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.



How To Handle Debt In Palm Beach County Divorces

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many forms of marital debt:  credit cards, mortgages, car loans, home equity lines of credit, business debt, and loans from parents and others.

It can be a complex exercise to equitably divide up the marital debt.  What if the couple have been living separate and apart for two y ears?  What if the marital home is under water in terms of loan to value?  What if one car is paid for and the other is not?

There are many issues involving debt and divorce.  The best advice I can give you is to know what your financial situation is and then consult with one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. on how to resolve the debt issues in a divorce situation.  Call for a consultation at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

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.

Do I Need A Divorce Lawyer To Get A Divorce In Palm Beach County?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The answer is it depends.  Legally, you do  not need a divorce lawyer.  Your life is at stake, but this is not criminal court.  If you have virtually nothing to divide, no children to worry about, you can probably do your own divorce.

However, if you have a claim for alimony, or a defense to it, or have children, or assets and debts to fight over, chances are you need counsel.  The more issues there are between the husband and the wife, the more likely there is a disputed issue (or several) and you will want someone on your side.

Additionally, you might want other professionals to assure that you will get what you are entitled to.  That could be a CPA or even a psychologist.  For more information, come in for a consultation.  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.

Are You “Entitled” To A Divorce Lawyer?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Often I get the question about whether or not a spouse should retain a divorce lawyer.   In Palm Beach County, it is not a requirement that one have a divorce lawyer to get a divorce.

In fact, many couples who cannot afford legal counsel have DIY divorces.  These are called pro se litigants by the courts.  They are spouses without divorce lawyers.   WHERE IT GETS TRICKY IS IF ONE PARTY HAS A DIVORCE LAWYER AND THE OTHER DOES NOT. When this happens, I often get the question, AM I ENTITLED TO COUNSEL?  The answer is no.

Divorce is a civil matter, unlike criminal law, and does not require the courts to appoint a lawyer for you.  Although divorce does have far reaching effects on one’s future, finances and family life, your life and liberty are not at risk, and so you are not entitled to appointed counsel even if your spouse has a lawyer.   It is highly suggested by me that you beg and borrow to hire a divorce lawyer if your spouse has one.  You may be awarded fees in your case later.  But you should not go it alone and up against your spouse’ lawyer.   Where the distinction lies is that in criminal cases, your liberty and life are at stake.   That is why in criminal cases, the court will appoint counsel for you if you cannot afford one.  Not so in divorce court, but maybe it should be.

If you are thinking about getting a divorce 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.

Valentine’s Day A Sad Day For Those In Bad Marriage Or Love Relationship!

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Chocolates, flowers, jewelry…ahhh Hollywood…If you are in a bad marriage or love relationship this Valentine’s Day,  know that other people are too.  Look around a roomful of married couples and at least half of those marrieds are headed to divorce court at some point.  Current statistics show that 51% of first marriages end in divorce, and it gets much, much higher for second and third marriages. 

Going to a restaurant or country club with your spouse for a romantic Valentine’s Day?  Half of those couples you will see are not having sex tonight.  They may look celebratory and happy, but truth is, marriages are failing all around you whether you know it or not.  In my practice, I see couples who have not had sex in YEARS.

If you are uncomfortable with these facts, you should be.  It is not a pleasant subject to consider.  As a divorce lawyer, I deal with it for a living every day.   As one who sees too much misery in people’s lives, I have the best advice I can give anyone, whether they are the husband or the wife:   take some control back over your life.  Stop being reactionary and start being pro active.  Stop the misery…Life is just too short!

If you are thinking about getting divorced in Palm Beach County, Florida, educate yourself as to your rights and options, and the divorce process 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 www.familylawwpb.com for more information.  We can help you get some clarity.

How The Current Real Estate Market Effects Divorce And The Marital Home

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It used to be that divorcing couples would fight and litigate over which one of them would get to stay in the marital home.  Today, because homes have lost up to 30% or more of their value, now divorcing couples are fighting over who will not get the marital home.

But this is something to reconsider…if one spouse is going to buy out the other and stay in the marital home, the “buying” spouse is getting a bargain…due to the deflated value of the home.  And that is determined by the fact that there is some equity remaining…if there is no equity, as in the house being under water, there is nothing to buy out except assuming the debt.

Assuming debt is a fair deal, because the remaining spouse will continue to  live there and should pay for it.  For more information on 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 for more information.