“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.

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Who Should Be On Your Divorce Team?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
If you are going through a divorce, you have lots of experts giving you great guidance, advice, and opinions: your BFF, your next door neighbor who heard or saw all the fuss, your mother, your co-workers, your hairdresser.  But the team you really need on your side consists of professionals who are well versed in dealing with divorce issues.

You should first consider who you hire as a DIVORCE LAWYER.  Be sure there is a open line of communication and confidence, and no personality conflicts.  Second in line should be your SHRINK.   This professional will help you get through the stress and emotions of separation, divorce, and transitioning to an individual.  Next comes your FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT.  This team member is the number cruncher who traces money and assets, both obvious and hidden.  Then there is the PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR.  This professional tracks down a carousing, partying spouses, who may or may be spending substantial money on a paramour.  They also get the goods on drinkers and drug users.

Lastly, comes your KEY WITNESSES:  teachers, babysitters, friends with children who play with yours, medical professionals, or police officers who had to come investigate domestic violence, if any, and any other witnesses who can help your cause.

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.

What Does A Quit Claim Deed Do?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce settlement cases, we often use a legal instrument called a quit claim deed to convey real estate between married couples getting a divorce.  The facts are as follows:  Either the husband or the wife decides/agrees to convey his/her interest in the marital home (or any other real estate) to the other party.

For example, let’s just say the husband is going to take a job offer out of state.  He is willing to convey his interest in the marital home , while concurrently, the wife will refinance the mortgage to remove his name from the liability and provide him with a buy out check for his half of the market value of the home.   In this example, the quit claim deed awards the wife the home in its entirety while the concurrent refinancing removes the husband from the debt service and provides cash for his share.

In cases where refinancing is not possible, due to no equity in the home or the wife in this example does not otherwise qualify, then the lawyers will hold the quit claim deed in escrow until such time as there is a refinance.  Quit claim deeds are instruments of conveyance of real estate, and should be recorded in the property records department in the jurisdiction where the property is located. 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.

 

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.

Meddling In Laws and Your Divorce

Meddling In Laws and Your Divorce.

You And Your Divorce Lawyer…

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You and your divorce lawyer have a special relationship. First, anything conveyed to your lawyer, in writing or verbally, is confidential.  This includes any communications with any of your lawyer’s staffers as well.  Your lawyer is there to advocate for your position and hold you out in the best light possible under the facts of the matter.

Your lawyer knows divorce law in your jurisdiction.  You must listen and follow his or her advice.  That is what you are paying for…your lawyer’s time, skill set and expertise.

Speaking of paying, be sure you keep current with your bill.  Your lawyer will stay on and continue to represent you, as long as the legal fees are being paid.  The reverse is true as well.  If for some reason you do not pay your lawyer, the judge most likely will let your lawyer withdraw from representing you.

You must cooperate.  If you are supposed to produce documents, don’t be your own worst enemy, or your lawyer’s, by not producing these items in a timely manner.

Lastly, if you are not sure about something, call for a meeting with your lawyer.  It is much better to have an open discussion than remain in the dark and not understand what is going on that involves your future.  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.

Does It Matter Who Files For Divorce First?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Clients who come in to see me for a divorce consultation often ask if there is any advantage to filing for divorce first and before their spouses do.  As far as substantive facts and law, there is no advantage or disadvantage as to whether you are the petitioner, asking for the court to grant a divorce, or the respondent, the spouse who is served with the petition and has to respond.

However, strategically, there is an advantage to being the petitioner and filing for the divorce first.  In terms of going to trial, if you are the petitioner, you get to present your case to the judge first.  You make the first impressions on the judge.  You get to present the facts of the marriage from your perspective first.  You make opening statements and closing arguments first.

The disadvantage of filing for divorce first, is you have to pay the filing fee to the court.  You have to pay to have the other spouse served with your petition.

Often times, there is a “race to the courthouse” when spouses live in two different states.  Here it would matter who files first because of convenience.  For example, if the parties have been separated, and Husband lives in Connecticut and the Wife lives in Florida, and they own a home in each state, whoever gets to file first generally will have the divorce take place in their state.  There are extenuating circumstances and time frames, but generally whoever filed first will prevail with having the divorce proceedings in their jurisdiction.  For more information about this or other hot topics in 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 for more information.