“He Said She Said” Not Enough In Divorce Court

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
After filing for divorce in Palm Beach County, it is mandatory that the parties exchange financial information by way of proof.  This helps to settle divorce issues like alimony and attorneys fees, child support and division of marital assets and debts.

Each party must provide to the other things like tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, pay check stubs or income statements, mortgages, investment and retirement accounts and the like.  Both parties are required to disclose this information under Florida Family Law Rule 12.285, which is commonly referred to as the mandatory disclosure rule.  In most cases, the court requires going back one to three years with these statements.

The court views these statements as the back up data to a parties’ sworn financial affidavit, perhaps the most important document in any divorce.  A divorce cannot be granted without one.  Proof of income is used for child support calculation purposes; to show need or ability to pay alimony and attorneys fees.  Credit card and other billing statements show debt.  Investment accounts, mortgages, and deeds to real estate show lifestyle of the marriage and determine equitable distribution schemes.

The paper pile tends to grow but merely standing in court and testifying as to your need, or lifestyle or debt is just not enough for the divorce court judge.  Your allegations must always be backed up by proof.  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.

Advertisements

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.

What Is Temporary Relief?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Temporary relief includes any kind of relief for the “have not” spouse, to allow the spouse to live and pay bills, pending the outcome of divorce proceedings.  There is usually a temporary relief hearing before the judge, in the event that a court ordered and required mediation does not resolve in a global settlement of the divorce.

Temporary relief can include a court order on child support, time sharing, shared parental responsibility, alimony, attorneys fees, exclusive use and possession of the marital home, a partial division of marital assets and debts, and any other relief requested by the spouse, to allow normal household bills to be paid, and maintain the status quo pending any outcome in the divorce.  Temporary relief stays in place until further order of the court, or an agreement of the parties.  Temporary relief may or may not be precedent setting.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the Palm Beach divorce lawyers at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

Can You Change A Marital Settlement Agreement Once It Becomes A Court Order?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Yes.  A marital settlement agreement and court order of divorce can be changed by AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES or by COURT ORDER.  A court order will be the result of a PETITION FOR MODIFICATION OF FINAL JUDGMENT.  It has to be based upon a substantial, material change of circumstances.  You would have to prove such a change requires a modification at the POST DISSOLUTION TRIAL.

However, there is an EXCEPTION…once property and debts are divided in divorce court, or even by agreement of the parties, that part of the final judgment is a done deal.  Spousal support (alimony) and children’s issues (time sharing, child support) can be modified.  Division of assets and debts cannot.

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.

If You Think You Have A Divorce Settlement, BE CAREFUL!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

We divorce lawyers have a old trick…get the other side to think we are settling the case, but then move forward to the divorce proceedings.  The moral of the story is, in divorce court, if you do not have a signed settlement agreement, or a signed agreed order, you do not have an agreement.  You may think you do, but therein lies the problem for you.

In Florida, it is a statutory requirement that all “agreements” be in writing and signed by the husband and wife.   So if you have discovery that is due, temporary alimony payments that are due, depositions that are set, a court hearing to attend, your lawyer still must prepare as if there is no settlement at all until such time as there is a signed document.  Don’t fall into the settlement trap.

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 Complex Divorce?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A complex divorce is one in which there are many issues to resolve and the Husband and Wife are anything but agreeable.  It could involve many real estate properties, tax issues, a privately held corporation or several closely held businesses, marital assets in several states, trust assets, split siblings or special needs children, assets or businesses that need valuations, and supplemental issues including vocational studies, custody battles, an unfit parent, off shore bank accounts and the like.   Complex divorces can also include bad behavior including adultery and the dissipation of marital assets due to outside relationships, gambling, drug or alcohol use or uncontrollable shopping or other mental health issues.

The more complex the marriage, the more complex the divorce.  The more a couple has to fight over, generally the more complex the divorce.  This type of divorce usually turns ugly and requires the use of a divorce team.  This team includes psychologists or psychiatrists, appraisers, private investigator, real estate agents, CPAs, estate planning attorneys, corporate attorneys, tax attorneys, and of course the divorce lawyer.   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 Happens If I Don’t Follow A Court Order?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce court, there are many court orders for many things:  temporary relief orders order a party to pay child support or alimony to another; orders to compel production of discovery documents usually have a deadline by which to comply; orders on time sharing of children set forth parameters of when and where to pick up and deliver kids;  there are all sorts of court orders in divorce cases.

So if you don’t or can’t obey a court order, the other party has the option of holding  you accountable.  If that party takes an affirmative step to hold you accountable, you may face a motion for contempt and enforcement of a court order.

Depending upon whether you intentionally violated the order, or it simply was impossible for you to comply makes a big difference.  For more information about this or other divorce topic, 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.