom is paying for the reception, then what happens if the wedding gets cancelled?  Unless there is a written agreement between the parties, the person who put the charges on their credit card, or wrote the check will be stuck with the bill. 

It happens all too often where the bride or the groom gets cold feet.  This leaves a trail of expenses for both.  A written agreement would resolve the issue.  Who pays does not necessarily depend upon who did the cancelling. 

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

Can you date during divorce?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West palm Beach, Florida

The divorce papers are filed.  You are even living separately.  But you are still married.  Can you date, start a new relationship, have sex while the divorce is pending?

The answer depends upon which state you live in.  Marriage laws, adultery laws, palimony laws are state specific.  I am licensed to practice law in Florida, so I can only address the laws of the State of Florida.

In Florida,  once divorce papers are filed, and even before, yes you can…date, have sex, be involved.  Florida is a no fault state.  If your spouse feels “cheated on” the legal recourse is divorce.  No questions asked.  But here is the danger:  If you do anything in front of the children which will detrimentally harm them, you might suffer the consequences of less time sharing with your children. 

Children are having a hard enough time going back and forth between separated parents.  Don’t add to their anguish by bringing another person into their lives.  They are still loyal to the other parent and oftentimes have not gotten “used to” the new arrangement.   You may be involved with a new significant other, but it is difficult for children to share your joy, at least at the beginning of the break up of the marriage.  So be sensitive to children and other close family members when deciding to date and form new relationships.

For more information about divorce, dating, and the process, 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.

What happens if you can’t agree to agree at mediation?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You filed divorce papers.  Your spouse has responded.  Pleadings are closed and financial discovery is complete.  It’s time to go to mediation here in Palm Beach County courts.  But what happens if you and your spouse just can’t agree to the terms of your divorce at mediation?

One of the attorneys will set a temporary relief hearing before the judge to determine on a temporary basis who pays for what, when, how much, and where the children will live, child support amounts and other details, pending a trial.  So if mediation does not resolve the disputed issues between the husband and the wife, one this court order is in place, it is time to prepare for trial.

This is where divorce litigation gets expensive.  It is time to bring in the experts, whether it is an accountant, an appraiser, a real estate agent, a psychologist, the child’s teacher, etc.  Testimony will be taken in depositions, and at trial.  Exhibits and evidence will be prepared.  And the judge will decide what is to become of the family.

For more information about divorce mediation and litigation, call on 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.

Cheating spouses increase with bad economy.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Bad mortgages, job loss, shrinking business, bills piling up, all these economic factors are taking its toll on marriages.  Couples everywhere are fighting over the family finances.  They are also fighting over adultery.  Technology and social web sites like Facebook and Match.com are adding fuel to the cheating heart.

The people who follow these sort of statistics, like the founders of the web site Ashley Madison, a web site for married cheaters, say affairs are on the rise.  Extra marital sex is where stressed out spouses are taking comfort.  If you find yourself in this situation, come talk to a divorce lawyer for your protection. One of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. can be reached by calling 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site www.familylawwpb.com for additional information.

What to do if you are divorcing and are “stuck” with the house.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

About two years or so ago, divorcing couples were fighting over who gets the biggest asset of the marriage, that most often being the marital home.  The wife generally had the nesting instinct and wanted to stay in the marital home with the children.  The husband, who may have purchased the home prior to the marriage, would fight with the wife over a buy out so he could stay. 

But all that is changed.  Instead of couples fighting over who is going to keep the marital home, they are now fighting over who is going to vacate it, leaving the other “stuck” with a depreciating asset, just like a boat.  The present economy is the reason.

If in pre divorce negotiations, you can’t agree as to which of the two of you is going to keep the home, you have several options:

1.  Let the bank take it back.  The problem with this is both the husband and the wife will suffer bad credit.

2.  One spouse take the house along with the debt and live there, foreclose, or sell. 

3.  Both parties stay real estate partners even after the divorce and agree now to sell when the market improves.  You both can move and rent out the property splitting the proceeds. 

4.  Short sale the house to a third party.  Again you might both suffer bad credit ratings.

There is no ideal answer in this economy but there are options to discuss with a lawyer.  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.

No palimony, no common law marriage in the State of Florida.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I often get inquiries from women who have spent the greater part of 15 to 20 living together in the relationship, usually with a very wealthy man.  The relationship ends, and the women come  to me to find out what their rights are.

Unfortunately, I have to be the bearer of bad news.  In the State of Florida, unlike California and some other states, there is no palimony law.  That means that the client has “WASTED” 15 to 20 of the best years of her life, with no legal recourse after the relationship ends.  “BUT WE LIVED AS HUSBAND AND WIFE”, they say.  “EVERYONE THOUGHT WE WERE MARRIED”  they say.  They weren’t!  At least under the law. 

In New York State, if you hold yourselves out to the public as husband and wife for 7 years, it is as good as a marriage license under New York law.  BUT NOT HERE IN FLORIDA!  Marriage laws are specific to each individual state.  What applies in New York or California, does not always apply in Florida.

The way around this is to have a CO HABITATION AGREEMENT which provides rights by contract between the parties.  That contract gives rights.  Without one, it is too bad so sad.  And yes, it is sad to spend that much time in a relationship with nothing to show for it.  That is why I recommend marriage in the State of Florida, or at the least, have a co habitation agreement.  For more information about this or other topics in family law, 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.