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.

What Is Temporary Relief?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Temporary relief includes any kind of relief for the “have not” spouse, to allow the spouse to live and pay bills, pending the outcome of divorce proceedings.  There is usually a temporary relief hearing before the judge, in the event that a court ordered and required mediation does not resolve in a global settlement of the divorce.

Temporary relief can include a court order on child support, time sharing, shared parental responsibility, alimony, attorneys fees, exclusive use and possession of the marital home, a partial division of marital assets and debts, and any other relief requested by the spouse, to allow normal household bills to be paid, and maintain the status quo pending any outcome in the divorce.  Temporary relief stays in place until further order of the court, or an agreement of the parties.  Temporary relief may or may not be precedent setting.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the Palm Beach divorce lawyers at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

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.

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.

What Is Temporary Relief In Divorce Actions In Florida?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Temporary relief can be obtained by agreement of the parties that is reduced to a court order, or by a mini trial before the judge in Palm Beach County Family Court.  The issues to be decided in temporary relief are primarily support and time sharing with children.  Support includes temporary alimony and child support, especially if a spouse has cut you off.   Division of assets and debts is not generally a temporary relief issue unless marital assets need to be partially distributed to pay the attorneys.

Temporary relief is a mini trial that occurs AFTER a mediation in an attempt to settle the issues of temporary support and time sharing.  Child support, alimony, time sharing and attorneys fees are the main temporary relief issues.  Other temporary relief issues can include who pays for which household bills, credit cards,  and medical expenses and insurance during the divorce proceedings.

Temporary relief hearings may include the testimony of the parties and CPAs who testify as to the need of one spouse for temporary relief and the ability to pay by the other spouse.  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.

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.