How long does a divorce take?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I once did a divorce in FOUR days.  Here’s how that worked:  A race car driver (my client) and his wife arrived at my office by appointment, along with their accountant.  The accountant knew the family businesses and finances.  Both the husband and wife trusted this accountant, and relied on the fairness of the accountant’s judgment in setting forth the terms of the marital settlement.  They all marched into my office on a Thursday; I drafted all the paperwork, petitions, waivers, court orders, hearing notices, and I had them divorced by Monday. 

That is an exception to the rule.  Here is Palm Beach County, Florida, there are certain family court rules that divorce lawyers have to follow UNLESS a client and spouse WAIVE those rights.  Once a divorce petition is served upon the other spouse, the responding spouse has 20 days in which to file an answer and counter petition.

The petitioner then has 45 days from date of filing to produce mandatory disclosure of finances.  The respondent has 45 days from date of service to provide mandatory disclosure documents.  Once financials are exchanged and reviewed, the parties can schedule mediation which is also mandatory in Palm Beach County.  This process usually takes about 3 to 4  months.

At mediation, the case can resolve, and the parties sign a marital settlement agreement.  That agreement is then used for the final judgment of divorce, which takes another month or so to go before the judge.

This is a best case scenario.  If there is no resolution at mediation, the case goes before the judge in a temporary relief hearing.  The judge then sets forth the terms of the separation pending the rest of the divorce proceedings.  The “rest” of depositions, discovery, subpeonas, witness interviews, expert witness analysis, etc. can take up to another year or two.

It all really depends upon how litigious or complex the case is and how cooperative or uncooperative the parties are.  For more information about the divorce 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.

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Can’t Decide to Get Divorced?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire

If you can’t decide to get divorced, the first thing you should do is take stock of your life.  Make a list of what makes you happy and what upsets you about your husband or wife.  Next, make an appointment with a marriage and family therapist or marriage counselor and take that list with you for your appointment.

Then consult with a divorce lawyer so you can get some idea of what you will experience during the divorce process, what your rights are, and how this potentially can play out.

It is only with lots of information and education, can you make an informed decision.  Don’t worry about changing your mind a hundred times.  That is part of the natural progression.  For more information consult with the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

When to Hire a Private Eye.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The State of Florida is a no fault state regarding divorce law.  So why would it be important to consider hiring a private investigator? 

If you suspect your spouse of lies and spending money on everyone and everything (prostitution, gambling) but you…that is a good time to consider hiring a private eye.   If he/she is having a sexual affair, it is not the adultery that will get him/her into trouble, it is the spending of marital funds that will do it.  A private investigator can tip off  your accountant that something is going a wry, such as gambling or drug dealing.

Private eyes can follow someone, take photos, and spy.  They can also do public record searches as to ownership of properties you may not be aware of, criminal records like drug dealing, ownership of boats, planes and cars (for the girlfriend?!) and find out all sorts of lifestyle information such as whether or not your spouse goes to a job everyday or the country club.

Private eyes can search dating sites, social networking sites, and don’t forget about your spouse’ computer hardrive once there is a discovery request out on it.  Computers and cell phone records are ripe with information you did not know about your spouse.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.