Prenuptial Agreements Protect Children

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm  Beach, Florida

No one likes to think someone is marrying them for their money.  Yet it happens all the time.  That is why a prenuptial agreement is such an important document.  Whether you are the “have” or the “have not” of the impending marriage, a prenuptial agreement accomplishes several things:

1.  It deals with your divorce before you get married…one out of two first marriages and 70% of second marriages end in divorce.  Enforceable prenuptial agreements make a divorce less expensive, less stressful and definitely quicker.

2.  It fleshes out the gold digger…if someone is, in fact, marrying you for your money unbeknownst to you, when the prenuptial is not too generous in the early years of the marriage, it will flesh out the gold digger.  They generally don’t like to wait for their “entitlements”.

3.  It protects the birthright of children from a previous marriage…prenuptial agreements address death provisions, and must be accompanied by testamentary documents such as a will or trust.  It provides for the children of the “have” and protects their inheritance from the new husband or wife.

4.  It gives some certainty to both parties.  The obligor knows what the obligation is and the obligee knows what the benefit is.  No legal game playing here.

Granted that prenuptial negotiations can be unromantic and contentious.  But if they cause a rift to the point where the marriage does not take place, consider yourself lucky that you dodged an emotionally and financially expensive bullet.  For more information about this or other family law 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.

You And Your Divorce Lawyer…

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You and your divorce lawyer have a special relationship. First, anything conveyed to your lawyer, in writing or verbally, is confidential.  This includes any communications with any of your lawyer’s staffers as well.  Your lawyer is there to advocate for your position and hold you out in the best light possible under the facts of the matter.

Your lawyer knows divorce law in your jurisdiction.  You must listen and follow his or her advice.  That is what you are paying for…your lawyer’s time, skill set and expertise.

Speaking of paying, be sure you keep current with your bill.  Your lawyer will stay on and continue to represent you, as long as the legal fees are being paid.  The reverse is true as well.  If for some reason you do not pay your lawyer, the judge most likely will let your lawyer withdraw from representing you.

You must cooperate.  If you are supposed to produce documents, don’t be your own worst enemy, or your lawyer’s, by not producing these items in a timely manner.

Lastly, if you are not sure about something, call for a meeting with your lawyer.  It is much better to have an open discussion than remain in the dark and not understand what is going on that involves your future.  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.

Can A Cheating Spouse Be Punished By Florida Divorce Courts?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Sitting in my office, listening to potential divorce clients, it seems like no one is having sex within their marriage.  They are either sex deprived, or they or their spouse are cheating on the side.

To some extent, the Florida law protects cheaters, directing the “cheated upon” spouse to simply divorce the cheater.   That’s what is meant when we divorce lawyers say Florida is a “no fault” state.    However, the law does protect an innocent spouse from dissipation of marital assets.   What that means is if a cheater is spending significant sums of marital monies on the affair, that so called dissipation of marital assets can be considered in the financial scheme of the divorce.  There may be an unequal equitable distribution given in favor of the innocent spouse by the divorce court judge.

Case law defines significant sums as: buying a girl friend an expensive car, paying her rent, buying a condo for the paramour, taking numerous expensive vacations or shopping trips, all the usual but expensive trappings of keeping a lover.   A casual dinner out does not qualify.

If you suspect your spouse is the cheating kind, 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 for more information.  We may want to put a private eye on your spouse and use that testimony and evidence in court to get you the better part of the marital estate.

Prenup Decides Divorce In Advance

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In this day, with divorce being so prevalent, it is important to have a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage IF you have high assets or high income and want protection, or IF you have nothing at all and your intended does, and you want protection.

Prenuptial agreements are negotiated over time. You cannot rush a prenup, nor are they inexpensive for lawyers to draft.   They are contracts that control your future.  You want thought, calculation, disclosure, prior to signing one.

In my practice, I like to video tape the signing of a prenuptial agreement at least 30 days in advance of the wedding.  This just gives an extra layer of protection should the prenup be challenged years later.

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.

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.

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.

Shared Parental Responsibility vs. Sole Parental Responsibility…what are the reasons?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In family law in the state of Florida, there is a presumption that parents should equally share in the major decisions concerning the upbringing of their children.  This Florida statute is called “shared parental responsibility”.  But there are reasons for SOLE parental responsibility, that is where the court orders that only the “better parent” make major decisions regarding the upbringing of a child.  The court will do what is in the best interests of the child/ren.

Here is a check list of why courts might order SOLE parental responsibility in the best interests of the child/ren:

1.  If one of the parents has a serious mental illness.

2.  If one of the parents is far superior parent.

3.  If one of the parents is neglectful, totally irresponsible, abusive, or simply has no interest in the child/ren.

4.  If one of the parents is a sexual predator, child molester, or otherwise a pervert.

5.  If one of the parents is totally unfit to be a parent.

6.  If one of the parents is incapacitated.

Parents are expected to administer medicine properly, pick up and drop off children at school timely, monitor children so they stay out of harm’s way, feed and clothe them properly, care about them, pay attention to them, help with their homework, participate in their lives.  If a parent will not or cannot perform as a parent should, the other parent should litigate for SOLE PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY in the best interests of the child/ren.

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.