Who Goes To Court To Get The Divorce?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In Palm Beach County, Florida, if the husband and wife have a fully executed marital settlement agreement, then only one of them has to go to court for the final hearing.  Usually, it is the Petitioner, the one who asked the court for the divorce in the first place, who goes to court to have the divorce  granted by the judge.  

The exception could be if the Respondent, the person who is receiving the divorce, is the Florida resident, then he/she would be the one to go to court to have the divorce finalized.  Both parties are welcome to participate in an contested final hearing but usually only one party is necessary.

In cases that go to trial, obviously both husband and wife need to be present for the entire trial.  If you are considering divorcing in Palm Beach County, Florida, and want 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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Things You Can Waive In Divorce Court

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

 There are certain things you can waive when going through the divorce process.  Why would you waive certain rights?  See below:

1.  SERVICE OF PROCESS.  You can sign a document waiving your right to be served divorce papers by a sheriff or a process server.  Then your spouse or his/her attorney can simply mail you the petition for dissolution of marriage.  It is less embarassing than being served at work, or at home in front of your family.  I often have the opposing side waive service of process when there is an amicable divorce.

2.  FILING AN ANSWER AND COUNTER PETITION.  You can waive your right to file an answer within 20 days or a counter petition for dissolution of marriage.  This speeds up the process, costs less money and where there is already a marital settlement agreement, it is unnecessary.

3.  RIGHTS TO MARITAL PROPERTY.  You can waive your rights to any marital property in order to get a settlement on the table.  It serves as an inducement.

4.  RIGHTS TO ALIMONY and ATTORNEY FEES.  You may be entitled to collect alimony and attorneys fees, but you can waive your rights and get more of the marital estate or less of the marital debt.  This is done in the marital settlement negotiations.

5.  RIGHT TO DISCLOSURE.  You or your spouse can waive your entitlement to extensive discovery of the family finances.  This saves time and money, especially if  you both know exactly what the marital assets and debts are.

One thing spouses cannot waive is YOUR CHILD”S RIGHT TO SUPPORT FROM BOTH PARENTS.  So if you are considering a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, and want 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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Can One Lawyer Represent Both Husband and Wife?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I often get the question from a divorcing client as to whether I can represent both parties in a divorce settlement.  While intuitively this may make some economical sense when the parties agree to everything, the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar do not allow one divorce lawyer to represent the best interests of both parties, because the husband and wife are potentially adversarial.  What may be in the best interests of one party may be a detriment to the other.  As a lawyer and officer of the court, I would have what is called a conflict of interest.

That is not to say that I haven’t done the documents for both parties.  I do and I can draft marital settlement agreements for both parties to sign.  I can also give the other party the financial affidavit forms and other forms necessary to get the divorce done.  However, I can only give legal advice to the spouse who is my client.

If you are planning on getting a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, and want 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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Common Mistakes About Divorce In Florida.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many people who are going through a divorce for the first time,  do not understand Florida law.   I get questions like the following:

1.  REGARDING JEWELRY: husbands and wives think that because a piece of jewelry is a gift given during the marriage,  the jewelry belongs exclusively to them.  Not true… it is marital.  This can make a big difference if the jewelry is substantial.

2.  REGARDING PUNISHMENT:  couples often think that the one who files for divorce, or the one who leaves the marriage,  is the one who will be “punished” by the court in terms of receiving less assets from the marriage.  Not true, because Florida is a no fault state.

3.  REGARDING ADULTERY:  same premise as above.  If your husband or wife is cheating on you, the only recourse you have is to divorce the cheater.

4.  REGARDING MOVING OUT OF THE MARITAL HOME:  Floridians do not lose their property rights by “abandoning” the marital home.  If you have sweat equity in the house, or your name is on the deed, or have any other marital interest, you have an entitlement to your property whether or not you live there.

5.  REGARDING NAME CHANGES: if you want your name restored, you should do it now during the divorce proceedings.  If you wait, you will have to pay another filing fee for a new case in the courthouse.

6.  REGARDING YOUR SPOUSE SUPPORTING YOU:  you don’t have to get a divorce to get your spouse to support you.  If you have the need and your spouse has the ability to pay, you can get support without divorce.

7.  REGARDING CHILD SUPPORT:  the statutory child support guidelines have not changed in a generation.  The Florida legislature really needs to address this.

8.  REGARDING RESIDENCY: you have to be a Florida resident for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce.  That means having your “stuff” in the state, having a Florida driver’s license, owning property, or having a leasehold interest here.

If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, 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 for more information.

Preparing for Divorce…what should you do?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You have made the decision to divorce.  What happens next?  There are certain steps you may want to take in preparation for a divorce.  Below is a check list:

1.  Know the family finances.

2.  Photocopy and photograph everything.

3.  Have a friend, neighbor, relative or attorney store your papers, premarital possessions, jewelry.

4.  Get your own cell phone.

5.  Hide the car keys, boat keys, airplane keys, keys to your office.

6.  Get a post office box or use a friend, neighbor, relative , your place of business or attorney to receive all your mail.

7.  Get your own computer account.

8.  Change passwords.

9.  Set up credit cards in your name only.

10.  If you have extra cash, pay off marital debt.

11.  Sign a lease or purchase another home if you are the one moving out.

12.  Don’t sign anything your spouse puts in front of you including tax returns without your lawyers or accountants seeing it.

13.  Hire an attorney before you do anything on this list because every case is different.

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 http://www.familylawwpb.com.

How Do I Pay For My Divorce?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I go over this question every time I have a divorce consultation.  After I go through the facts of the marriage and discuss the various options and outcomes that can be anticipated, I always get two questions from clients:  How much is my divorce going to cost?  and How do I pay for my divorce?

As far as cost of the divorce, I usually give a range of attorneys fees and costs according to different scenarios, one being a quick settlement, another, settlement in the normal course, or the last option, trial.   As to how to pay for it, here are some ways clients pay for their divorce:

1.  Pay from savings, checking or investment accounts.

2.  Pay from income.

3.  Put the attorneys fees and costs on a credit card.

4.  Borrow from family members or friends.

5.  Get a loan or cash advance.

6.  Sell separate property such as pre marital jewelry, real estate, vehicles, heirlooms etc. 

If I am representing the “have not” spouse, I can go into court for a court award of attorneys fees and costs from the “have” spouse, in a temporary relief hearing.  However, the client has to have enough funds on account with the Firm  to pay for these services.  That is why married couples should always have either some funds stashed away for private use, or support from family and friends until I can get this accomplished.  For a complete discussion on 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.

What Does “Exclusive Use and Possession” mean?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce cases, oftentimes the couple lives together under one roof while the divorce proceedings are pending.  But in cases where there is domestic violence, or one of the spouses has a paramour, the parties may choose or be court ordered to live separate and apart.

In those cases, or after a temporary relief hearing is had in court, one or the other spouse may be awarded by the judge exclusive use and possession of the marital home.

This does NOT mean that person can change the locks.  It means that the ousted party does not have a right to be on the property without knowledge and permission of the spouse who does.  It is used on a temporary basis, while the divorce is progressing. 

One does NOT lose his/her property rights by being ousted.  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.