Do You Have A Spiteful, Vindictive Spouse???

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You are going through a divorce.  You are the one who wants out.  You have a spouse who it hurt, and as a result is spiteful and vindictive.  You want to settle the divorce issues and move on, but he/she is more interested in getting even.  What to do?

I face this question nearly every day in the 13 years I have been a divorce lawyer in Palm Beach County.   You have few options:

1.  Get into marriage counseling or therapy together immediately.

2.  Offer much more than his/her share of the marital estate to get the deal done.

3.  Meet any other demands, such as relocation, giving the marital home, or other “unfair” requirements just to move on.

4.  Stay and fight it out in court.  A judge will see the emotion at trial and will simply follow the law.

With spiteful, vindictive spouses, chances are there will be domestic violence or destruction of personal property.  Be sure to protect yourself from both situations.  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.

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What Is A Social Evaluation And How Is It Used In Divorce Cases?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A social evaluation is a home study conducted by a court appointed social worker to visit you in the home to see how you and the children live and relate to each other.   It is court ordered upon motion, usually filed in custody battles, where one parent wants sole custody and for the other parent, supervised time sharing and no decision making.

Social workers will visit each parent’s home with the children and write a report for the judge based upon observations, knowledge of the physical residence, interviews and expertise in such matters.  The social evaluator will make recommendations to the court as to what is in the best interests of the children.

The judge will rely upon this report. Opposing counsel will have an opportunity at the trial to cross examine.  And the best interests of the child/ren will be determined by court order.  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.famlylawwpb.com for more information.

Reasons Judges Delay Divorce Trials

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many reasons a divorce trial may be delayed.  But there are some recurring reasons that you should know about:

1.  First, the judge may have a personal emergency and needs to reset your trial.

2.  The judge may have a case before him/her that requires emergency action., thus displacing your trial with a more pressing case.  Child kidnapping, child endangerment, and  domestic violence are some examples of emergencies in family court.

3.  The judge feels your case may have a chance of settling if he/she orders the two parties back to mediation.

4.  The judge feels your case may have a change of settling if he/she orders the two parties out into the hallway of the courtroom to discuss the matter one last time.

5.  The case is not yet ripe and motions to compel discovery, attorneys fees, depositions, and the like are needed first.

6.  The trial may be delayed if the issues need to be bifurcated into two parts, for example custody and then everything else.

7.  If witnesses like CPA’s and therapists have sudden schedule changes, the trial may be delayed upon motion and order of the court.

Those are some of the reasons a judge in family court would postpone a scheduled trial.  But don’t think you can do the same.  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 for more information.

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What To Do About Interspousal Theft?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are thinking about divorce, you just never know if things will turn out amicable or nasty.  To protect yourself, I advise my clients to start photocopying every document they can get their hands on which shows money coming into the marriage or money going out.   This includes credit card bills, bank statements, income streams, pay stubs, tax returns, receipts and the like.

But sometimes divorces turn very nasty, and involve the theft or destruction of one’s property.  Yes, just like in the movies.   I advise my clients to remove all small valuable items from the home, like diamond engagement rings, which have nothing to do with the divorce, inherited jewelry, any small items of value that are separate property.

To protect expensive handbags, shoes, clothing, furs, artwork, silverware, fine china, antique furniture, cars, pianos, etc. , I recommend photos or videos to document what was there and in what condition.  That way, if your husband or wife were to go into the nasty zone, you have proof of what was there along with its condition for trial or for settlement.

Don’t take anything for granted.  It is easy enough to protect yourself and your property.  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.

Short Term Marriages Usually Mean No Alimony In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are in a short term marriage defined as five years or less by the case law in the state of Florida, chances are you will not be able to collect alimony from your spouse in divorce court.   Or if you qualify, alimony will be of the bridge the gap variety, if at all.

Alimony or spousal support is based upon the relative incomes of the parties or the relative access to independent funds.  One spouse has to prove a need, and the other spouse’ ability to pay.  If a spouse has the need, but the other has no ability to pay, there will be no alimony irregardless of the length of the marriage.  Also, a court cannot award an alimony for a time that is longer than the marriage, if at all, unless the marriage is 17 plus years and the spouse qualifies for permanent alimony.

Bottom line, if you are in a short term marriage, chances are the court will not grant you any alimony unless it is also short term, as in bridge the gap alimony.   An award of alimony is determined by 30 statutory factors, so consult with 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 for more information.  REMEMBER:  divorce cases are fact driven and every case is different.  Remember too that Florida is a no fault state and alimony is generally not a punishment but an entitlement.

Should I Avoid Service of Divorce Papers?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I often get this question from potential clients who “kinda know” that divorce papers are on the way…is there any good reason to avoid greeting the process server?

I really can’t think of a good reason.   It is the date of the filing that matters in terms of valuations of a business or other assets.  It is the date of the filing that is used often for the cut off for joint debt.  The date of service only starts the clock ticking in terms of the 20 days you have to respond to your spouse’ pleadings.   So why delay the inevitable?

If it is the embarrassment of service that you fear, I can often call opposing counsel and offer that I will accept service on behalf of my client so my client does not have to be served at work or at home in front of the kids.

To conclude, avoiding service of process only delays divorce proceedings that are imminent.  As an officer of the court and an advocate, I see no point.

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.

Seeking The Help Of Other Professionals During Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It is very common in my divorce practice to seek the assistance of other professionals to help me litigate a case.  Below is a list of professionals I use and why:

1.  Psychotherapist, psychiatrist, child psychologist, social workers.  I use these professionals mostly in dealing with children’s issues like custody, sole parental responsibility and time sharing.

2.  Vocational evaluators.   If a spouse refuses to pursue a career or simply find employment, these experts can testify as to earnings and ability.  I use these professionals mostly in alimony cases.

3.  CPAs.  I use accountants to trace funds, do lifestyle studies, value businesses, assess finances, determine one’s true income.   CPAs are my best friends when alimony and high assets are at stake.

4.  Appraisers.  If the marriage included extensive and substantial art work, jewelry, antiques, coins, stamps, guns, cars, anything of exceptional value, I use appraisers to help in equitable distribution of assets cases.

5.  Real estate agents.  Obviously these experts assist me in valuations of real estate whether it is the marital home, vacation home, rental or commercial buildings.

6.  Medical personnel.  These experts assess special needs children and spouses for support purposes.

7.  Tax attorneys and CPAs.  These experts help with end games to show tax effects of settlement offers and their true value.

8.   Estate planning attorneys and financial planners.  These experts can assess a settlement offer to see if it is workable over a lifetime.

9.  Private investigators.  You know what they do.  Now in the computer age information is priceless.

I would not hesitate to co counsel with any of these experts if I feel it is in the best interests of my client.   In high asset cases or child custody cases where there is a lot at stake, experts are the best advisors to a judge.    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.