All I Want For Christmas Is A Divorce!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It is on many couples’ wish list.  But several couples are afraid to admit it.  The marriage is over.  That’s harsh!  Especially during the holidays.  We don’t want to spoil it for the kids, the family, ourselves, etc.

But when the holidays are over, the left overs eaten, the tree out with the garbage, and decorations put away and the undesireable gifts returned, what do you have left but a broken marriage and being attached to someone you cannot stand.

Do something about it in the New Year.  Take a proactive role in your future.

For more information about divorce and divorce topics, procedures, laws 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 http://www.familylawwpb.com.

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Holidays Can Be Hard For “Bouncing Ball” Children

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In addition to the Holiday Season being difficult for those husbands and wives who find themselves in failing marriages, the holidays can be hard for the “bouncing ball” children, who bounce back and forth between divorced parents.   They want to share the excitement and joys of the season with each parent they love, but they are forced by the divorce to split the time up.  Often parents fight about time sharing in front of the children causing them high anxiety and literally taking the joy out of the moment.

Divorced parents may also have new families and spouses…extended families can be a source of comfort or confusion for the child of a divorce.  If adults can start acting as such and put the child first, alot of the tension will dissipate.  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.

What Happens If You Reconcile After Signing A Marital Settlement Agreement?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You have filed for divorce.  You and your spouse both have hired divorce lawyers.  You have produced documents.  You have gone to mediation and settled your divorce case.  Both of you have signed the marital settlement agreement dividing up the property and debt.  What happens if you both want to reconcile and stay married?

You can abate the proceedings, meaning putting the case on hold for a short time certain.   You can totally dismiss your divorce case, as if it never existed.  BUT the terms of the marital settlement agreement stay in place and are enforceable in court under contract.

We divorce lawyers sometimes use this as a tactic for a spouse who is controlled by the other spouse through money.  In this way, the assets and debts are divided, and alimony support is in place.  If you choose to stay married and reconcile, the “have not” spouse now has.

For more information about this or other divorce tactics, 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.

After The Divorce Is Final…A Checklist

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The divorce process is full of details, stress, and decisions.  After the divorce is final, you and your divorce lawyer cannot drop the ball and ignore performance under the terms of the final judgment.  Below is a checklist of possible tasks in a hypothetical divorce case:

1.  Record any quit claim or real estate property deeds.  Make sure they are signed by both the husband and the wife, witnessed properly, with proper legal descriptions, and notarized.  Otherwise the recording department at the courthouse will not accept transfer of title on real property.

2.  Roll over any retirement plans by having a qualified domestic relations order QDRO prepared and signed by the judge in your case, and properly approved by the retirement plan administrator.

3.  Change titles to cars, boats or other vehicles by properly executing title documents.

4.  Open new bank accounts, stock accounts, annuities or other investment accounts in your name only.

5.  Cancel joint credit cards, cell phone accounts and the like and open new ones in your name only.

6.  If you are the one staying in the home, transfer utilities to your name only.  If you are the one leaving the marital home, notify the utility companies to remove your name from these accounts.

7.  Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance and other testimentary documents.

8.  Wives need to get certified copies of the final judgment of divorce from the courthouse to change your name on drivers licenses, passports and other legal documents.

9.  Once the dust settles, re read your final judgment to make sure you and your now ex have complied with all its terms.   If your spouse refuses to comply or simply won’t comply with its terms timely or by deadline dates, let your divorce lawyer know.  The lawyer can file a motion for contempt or a motion to enforce a court order against your ex.

For any other questions concerning 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 www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

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.

Three Or More Things To Do With The Marital Home In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire

You generally have three options for the marital home, if you are getting divorced.  But there are some other things you can agree to with your spouse regarding the house.   Here are some options I use for my Palm Beach County clients who own homes here:

Options 1 and 2.    If the home has any equity at all, either you buy out your spouse (at a bargain rate these days) and then refinance to get your spouse removed from the mortgage, OR your spouse buys you out and refinances to get your name off the mortgage.  Either way, one of you keeps the home totally releasing the other.

Option 3.  You get divorced and stay real estate partners with your X.  One of you can live there and pay the mortgage on behalf of both and get a credit at the back end years later, when you both agree to sell.

Option 4.  You are getting divorced and you both list the home for sale.  You split any net proceeds.

Option 5.  You are getting divorced, your spouse has moved out and on, and you just live in the home until the bank takes it away in foreclosure.

Option 6.  You are getting divorced and both of you cooperate to do a short sale.

Option 7.  One of you lives in the home with the minor children until they go to college.  The other splits all mortgage payments, taxes, insurance.  The resident spouse pay maintenance and utilities.

Option 8.  You both live in the home until it goes into foreclosure.

Option 9.  You both move out and on and rent the house out to a third party.  The rental should cover all your expenses and if there is any profit it is split.

I am sure you can get more creative with sale and leaseback situations or other good ideas, but these are the most common given todays real estate market in Palm Beach County.   For 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 http://www.familylawwpb.com  for more information.

Can I Keep My Ring?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many married couples exchange gifts during the marriage.  But what they don’t realize, is that in divorce court, all these “gifts” between spouses become  marital.  This means that the recipient spouse can only keep ONE HALF of the value of the gift.

For example, let’s say a husband has presented a wife with various pieces of jewelry over the course of the marriage.  Let’s also say the appraised value of all the pieces comes to $100,000.  In divorce court, the wife may keep all her jewelry, but the husband should receive $50,000 worth of some other marital asset to equalize the distribution of marital assets.   In cases where there are no other marital assets, the wife in the above example would have to return one half of the jewelry to the husband  or sell it and provide the husband with the $50,000 or one half of his share of the marital assets.

The moral of the story is that “gifts” between spouses during a marriage are not totally belonging to the recipient of the gift.   However, one caveat, is that an engagement ring is pre marital and belongs to the recipient spouse in its entirety.   If you are thinking about getting divorced in Palm Beach County, 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.