“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.

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.

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.

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.

Handling Money After Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

With divorce comes a division of assets and debts of the marriage.  It is hard to get used to handling both sides of the coin by yourself.  Especially when the marital pie is cut in half. 

This concept is traumatic for many suddenly single people.  Especially if your spouse handled all the family finances.

So if you end up with substantial assets and don’t want to continue to use the same financial advisors you used when you were married, call us for some suggestions.  We have certified financial planners, investment bankers, stock brokers, insurance executives, CPAs and others we draw upon for their professional expertise. 

One piece of advice I give my clients is to budget properly.  Don’t get back into debt.  Don’t make extravagant expenditures fixing up the home.  Don’t go on that European holiday just yet.  Let the dust settle from your divorce.  It is traumatic.  You have to think clearly to plan your financial future. 

If you are thinking about getting divorced in Palm Beach County, and would like to do some financial planning before you file, call one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

High Asset Divorce Cases Need Special Attention

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There is a saying that the rich are different.  In divorce cases, the same holds true.   Wealthy divorcing couples have more to fight over.  There may be a family business, huge stock options, priceless paintings, several homes, expensive cars and jewelry and a whole lot more debt.

It often takes ancillary professionals to join the divorce lawyers on the “team”.  Professionals including accountants, financial planners, appraisers, real estate experts, business valuations all need to be considered in the equitable division of assets and debts.

Complex marital estates are often the cause for the break up in the first place.  There is more to argue over.  If you have a sizeable marital estate and are thinking about divorcing in Palm Beach County, divorce planning may be just what  you need.  Call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 for more information or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.