Protect Yourself With Divorce Planning

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are thinking about getting divorced, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself.   The very first thing is to educate yourself about the family finances.  Then start a photocopying and photographing campaign. 

When you eliminate the emotional baggage, divorce is about money….dividing assets and debts of a marriage, as well as determining income for purposes of alimony, child support, and attorneys fees. 

In terms of being able to prove the incomes of the spouses, it is important to have things like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements showing any direct deposits of income.  Incomes of the parties are key to any divorce.   Employment history is important too.  A spouse should not be able to voluntarily under employ himself or herself and get away with it. Remember, income can be passive as well, resulting from investments, sale of real estate and the like.  Think about what you need to PROVE these things.

Valuing of assets are a necessary must in terms of who gets what.  For example, appraisals of jewelry, art, antiques, cars, even the family business will help the parties or the court divide the assets fairly.  Determining debt is the other side of the coin.  Things like mortgages, lines of credit, credit card bills, car loans need to be addressed, so it is important to have these papers organized and ready to present.

Photographs speak volumes when it comes to valuable cars, boats, and household items of substantial worth.  When you have finished gathering all these documents, deliver the boxes of evidence to your divorce attorney for safekeeping.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, see http://www.familylawwpb.com, or call for a consultation appointment 561 835 9091.

 

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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.

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.

Wha Happens To “Stuff” In the Marital Home?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When you are getting a divorce, what happens to the things you have acquired in the marital home.  It depends upon their value.  If you have priceless artwork and antiques, an appraiser should be called in to value all of the valuable assets.  Then once a value is placed upon such things, it has to be agreed upon by the parties as to what is marital and what is not.  If there can be no such agreement, then a judge will decide.  Provided all the valuable assets are marital, then the parties can agree as to who gets what piece, or if they can’t agree then everything should be sold at fair market value and the net proceeds split 50/50.

In more modest homes, where there is only used furniture and a big screen TV, the parties need to decide who gets what.  If that is not possible, then a judge will divide stuff equally down the middle or by preference. 

Where one party is granted exclusive use and possession of the marital home, oftentimes all the contents stays with that spouse, and the other spouse is given other marital assets as an off set of the value.  Of course, each spouse is to receive their own personal effects such as clothing, jewelry, cosmetics, tools, bicycle and the like.  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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Experts Used In Divorce Proceedings.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many times in divorce cases that expert testimony or evidence is needed.  Most often CPAs perform analysis of the family finances, in terms of establishing valuations of a business, determining a party’s true income and expenses, and determinations of the truthfulness of financial affidavits.  Asset valuations and financial information is determined by using an accountants or forensic CPAs.  That person is key when it comes to depositions, temporary relief hearings and trial testimony and evidence.  Financial information controls child support, alimony awards, as well as distribution of marital assets and debts.  They also determine the ultimate outcome of any settlement or court order regarding the taxable events or ramifications of taxes in the overall scheme of things.

Appraisers are also needed in divorce cases to establish the value of jewelry, artwork, pianos, antiques and collectibles, such as stamp collections, wine collections, coin and gun collections, antique car collections.  Testimony of an appraiser can effect the distribution of marital assets.

Real estate agents and brokers value real property such as residences, rental property, and commercial property.   Divorce often forces sale.

Child psychologists get involved in time sharing and custody issues.  Oftentimes their testimony based upon home studies, helps the judge in determining what is in the best interests of the child.

Marriage counselors can testify as to rehabilitation of adults accused of drug use, alcohol abuse, anger management, and other mental health issues that may effect the outcome of a divorce.

Sometimes divorce trials become a “battle of the experts” so if your case is complex, or is going to trial, you should consider retaining the services of these expert witnesses.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

You may need a divorce TEAM to play your hand…

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The divorce process can be more complex than most people think especially when there are children and lots of debts or assets to “discuss”.  Other factors that complicate a case is domestic abuse, hidden money, affairs, mental illness, drug or sex addiction, alcoholism, gambling, income producing real estate, time shares, a business, and frequent flyer miles. 

Divorce cases that have multiple issues are best tried with a team behind you.  The team can include a CPA to trace assets, evaluate businesses, determine real income; a psychologist or THERAPIST to determine what is in the best interests of the children, or to help you deal with the pressures of divorce; a PSYCHIATRIST for extreme cases of addictions, bi polar behavior, and medications; a trained MEDIATOR to facilitate settlement negotiations; a TAX ADVISOR to project tax ramifications of settlement offers;  an INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL to guarantee support payments; a FINANCIAL PLANNER or investment advisor to help you get back on your feet after divorce;  a REALTOR to list or appraise the marital home;  an APPRAISER to value jewelry, artwork, antiques; and of course, your DIVORCE LAWYER to guide you through the court system and the entire process legally. 

Not all cases require all professionals and every case is different.  But when people ask me why a divorce is so expensive, it is because various expert witnesses are needed at a trial, or in preparation for settlement talks.  It is much better to have THE TEAM on your side than to go up against one.

For more information about this or other divorce topics, 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.