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.

BAD MARRIAGES GET WORSE DURING THE HOLIDAYS

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you’ve married for love and the love has run out…or you married for money and the money has run out, changes are, you and your husband or wife are not the happily married couple everyone thinks.  With the holidays upon us, it can be especially difficult to keep smiling and pretending.

There are all sorts of marital stresses during the holidays.  First, consider the now very common blended families.  Children and ex spouses from another lifetime suddenly appear at your dining table.  Time sharing squabbles, airline delays, and disputed schedule changes are hard enough, but during the holidays, they all seem to magnify.

Second, consider the family budget. With the current state of the economy, holiday spending is a hot topic of dispute.  Even something so simple as when and where to shop can become major wars in a household already on edge.
Third, no rest for the weary takes the place of sexual intimacy in front of the fireplace.  Forgive me for being a grinch, but let’s get real here.  You do have a house full of people, right?

Lastly, closing out the year and having high hopes for the new year causes one to reflect.  Like those new year’s resolutions, if divorce is one of your aspirations, I am here to help get you through.  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.

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.

Can You Change A Marital Settlement Agreement Once It Becomes A Court Order?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Yes.  A marital settlement agreement and court order of divorce can be changed by AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES or by COURT ORDER.  A court order will be the result of a PETITION FOR MODIFICATION OF FINAL JUDGMENT.  It has to be based upon a substantial, material change of circumstances.  You would have to prove such a change requires a modification at the POST DISSOLUTION TRIAL.

However, there is an EXCEPTION…once property and debts are divided in divorce court, or even by agreement of the parties, that part of the final judgment is a done deal.  Spousal support (alimony) and children’s issues (time sharing, child support) can be modified.  Division of assets and debts cannot.

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.