Verbal Agreements Are Not Enforceable In Divorce Court

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce cases in Palm Beach County, written agreements signed by the husband and the wife are enforceable.  These agreements can cover everything from time sharing with the children to when alimony should be paid.  There are temporary agreements, partial settlement agreements, and marital settlement agreements.  All should be in writing in order to be enforced by the court.

Even written agreements that have been executed can be modified by new agreements if they are in writing and signed by the parties. But the danger lies in agreements that are made between parties verbally, and then reneged upon. 

If for example, the parties verbally agree to a pick up and drop off time and place for the children, that is different from the written agreement, and then a party changes his/her mind at the last minute, the written agreement controls.  The verbal agreement cannot be enforced by the court. 

Don’t set yourself up for unreasonable expectations.  If you and your spouse agree to something, agree to it in writing.  That makes it enforceable in the eyes of the law.  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.familylawwbp.com.

 

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What Is A Temporary Relief Hearing?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce court, all parties must attend a mediation to attempt a settlement prior to bringing a divorce case to court.  If and when mediation should fail to resolve disputed issues, either party at that time may file a motion for temporary relief.

Temporary relief puts into place by court order boundaries by which the parties shall live pending the final divorce proceedings.  An order of temporary relief establishes child support, time sharing and parental responsibility, if there are children of the marriage.  The temporary relief order also establishes who pays what household expenses, health insurance, attorneys fees, spousal support, and even may divide up some of the assets of the marriage to give the parties monies to live on.  Temporary court orders are enforceable by contempt of court. 

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.

Marital Settlement Agreements Are “Special” Contracts

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When you are going through the divorce process in Palm Beach County, Florida, you will have to go to mediation, prior to going to trial in the courtroom.  This is court  mandated, and gives a divorcing couple a formal way to settle out their differences by themselves, instead of having the judge dictate how the family will live from final judgment forward.

Marital settlements agreements become part of final judgments of divorce.  They are based upon both the husband and the wife fully disclosing all finances, separate and marital property, legal obligations and debt.  They equitably divide marital assets and debts, setting aside separate property, they provide for spousal support or alimony, and also set forth guidelines to follow for any children of the marriage.

That can include child support, time sharing, vacation time, grandparents rights, shared parental responsibility, health insurance, doctors visits travel and just about anything else.

After full disclosure and negotiations, if the parties can agree, they will sign a marital settlement agreement, freely, with full knowledge of their rights and obligations and with intent to be bound.  Marital settlement agreements are enforceable by the court as is any court order. For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, PA at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

Cohabitation Agreements Are Like Prenuptial Agreements For Couples Who Choose Not To Marry

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

With more and more couples living together without marriage, I see the need for a written set of rules to live by, which gives the unmarried parties specific expectations, rights, and obligations.  This document is called a cohabitation agreement, and like a prenuptial agreement, it has specificity and sets boundaries to the relationship.

Cohabitation agreements are valid, enforceable contracts, if executed under proper conditions.  The parties can agree on just about anything, from who pays the mortgage to who pays for airfare and vacations.  It can address the issue of a pet, who owns what artwork, who gets the piano if the relationship ends.  Financial issues and title to personal and real property are usually included. 

Like any contract, cohabitation agreements need to be understood, have disclosure, and freely agreed to without fraud, duress or undue influence and misrepresentation.  Like the prenuptial agreement, cohabitation agreements make living together or breaking apart somewhat easier, because expectations are spelled out.  For more information about this or other types of agreements between couples, call one of the lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

Divorce And Summer Time Sharing

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You may be right in the middle of divorce proceedings, or you are already divorced.  There is either a temporary court order on time sharing with the children presently in place, or a final judgment is entered with a parenting plan which sets forth the time sharing for each parent.  Summer vacation is delineated.  In either case, you come to find that the mother/father of the children is making his/her own plans for summer with the kids. 

The problem is that parent has not YET violated a court order, and so there is no willful violation or contempt of court.  And if it were to be violated, how to do regain those precious vacation weeks?   Before you spend money on air plane tickets, only to find you do not get the kids, pick up the phone and call your lawyer.  Prospective violations of court orders can be dealt with between the two attorneys, or at a mediation.  New agreements can be formed.  Negotiations can be had.  Instead of waiting for the dreaded “emergency” that you are not getting the kids as planned, be prepared to deal with such a measure in advance.   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.  

What IS A Parenting Plan And Why Are They So Good?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A parenting plan is a legal document that the mother and father work on together, by agreement of the parties, which lays out, IN DETAIL, any arrangements the parties have between themselves concerning the parties’ minor children. Parenting Plans become enforceable court orders.

This document can deal with time sharing, what days or weeks each parent has time with the child/ren; it can deal with where the pick up and drop off is going to be and when; it can deal with what happens when the child/ren is off from school for a holiday or teacher/parent day;  it can deal with who gets Christmas eve and who gets Christmas morning.  It governs vacations, leaving the country, visiting grandma, who holds the passports, medical issues of the child/ren, return of clothing, which doctors are agreed to, therapy and counseling, who takes the child/ren for haircuts, dentist, check ups, and just about anything else.

The advantage to divorcing parents or Former Husbands and Former Wives in having a parenting plan, is that it is SPECIFIC and DETAILED.  It also becomes an enforceable court order.  Divorcing parents can issue a parenting plan by agreement, or the judge can decide what is in the best interests of the child/ren at trial. The specificity of parenting plans helps parents avert the difficulties if parties cannot agree on issues later on down the road. 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 for more information.

How Final Are Final Judgments?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Final judgments of divorce do several things.  The first, is they dissolve the legal union of two people…the marriage is dissolved.  Final judgments set forth the terms for bringing up the children, if any.  Final judgments divide marital assets and debts.  Final judgments provide for spousal and child support, title transfers to real and personal property, and govern the splitting of the couple and the couple’s things.  

In the State of Florida, final judgments can be enforced if one or both parties do not do what they are supposed to under the final judgment.  Final judgments can also be modified or changed if there occurs a substantial, involuntary, material change of circumstances that was unforseen at the time of final judgment.

In Florida, once property and debts are divided, either by agreement of the parties or by trial judgment, this is final.  You cannot undo an award of real estate, or obligation to pay a debt, unless there is fraud.  Also, an award of unmodifiable alimony cannot be undone, regardless of any changes of circumstances.  Child support, time sharing, alimony that is modifiable can be changed into the future provided there is legal justification to do so under the law.

So final judgments regarding division of property, asset and debt division, and unmodifiable alimony cannot be changed, while child support and alimony can be changed under the proper circumstances.  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 for more information.