CASE OF THE MONTH: Divorce Your Spouse, Not Your Child

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I had a client come in who was married to an airline pilot.  She said her husband came home one day and packed his things and left saying he was “done and owtta here”.    His teenage son was standing in the kitchen after school while all this was going on.

No one knew it at the time, but this  father would not have contact with his son for more than 3 years.  The mother receives a child support check every month.   What are the ramifications of this case?

First, the marriage was irretrievably broken and a divorce was granted.  But more important than that, the son blames himself for driving his father out of his life.  When he is done acting out on that, he blames his mother for driving his father out of his life.

Needless to say, this teenager has been in trouble with the law, does poorly in school and has self esteem issues.   While the real blame should be on the father himself.  What was he thinking?  He single handedly ruined this child, perhaps for life.

If you want a divorce, you will get a divorce.  But don’t turn your back on your children.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 51-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

CASE OF THE MONTH: Marrying a Foreign National

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A client came to me saying he wanted to get married, but wanted to protect his assets via a pre nuptial agreement.  The bride to be was a younger woman from South America.

THE PROBEMS:  On those few facts, here is what I advised.

1.  Do the pre nuptial agreement and get it executed long before setting a wedding date.

2.  To be sure the bridge wasn’t marrying him for US Citizenship purposes, give her nothing by virtue of the pre nup the first 3 years of marriage.

3.  She will need to testify at the pre nuptial agreement signing that she has no language barriers and that she fully reads, writes, speaks and understands English.

4.  The pre nup signing will be videotaped.

5.  The bride needed her own attorney.

6.  Both bride and groom need to disclose finances.

On those few facts, and these six points of advice, I may have saved this man millions of dollars and years of misery.  For more information about this or other marital topics, 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.

CASE OF THE MONTH: Create A Post Nuptial Agreement Instead of Divorcing

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A client came to me stating that she had no clue as to the family finances, and her husband was a control freak.  She still loves him and believes he still loves her, but he controlled every part of her life and she never had any money or discretion to do as she wished with any of the funds.  She wanted a divorce consultation because she wanted some freedom.

I am not a shrink, but what I heard her say was that she wanted to stay married but change things and her husband was not going to change.   So she was considering divorce.

We came up with a plan to draft a post nuptial agreement giving her some of the marital assets in her name only so she would have some control.  I recommended they go to a marriage counselor for therapy, so that the husband would realize if he didn’t go along with the plan, she would in fact leave the marriage to gain her independence.

It worked.  One of the lawyers at my Firm carefully drafted a post nuptial agreement; she worked with a CPA to give her tax advantages in the equitable distribution of some of the marital assets.  Now the wife has some independence and control over her own money and is staying in the marriage.   For more information or advice, 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.

DIVORCE CASE OF THE MONTH (DECEMBER): Is She Pregnant???

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

On a recent beautiful morning in the Palm Beach County Courthouse, I stood with my client, the Husband, who had petitioned the court for a dissolution of marriage.  He and his wife had no children, and they had agreed to all the terms of dividing the marital assets and debts.  Also, the Wife was to pay the Husband alimony for a short time frame.  Financial affidavits of the parties were already in the court file.  I presented the signed marital settlement agreement along with a final judgment of divorce to the judge.

The judge then asked my client where his wife was.  The answer, New York.   The judge then asked how she could determine if the wife was or was not pregnant.  His testimony would not be sufficient.  So we had to get the wife on the phone right there in the courtroom.  The judge swore her in as she did my client and then asked the wife if she were pregnant.  The wife testified “no” and so the divorce was granted after some additional testimony by both parties regarding the agreement and the divorce.

Why all the fuss about the wife’s condition?  Because it is the job of the court to protect children with child support.  The court needs to know if a little one is on the way.  Had we not been able to reach the wife by telephone, having the wife “appear” at the final hearing, I am certain the divorce would not have been granted until a later date and with the wife’s testimony in person.

However, in further discussion with this judge, a pleading, a statement in the marital settlement agreement or an affidavit from the wife may have been sufficient to ascertain the pregnancy status of the wife to satisfy the court.

For more information about divorce, 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.

CASE OF THE MONTH: Equitable Distribution With a Girlfriend on the Side.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

THE FACTS:  This case involves a husband, who we represent, who decided to leave his long term marriage.  The couple has extensive assets, two large homes, one in Florida and another up north, and two country clubs.   The husband also has a younger girlfriend who is a successful working professional.  The wife is shocked, hurt, and angry.   She is rightfully so under the care of a therapist.

THE ISSUES:  While the girlfriend is an issue for the wife,  since she is self supporting and the husband has not spent much money on her, legally the girlfriend is not an issue in the State of Florida.  If she is, it is only to the extent of marital funds being spent, which, unlike most cases involving a paramour, is minimal in this case.

HOW WE WORKED IT OUT:  The homes have to be sold.  They are worth millions of dollars.  The husband and wife agree that this is a bad time to do that, so they will remain real estate partners, bearing the asset and the debt together with their liquid assets.

The rest of the accounts, stocks, bonds, investments, are to be split 50/50 with a joint account set up for joint expenses on the homes, to which both parties will contribute equally from their 50/50 share of cash.   This leaves the husband free now to spend his half as he wishes, whether that means investing, setting up a new business or spending it all on the girlfriend.

WHAT WE STILL NEED TO DO:  What remains is division of an extensive art collection.  Should it be divided according to value or according to who wants what?  This is up for discussion at the next mediation.

Lastly, the husband wants both country club memberships.  It will be interesting to see how this is worked out since he is on the board of both and wishes to bring his girlfriend to both clubs.    The wife is furious.

If you have extensive assets, and want 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.