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.

 

 

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“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.

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 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 A Cheating Spouse Be Punished By Florida Divorce Courts?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Sitting in my office, listening to potential divorce clients, it seems like no one is having sex within their marriage.  They are either sex deprived, or they or their spouse are cheating on the side.

To some extent, the Florida law protects cheaters, directing the “cheated upon” spouse to simply divorce the cheater.   That’s what is meant when we divorce lawyers say Florida is a “no fault” state.    However, the law does protect an innocent spouse from dissipation of marital assets.   What that means is if a cheater is spending significant sums of marital monies on the affair, that so called dissipation of marital assets can be considered in the financial scheme of the divorce.  There may be an unequal equitable distribution given in favor of the innocent spouse by the divorce court judge.

Case law defines significant sums as: buying a girl friend an expensive car, paying her rent, buying a condo for the paramour, taking numerous expensive vacations or shopping trips, all the usual but expensive trappings of keeping a lover.   A casual dinner out does not qualify.

If you suspect your spouse is the cheating kind, 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 for more information.  We may want to put a private eye on your spouse and use that testimony and evidence in court to get you the better part of the marital estate.

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 Move Out?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida I get this question all the time from clients who are doing divorce planning.  Divorce planning is another subject that is very important and I will address that in another article.  However, moving out of the marital home raises lots of questions from clients, the most common addressed below: First question:  DO I LOSE MY RIGHTS?  If your name is on the deed to the marital home, the answer is no. Second question:  WILL I LOSE MY KIDS?  It is your children’s rights that are protected by law here, that being the right to have two loving parents.  You will not lose your parental rights unless you are unfit to parent. Third question:   CAN HE/SHE KEEP ME OUT?  Only if there is a restraining order or some other court order giving your spouse exclusive use and possession. Fourth question:  WHAT DO I DO IF MY SPOUSE CHANGES THE LOCKS?  Change them back. Fifth question:  CAN I TAKE MY STUFF?  Only your personal effects ie clothing, cosmetics, shoes, hats, hand bags,  papers.  The rest is considered marital and subject to equitable distribution. Lastly:  HOW DO I PROTECT MY RIGHTS:  Photocopy everything and photograph everything else. For more information about this subject, divorce planning 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.