Working the System! Motions for Extension of Time

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In my continuing series of articles on how to legally and validly “work the system” in divorce court, there is something under the law called a “Motion for Extension of  Time”.  Lawyers use this as a strategy, to buy themselves or their clients more time in which to file a responsive pleading, or to enlarge the time allowed to produce discovery (financial disclosure) documents. 

Certain events in divorce law have a time frame and deadline.  For example, if a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed and served against a spouse, that spouse by law has 20 calendar days in which to file an answer, after which, technically, they are in default. 

If, on day #19, the spouse decides to hire a divorce lawyer, that lawyer needs more time to fashion an answer to the petition.  So that lawyer will file a motion for extension of time in which to file an answer and perhaps reserve the right to even file a counter petition.  Merely by filing for an extension of time, the lawyer gets an extension of time.  It’s a gimme or a mulligan, if you are a golfer.

The divorce court judge may put a future deadline on the task, but mission accomplished, none the less.  The same tactics are legitimately used with discovery deadlines.  By filing a motion to enlarge time, your lawyer gets an extended deadline and more time for you to comply. 

The danger lies in repeated infractions.  If a second motion dare to be filed, the judge will catch onto these antics and that is sanctionable to the lawyer or the client or both, for game playing and intentionally causing delay.  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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Working the System! Playing the “Unavailable” Game

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In my continuing series on “working the system” in divorce litigation, we already covered name changes, child support, imputation of income and motions for continuances.   Today’s blog concerns scheduling of depositions, hearings, mediations but the divorce lawyer on the other side of your case seems to continually be “unavailable” to do so.

The divorce lawyer who prepares the motion, or notices the hearing, or sets the mediation, has an obligation to coordinate such an event with opposing counsel.   If opposing counsel, for whatever reason, wants to stall the divorce proceedings, he/she may indicate the unavailability for such an event.  This “unavailable” game can be played to the point of frustrating the attorney trying to get things done, and furthermore, to frustrate the divorce process. 

After several attempts to set a divorce proceeding, to no avail, the recourse is a motion to compel the attorney to schedule whatever it is.  This motion will be heard before the divorce court judge.  If the judge senses shenanigans going on, as in intentional delay, there may be sanctions. 

Why would a divorce lawyer play the unavailable game?  One good example is if a child is living with the mother, and the father is challenging that, the lawyer for the mother might want to keep the litigation going awhile, because his client has what she wants, that being the child living with her.   Another example concerns the marital home.  If the husband is living in the marital home, he might not want to rush to sell the house.  He is living there and the longer he can delay, the better for him.  These are just two examples of how delay can work in a party’s favor.  That is why that attorney might play the unavailable game.

It does work, but only to a 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.

 

Working the System! Motion for Continuance

Working the System! Motion for Continuance.

Working the System! Motion for Continuance

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In my continuing series of blogs on how to “work the system” in divorce litigation, the first blog was about getting your name changed during divorce proceedings so you don’t have to pay extra to do it later.  The second blog was about imputation of income where a spouse is voluntarily under employed or unemployed but has a fruitful work history.  These strategies are perfectly legal and accepted among the Bench and the Bar.

This third blog is how to work the system by using motions for continuance.  Why and when would a divorce court judge in Palm Beach County postpone a legal proceeding?  Here are some examples:

1.  Motion for continuance of mediation.  Mediation is set by court order.  Your spouse and/or his or her attorney does not comply with mandatory disclosure of financial documents which are necessary to go to mediation with, if you are to attempt a settlement of your divorce case.   In addition to doing a motion to compel these documents and information, your divorce lawyer should do a motion to continue mediation to another date.

2.  Motion to continue a temporary relief hearing.  Your divorce lawyer wants to take the deposition of your spouse’ accountant.  The lawyer or your spouse play the “unavailable game”.  If your lawyer cannot schedule the depositions, he/she has to ask for a continuance of the temporary relief hearing in addition to a motion to compel the requested depositions.

3.  Motion to continue trial.  A trial date is set by the court.  A discovery cut off date has come and gone while trial is imminent.  If your side does not have the information you are entitled to, like a witness list for example, your divorce lawyer would want to file for a continuance to allow more time to get the other side’s witness list and perhaps even take depositions of those witnesses.

Those are just three examples of when your lawyer might work the system by asking the court to reschedule litigation events via a motion for continuance.  It is perfectly legal.  There are many others, in response to the other lawyer’s “working the system” too.  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.