By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
I often get asked questions from clients that seem so elementary to me that sometimes I feel like a therapist. But I get these same questions over and over again, so I thought I should address them for the benefit of those who need the advice:
1. Is divorce going to devastate my family? It doesn’t have to. If you and your spouse are adult enough to put children first, you will realize you will be co parenting for a long time and do what you think is in the best interests of the children. The problem is that often the two opinions don’t jive but rather conflict. When that happens, there is mediation or therapy.
2. Do I have to list every penny I spend and earn on my financial affidavit? No, as long as you estimate closely to what the real figure is. This is not an exercise in balancing your checkbook.
3. Will my spouse follow a court order? He/she should, but if he/she doesn’t, you have legal recourse.
4. Will my case settle? In my practice 75% of our divorce cases do settle. As for a particular case, who knows? We certainly advocate for amicable settlement, but sometimes that is just not possible.
5. Will I have to leave the family business? If you are divorcing, yet working in a family business, it is highly likely that you will be foreclosed from continuing in that position if the family is on your spouse’ side.
6. Will my lifestyle suffer as a result of the divorce? It depends. Some people prosper without their spouse dragging them down financially or emotionally. Others face problems on their own that they never had before as part of a married couple.
7. Who gets the dog? This is an interesting one. Pets are viewed under the law as chattel or things, no different than a living room sofa. However, pets carry the emotions of their owners as if they are children. I have done cases where the former spouses exercise time sharing. Also I usually try to have the pet go where the children go at the time.
8. Can I date and have sex? Of course. Florida is a no fault state. Just be sure the children aren’t harmed in some way from your behavior.
There are hundreds of these types of questions. If you have one, pick up the phone and call 561 835 9091 to arrange for a consultation with me on your specific case. Or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.