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.

 

Liars, and Cheaters and Fraud…Oh My!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I once heard a divorce court judge address a courtroom full of lawyers, husbands and wives, court reporters and spectators, and what he said will never leave my memory…he said something to the effect that, this is divorce court.. everyone is lying.

Appraisers can place valuations of heirlooms to real estate to benefit the party who hires them…accountants can make the numbers say anything they want to…lawyers can interpret statutes and case law from their ownone sided  perspectives…financial affidavits of husbands and wives generally and regretably leave something off the asset column.  One can conclude divorce court is not an exact science.

So how do you reconcile the difficulties of litigation?  The first and best answer is to stay out of court.  At least in settlement talks the parties can determine their own destinies, like it or not.  The next best step is zealous advocacy.  Hire professionals who really on are your side and are dedicated to doing the best job possible for you.  This includes the accountant, the lawyer, the appraiser, the shrink, and private eye and anyone else you need to rely upon for zealous advocacy.

Lastly, you must not have personality conflicts involved in your case.  If you are not comfortable with your “team” do something about it before it is too late.  You can always change attorneys, CPAs, shrinks, etc.

For more information about this or other hot 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.

Whose Name It’s In Doesn’t Matter In Divorce

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many of my clients have a misconceptions about whose property is whose when it comes to divorce in Palm Beach County.    For example, a Mercedes Benz was purchased during the marriage with funds from a joint bank account.  The car is titled in the husband’s name only.  Whose car is it in the division of marital assets?  Barring any prenuptial or post nuptial agreement that says otherwise, it is viewed by the court as marital property.  Just because the title is in the husband’s name only, does not mean it belongs solely to the husband.  Ultimately it might go to him in the equitable distribution scheme of the divorce, but it is not necessarily his just because of the title designation.

Another example is the marital home.   Suppose one of the spouses owned the home prior to the marriage, let’s say it’s the wife.  Once the marriage takes place, she refuses to put the home into joint names.    When they get divorced years later, the husband still has an equitable interest in the home from the day of the wedding until the date of the divorce filing even though his name is not on the deed.    For other examples of title interests in divorce law in the state of Florida, 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.

If Your Marriage Is On The Rocks, PROTECT YOURSELF!

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Clients come in for a consultation for information.  They either are thinking about getting out of a bad marriage or relationship, or their spouse has mentioned something about a split.  I often get the question, how do I protect myself?

The first easy piece of advice is PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING.  That includes the cars, the boat, the grand piano, grandmother’s sterling silver, jewelry, antiques, paintings, and collections such as wine, coins, stamps, even the big screen.

The second easy piece of advice is PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING.  The wine lists, coin and stamp logs, mortgages, car titles, deeds, corporate documents, bank statements, credit card bills,  income statements, tax returns, pay stubs, investment accounts, whatever you can get your hands on.

Drop the cartons of pics and copies off to your lawyer.  Don’t leave them in the trunk of you car!

Lastly, don’t leave car keys, wedding rings and other small valuables lying around the house.  They have a tendency to be “stolen”.  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.

After The Divorce Is Final…A Checklist

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The divorce process is full of details, stress, and decisions.  After the divorce is final, you and your divorce lawyer cannot drop the ball and ignore performance under the terms of the final judgment.  Below is a checklist of possible tasks in a hypothetical divorce case:

1.  Record any quit claim or real estate property deeds.  Make sure they are signed by both the husband and the wife, witnessed properly, with proper legal descriptions, and notarized.  Otherwise the recording department at the courthouse will not accept transfer of title on real property.

2.  Roll over any retirement plans by having a qualified domestic relations order QDRO prepared and signed by the judge in your case, and properly approved by the retirement plan administrator.

3.  Change titles to cars, boats or other vehicles by properly executing title documents.

4.  Open new bank accounts, stock accounts, annuities or other investment accounts in your name only.

5.  Cancel joint credit cards, cell phone accounts and the like and open new ones in your name only.

6.  If you are the one staying in the home, transfer utilities to your name only.  If you are the one leaving the marital home, notify the utility companies to remove your name from these accounts.

7.  Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance and other testimentary documents.

8.  Wives need to get certified copies of the final judgment of divorce from the courthouse to change your name on drivers licenses, passports and other legal documents.

9.  Once the dust settles, re read your final judgment to make sure you and your now ex have complied with all its terms.   If your spouse refuses to comply or simply won’t comply with its terms timely or by deadline dates, let your divorce lawyer know.  The lawyer can file a motion for contempt or a motion to enforce a court order against your ex.

For any other questions concerning 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 www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

Using Private Investigators In Palm Beach Divorces

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If Florida is a no fault state, and there is no punishment for adultery, why then hire a private investigator?  I get this question all the time when I recommend to my clients that they hire one.

The reasons are many:  First a private investigator can assess all public records on a spouse to ascertain if they are property owners, car owners, boat owners, alone or with another person.  You, the divorcing spouse, may not have the entire picture of assets, property wise, and a private investigator will find that information for you.  If a spouse purchased a condo for a paramour, for example, this will show in the property records, and that is money in your pocket, as you will file a dissipation of marital assets claim based upon that information.

Secondly, a private investigator can ascertain all criminal activity, driving records, and behavior of your spouse or your spouse’ live in.   If your spouse “forgot” to tell you about the DUI he/she got, this information may be helpful if you are going for custody of the kids.

Thirdly, a private investigator or forensic computer specialist can access computer files, telephone records, text messages, internet postings on facebook, match.com and the like.  Information is always helpful.   A private investigator can be a great witness at the divorce trial.

If you are being stalked, your car damaged, or other unusual behavior, a private investigator will discover that as well.  There are many other reasons to use a private investigator and/or a computer forensic specialist.  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.