In Palm Beach County Courts, Custody Battles Are Ugly

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Divorcing couples can usually let a judge decide on an equitable split of marital assets and debts.  They can also agree in mediation to spousal support (alimony) and who will pay what household bills.  But when it comes to the parties’ children, neither the husband or the wife will admit they are “bad” parents.  So time sharing of the minor children can be a hotly contested divorce issue that a judge will have to decide.

If you are a parent who basically ignores homework, school plays, sports games, then you run the risk of less time with your children because it is what you do anyway.  If you are partying until dawn, drinking and driving, or have other personal issues, it is likely that you will have less time with your children, or even have supervised time sharing.  (No court wants a parent who has an alcohol problem to be driving children around.)

Watch out for text messages, emails, facebook and the like that can become damning evidence against you.  That is especially true if you send abusive messages to your children.  If you disparage the other parent to the children, this is another violation that is not tolerated by the divorce court judge.  Courts even have a name for it–  “parental alienation”.  Parents who are easily angered in the court room will also exhibit out of control behavior, and this, too, will not help your case.  For more information about how to initiate or defend a time sharing dispute over children, 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.

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Divorce, Kids and Christmas

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Divorce is complex enough when there are children invloved, but it can get very stressful around holiday time.  Chances are this is the first time a divorcing couple truly has to share the kids.  There is only one Christmas Eve and one Christmas Day.  The obvious dispute is who gets what time sharing.

This becomes especially challenging when parents live far apart from each other or in different states.  The logistics get in the way.  Also, it may e too early in the divorce proceedings for there to be a court order.

The best way to handle holiday time sharing is by agreement of the parties.  If that is not possible even on a temporary basis, then court intervention will be necessary.   Remember, if an agreement is possible to somehow split the holidays, put it in writing and have booth you and your spouse sign.  For more information a bout this or other divorce topics call one of the divorce lawyers at 561 835 9091 or click on the firm’s web site at http://www.familylaw.com for more information.

Who Has To Move, Him Or Her?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many couples going through a divorce  just don’t have the funds for separate residences.  It is cheaper (not easier) to stay under one roof, until the divorce is final and the issue of the marital home is decided by the judge or agreed to by the parties.

For those couples  lucky enough to have assets, or those in two income families, it is easier (not cheaper) to live separately and apart pending divorce proceedings.  So how do couples decide who shall stay and who shall go?

First, you don’t lose your marital rights to the marital residence merely by moving out, if your name is on the deed or on the lease.  The remaining party has no right to change the locks unless by agreement of the parties or court order.

Secondly, if there are children, it is understandable that they are going through enough changes during divorce.  They should remain, if at all possible, in a stable home environment.  So who is going to be the parent who will be or continue to be the major caregiver?    It is that parent who should stay, as it is in the best interests of the children.

On the other hand, there are cases whereby only one of the parties can afford to pay the mortgage, maintenance, insurance and taxes.  That is the party who should stay.  The other should go, with or without children in tow.

In cases where neither party can afford the mortgage or expenses of the marital home,  both should move out and rent the home or keep it as an investment property, or you both agree to list the house for sale and stay until it sells.

Lastly, where a home is in foreclosure or short sale status, you both should work it out to stay, because that is in both  your best interests.

In some cases, both parties want the home or neither husband nor wife wants the home.  Every case is different.  If the spouses cannot agree, the divorce court judge will decide for you both.

 

 

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.

You’ve Gotten A Divorce But You’re Still Stuck With Your Ex?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

One advantage certain couples have, is that once the divorce is final, both parties can go their separate ways without interference from the other.  They never have to see each other again; they never have to talk to each other again… about anything.  That is unless they are sharing a business,  a dog, or children.

If a divorcing couple has any of the above, they are in it together for the next number of years until the children reach the age of majority, the business folds or is bought out, or the dog dies. Along with child support, shared parental responsibility and time sharing, which keeps the two of of tied together,  the focus today is on co parenting.

Co parenting can be very difficult, especially if the former husband and former wife just don’t see eye to eye.  An exaggerated example: The kids get to eat candy in one home, while in the other they are forced to do homework.  This is an example of a typical dilemma co parents face all the time: different co parenting styles.  The best advice is to live and let live, unless there is some detriment to the children.  Pick your battles wisely.

Even so, children hone in on certain things, and usually can figure out how to play one parent against the other.  Remember, you are the adults.  You should wise up to this ploy and work together for the best interests of your children.  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.

Marital Settlement Agreements Are “Special” Contracts

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When you are going through the divorce process in Palm Beach County, Florida, you will have to go to mediation, prior to going to trial in the courtroom.  This is court  mandated, and gives a divorcing couple a formal way to settle out their differences by themselves, instead of having the judge dictate how the family will live from final judgment forward.

Marital settlements agreements become part of final judgments of divorce.  They are based upon both the husband and the wife fully disclosing all finances, separate and marital property, legal obligations and debt.  They equitably divide marital assets and debts, setting aside separate property, they provide for spousal support or alimony, and also set forth guidelines to follow for any children of the marriage.

That can include child support, time sharing, vacation time, grandparents rights, shared parental responsibility, health insurance, doctors visits travel and just about anything else.

After full disclosure and negotiations, if the parties can agree, they will sign a marital settlement agreement, freely, with full knowledge of their rights and obligations and with intent to be bound.  Marital settlement agreements are enforceable by the court as is any court order. For more information about 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 http://www.familylawwpb.com.

“Custody” is now called “time sharing” under the law in Florida

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It used to be called “custody”.  It used to imply rightful possession of a child.  It used to cause the other parent to be the “visiting” parent, or the “non custodial parent” who gets to “visit” with the child/ren.  You can begin to see how this terminology used to cause undue fighting and voluminous litigation between parents.

The Florida legislature, in all their wisdom, finally changed the law several years ago.  But bad habits die hard and sometimes I have clients revert back to the old language of the law.  Like “primary residential parent”.

Last week in court, an opposing party called the child “my” child.  The judge was quick to correct him by stating it is “a child of both of you.  You, mister, do not own a child.”  Public policy in Florida warrants that a child has a right to a relationship with both a mother and a father.  That is why the custody language was changed.

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.