Children and Divorce…Psychological Effects

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I am a divorce lawyer, not a child psychologist.  However, because I see common behaviors in children during the divorce process, I can speak to some of the psychological effects I see in my divorce practice.

1.    Kids are smart.  They play one parent against the other to get what they want, whether it is a toy or game, or time with a friend, a trip, a new pair of shoes etc.

2.  Kids have hope.  They want their parents back together again.

3.  Kids may be unwelcoming.  They do not need or want a new mommy or daddy, so be careful in forcing them into your new relationships.

4.  Kids are flexible.  They have friends whose parents are divorced and they have friends whose parents are not.

5.  Kids blame themselves.  Don’t you blame them too for the break up.

6.  Kids are not messengers.  Don’t use them as such.

7.  Kids are not pawns.  Don’t use your kids to “get” at the other parent.

8.  Kids need stability and love.  From BOTH of you.

This list can go on and on.  For more information about children and 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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Children and Divorce…A Legal Check List

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many issues in a divorce that has children involved, both the legal and the psychological.  I will address the legal issues today and the psychological issues in another writing.

Legal issues involving the children of divorcing parents include:

1.  Time sharing (or what used to be called “custody”).

2.  Health insurance (children MUST be covered in the State of Florida).

3.  Schools (private or public)

4. After school care or activities

5.  Relocation with minor children or geographic restrictions

6.  Child support

7.  The parents’ significant others

8.  The parents relationship with each other (shared parental responsibility)

9.  Uncovered medical/dental bills

10.  Housing must be clean and safe

11.   Pets

These are the issues that must be addressed in any marital settlement agreement or final judgment of divorce by trial if there are children involved.  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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Who Is The “Better” Parent In Divorce Court?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I just had a case where the ex husband, after divorce, continued at his mid management level job, and the ex wife remarried a wealthy man.   The ex wife is now able to  lavish gifts upon the parties minor children.  The ex husband,  is not as financially well off as the former wife.  Who do you think the minor children gravitate to?

The courts do NOT recognize the wealthier parent as necessarily the “better” parent.  When it comes to time sharing with minor children, the best interests of the child controls the judge’s decision.  Issues such as who spends quality time with the kids, who takes them to after school lessons, who helps with homework, who takes them to the doctor, who is more involved in school activities…those are the things the judge considers in determining which parent better serves the needs of the children…  Not the amount of clothes a parent can buy or the price or quantity of gifts a parent can buy.

Regarding living arrangements, it is not the bigger house that “wins”, as long as the children have a clean, safe and decent place to live in the eyes of the judge.

While parents are never equal in their parenting skills, time alotted to children, or money available to them, a judge has to consider all factors in determining where the best interests of the children are found.  It is to that parent that the judge will grant majority time sharing and adjust the child support amount accordingly.

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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Holidays Can Be Hard For “Bouncing Ball” Children

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In addition to the Holiday Season being difficult for those husbands and wives who find themselves in failing marriages, the holidays can be hard for the “bouncing ball” children, who bounce back and forth between divorced parents.   They want to share the excitement and joys of the season with each parent they love, but they are forced by the divorce to split the time up.  Often parents fight about time sharing in front of the children causing them high anxiety and literally taking the joy out of the moment.

Divorced parents may also have new families and spouses…extended families can be a source of comfort or confusion for the child of a divorce.  If adults can start acting as such and put the child first, alot of the tension will dissipate.  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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Children Often Caught In Middle Of Divorce

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Often when parents are divorcing, their children get caught in the middle.  They are used as pawns to negotiate settlements, they are used as messengers of bad news, they are used as meal tickets.  They are abused.

As a divorce lawyer who handles many, many cases involving children, these are the most difficult to navigate and settle.  Even where it is clear that one parent is by far the “better parent”, it is a hard case to settle and usually has to go to court.

Litigation is costly for all involved…it is also time consuming and tears at your emotions.   Add to that, the fact of extended families and half siblings, and the matter gets complex.  Add to that grandparents who wish to be helpful, but have no rights under the law.

If you are thinking about a divorce and have minor children at home, consult with 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 Is A Social Evaluation And How Is It Used In Divorce Cases?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A social evaluation is a home study conducted by a court appointed social worker to visit you in the home to see how you and the children live and relate to each other.   It is court ordered upon motion, usually filed in custody battles, where one parent wants sole custody and for the other parent, supervised time sharing and no decision making.

Social workers will visit each parent’s home with the children and write a report for the judge based upon observations, knowledge of the physical residence, interviews and expertise in such matters.  The social evaluator will make recommendations to the court as to what is in the best interests of the children.

The judge will rely upon this report. Opposing counsel will have an opportunity at the trial to cross examine.  And the best interests of the child/ren will be determined by court order.  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.famlylawwpb.com for more information.

Seeking The Help Of Other Professionals During Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It is very common in my divorce practice to seek the assistance of other professionals to help me litigate a case.  Below is a list of professionals I use and why:

1.  Psychotherapist, psychiatrist, child psychologist, social workers.  I use these professionals mostly in dealing with children’s issues like custody, sole parental responsibility and time sharing.

2.  Vocational evaluators.   If a spouse refuses to pursue a career or simply find employment, these experts can testify as to earnings and ability.  I use these professionals mostly in alimony cases.

3.  CPAs.  I use accountants to trace funds, do lifestyle studies, value businesses, assess finances, determine one’s true income.   CPAs are my best friends when alimony and high assets are at stake.

4.  Appraisers.  If the marriage included extensive and substantial art work, jewelry, antiques, coins, stamps, guns, cars, anything of exceptional value, I use appraisers to help in equitable distribution of assets cases.

5.  Real estate agents.  Obviously these experts assist me in valuations of real estate whether it is the marital home, vacation home, rental or commercial buildings.

6.  Medical personnel.  These experts assess special needs children and spouses for support purposes.

7.  Tax attorneys and CPAs.  These experts help with end games to show tax effects of settlement offers and their true value.

8.   Estate planning attorneys and financial planners.  These experts can assess a settlement offer to see if it is workable over a lifetime.

9.  Private investigators.  You know what they do.  Now in the computer age information is priceless.

I would not hesitate to co counsel with any of these experts if I feel it is in the best interests of my client.   In high asset cases or child custody cases where there is a lot at stake, experts are the best advisors to a judge.    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.