Loan vs. Gift…Another Big Divorce Issue.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Oftentimes, when a marriage is beginning or is intact, parents of one or the other spouse offers to buy the couple a house, or assist with a home  purchase by giving them the necessary funds.  Years later, when a divorce is imminent, the son or daughter who received the funds often claims in divorce papers that the money was a loan, meant to be paid back to the parents.  The issue is whether this money was a loan or a gift to the marriage.

Obviously if it was a bona fide loan, a promissory note is the evidence.  Also, years of payments or attempts made to repay the loan is evidence.  Barring that, the argument is strong, that it was a gift to the couple and became a marital asset in the house.

Upon the divorce, if it was a bona fide loan, the couple repays the parents prior to splitting any net sale proceeds.  If it is a gift, the parents recoup nothing and the spouses just spit the proceeds upon the sale of the marital home. 

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.

The “Embarassment” of Divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A long time ago, divorce used to be a vehicle for the glamourous movie stars of the 1940s and 1950s.  Today it occurs throughout every socioeconomic level.   People tend to view divorce differently, depending upon their upbringing, religion, spirituality, culture and whether or not they are liberal or conservative.

Some see divorce as a vehicle for growth, self awareness, independence, and freedom.

Some see divorce as a failure, a shame, something not to be talked about.

Whatever your individual perspective, keep in mind that marriage is a legal institution, a legal relationship.  Along with it come rights, obligations and privileges.  The same holds true for divorce.  It is a legal entity or remedy.

As in any legal relationship, the parties are bound by contract, in this case the marriage contract.  If there is a breach, the remedy is divorce.

The sub issues are children of the marriage, money of the marriage, mental health, domestic violence and the like.  All are considered in the family court, which is a court of equity, or fairness.  In Florida, there is no right or wrong, only a husband and a wife who wish to not be married any more.  What happens to their relationship is usually up to them if they settle their divorce, or up to the judge if they can’t settle.  For more information 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.

Make A List Of Why You Want To Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Making the decision to divorce should not be taken lightly.  You may find yourself waffling, in trying to decide what to do.  To help, you should make a list of all the reasons you can think of as to why you can no longer live this way.

They may be financial; you may be better off alone if your spouse is irresponsible.

They may be because you have just grown apart over the years.

There may be a boyfriend or girlfriend in the picture and you just can’t take it anymore.

If you find you are unhappy, talk to a divorce lawyer at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. to find out what your rights are: 561-835-9091 or for more information click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

The Holidays and Extra Marital Affairs.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When the holidays roll around, it gets easier to discover a cheating spouse.  Why?  Because they have obligations to the paramour.  It is common for a cheating husband or wife to take some time away from the family to spend some holiday time with their lovers.

They will also spend marital monies on their lovers for gifts and hotel trysts, which may be easy to trace through credit card bills or atm withdrawals.

If you really want to be sure, put a private investigator on the trail of an unfaithful husband or wife.  You will have photos, locations, and a lot more information than you have right now.

Of what relevance is all this?  First, if substantial marital funds are spent on an extra marital lover, that has legal significance.  Second, it could be a catalyst to helping you decide to divorce or not to divorce.  If the marriage is bad to begin with, and you learn about affairs, this might help you to make up  your mind to divorce.  Information is a good thing to have.  For more information, 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.

Signing Divorce Papers…What It Means.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Signing divorce papers can be wrought with fright and rightfully so.  You may be asked to sign papers in a mediation setting.  Or at your lawyers office.  Or in the courtroom.  Or in the courthouse hallway.

You may be asked to sign a sworn statement, such as your financial affidavit, which needs a notary.  Or you may be asked to sign a quit claim deed which requires two witnesses and a notary.

It is necessary for both you and your spouse to sign a marital settlement agreement.  So what does all this signing of documents mean?  First, you are signing that you read and understood every word.  If English is your second language, you need to take special care to understand what it is that you are signing.  In extreme cases, an interpreter is used or the document is translated into your first language.  Without reading AND understanding, the document may fail.

Secondly, you have to have a clear head when you sign.  You cannot be under duress…i.e. sign this or you lose your children…type of duress.  You can not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Signing also indicates full disclosure and your knowledge of all the facts.  Lastly, signing documents means that you intend to be bound and agree with the terms and will follow the terms of the documents.  If not the other party has the right to enforce the terms against you in the future.

It is very serious business, the signing of divorce court documents.  So consult a lawyer before you sign.  For more information 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.

Divorce, Marriage, and Unrealistic Expectations.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In any situation, you can set yourself up for failure if you have unrealistic expectations.  This is especially true in marriage and divorce.  For example, at your wedding you may see all the world through rose colored glasses.  Years later, you can hardly remember your wedding date or anniversary.

It is common knowledge that relationships, marriage, partnerships, take work, nurturing, respect.  Over the years, this fades and communication problems grow before you can even recognize it is happening.

In divorces, the process can be disappointing too.  Unrealistic expectations regarding alimony amounts, cooperation between divorcing parents, or the effectiveness of your attorney can cause problems you never would have anitcipated.   In talking to your divorce lawyer, it is important to discuss realistic outcomes regarding living arrangements, shared parental responsibility, division of marital assets and debts, interaction between the former partners and the children. 

There is much to do and if clients have unrealistic expectations, it just makes the divorce process that much more difficult.  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.

DIVORCE CASE OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER): Is She Pregnant???

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

On a recent beautiful morning in the Palm Beach County Courthouse, I stood with my client, the Husband, who had petitioned the court for a dissolution of marriage.  He and his wife had no children, and they had agreed to all the terms of dividing the marital assets and debts.  Also, the Wife was to pay the Husband alimony for a short time frame.  Financial affidavits of the parties were already in the court file.  I presented the signed marital settlement agreement along with a final judgment of divorce to the judge.

The judge then asked my client where his wife was.  The answer, New York.   The judge then asked how she could determine if the wife was or was not pregnant.  His testimony would not be sufficient.  So we had to get the wife on the phone right there in the courtroom.  The judge swore her in as she did my client and then asked the wife if she were pregnant.  The wife testified “no” and so the divorce was granted after some additional testimony by both parties regarding the agreement and the divorce.

Why all the fuss about the wife’s condition?  Because it is the job of the court to protect children with child support.  The court needs to know if a little one is on the way.  Had we not been able to reach the wife by telephone, having the wife “appear” at the final hearing, I am certain the divorce would not have been granted until a later date and with the wife’s testimony in person.

However, in further discussion with this judge, a pleading, a statement in the marital settlement agreement or an affidavit from the wife may have been sufficient to ascertain the pregnancy status of the wife to satisfy the court.

For more information about divorce, 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.