What Do You Do If You Have A Special Needs Child?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Going through a divorce or becoming a single parent is an emotional challenge even if the divorce is amicable and you have a normal child.

But in cases where there is a child with special needs, the task is compounded.  With mentally or physically handicapped children, whether ADHD, bipolar, Down syndrome or autism, the guilt of divorce is not the only challenge…the child does not understand, the medical bills are piling up and the visits for therapy are exhausting.

Under these circumstances, you may not choose to divorce, it may choose you.  If your spouse wants a divorce, you will have to defend  yourself and your children.  The job of the courts is to protect children and serve their best interests.  If that means getting more than the standard child support, Florida law provides for such a situation.  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.

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Restraining orders and injunctions for protection against domestic violence…do they really work?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

With couples everywhere and in every socioeconomic level having “discussions” about money and the recent economy, things are bound to get heated.  Alcohol use, drug abuse, and just plain stress can cause normally rational people to do irrational acts. 

If you find yourself in a situation where your spouse is throwing soda cans in your direction, busting through locked doors, putting a fist through a wall, or dumping the orchid on the white bed linens, it is time to protect yourself by phoning the police AND pressing charges.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, the police will remove the wrongdoing spouse to overnight jail, no questions asked.  It is up to the remaining spouse to immediately seek a restraining order or order for protection against domestic violence.  To be successful, one must cite “immediate fear of imminent harm”.  You can’t do that three days after the blow up…you have to file it almost immediately.

Do they work?  The answer is sometimes.  If your spouse exhibited unusual behavior just for the moment, due to out of control anger or rage, he or she may come to his or her senses and be very remorseful, realizing what was done was totally wrong.   In these types of cases, restraining orders do work keeping the perpetrator at bay, because they realize the consequences of violating one.  However, in my practice, I have seen more severe situations where mental illness plays a big part.

If the violent spouse is an addict, has uncontrolled bi polar disorder, has visions of the devil in the head, or some other severe mental illness, the sufferer does not pay attention to restraining orders.  They just can’t control themselves.  Often the victim is either victimized again and again, or worse, is killed or severely harmed, regardless of the existence of a restraining order.

Palm Beach County provides safe houses, where a spouse and children can go secretly to be safe from the perpetrator.  For more information about this topic speak to one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091 or click on the ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

Mental Health Issues in Divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many issues in divorce that can be affected by one or the other spouse’ mental health.  The following is a list where mental health issues can determine and outcome of the case here in Palm Beach County, Florida:

1.  Custody battles.  The job of the court is to determine the best interests of the child/ren.  If a spouse is bi polar, clinically depressed, has anger management problems, eating disorders or suffers from alcohol or drug addicition, chances are likely that the other spouse will get much greater time sharing with the children.  The spouse suffering from mental health issues may get limited or supervised visits.

2.  Alimony.  A non breadwinner spouse with mentalhealth issues may get more in an alimony award for rehabilitation purposes as a special needs spouse. 

3.  Dissipation of marital assets.  A spouse who is a compulsive gambler will be accused of dissipating the marital assets, and as a result, will get a smaller piece of the marital pie in divorce court.

4.  Unfit to parent.  A spouse who abuses prescription medications may be seen by the court as an unfit parent.  Ditto for a spouse who returns the children in a dirty, hungry, neglectful  state. 

5.  Domestic violence.  A spouse who goes into a violent rage, destroying marital or separate property will be awarded less in equitable distribution of property.

Anyone suffering from these mental health afflictions should seek the help of a professional counselor for the benefit of the entire family and for him or her to be able to better cope with divorce and life in general.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com of call for a consultation appointment with one of the attorneys at the Firm at 561-835-9091.

Sex and money and marriage… Do something about it to save a failing marriage.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Marriages break up mainly because of two reasons:  sex and money.  Let’s discuss these one at a time. 

Either there is too much sex outside the marriage, and/or not enough sex within the marriage.  Marriages can be of the roommate kind as in a roommate marriage with your best friend, a sham marriage (simply a business deal for say immigration purposes or money), sexless marriages that are true marriages in every way except in the bedroom, or open marriages which encompasses sex in and out of the marriage bed.   Sex outside the marriage falls into several categories:  an affair with someone other than your spouse; multiple sex partners, sex addiciton, pornography;  sex chat rooms, use of prostitutes and escort services.  However it happens, one of the spouses is getting it, and the other is not.  The result?  Both spouses are not happy within the marriage.

Regarding money issues, it is obvious that in today’s economic climate, everyone, even the rich, have money problems.  Marital discussions lead to disagreements which lead to arguments which lead to contempt, disrespect, even sometimes domestic violence.  Some marital issues involve paying the bills, keeping or selling the marital home, cancelling the credit cards, taking out a survival loan, getting a job, moving out of state to get a better job, selling a car, the list is endless. 

How to resolve marital problems that are causing stress and sleepless nights?  First, I tell clients who need it to seek professional help.  Either go to marriage counseling with a psychologist or get medication with a psychiatrist.  For stress, coping skills, and anger management there are classes available to take and books you and your spouse can read.  For more serious ailments like bi polar disorder or depression, a medical doctor can prescribe drugs to control these illnesses.  Alcohol and drug abuse or addiction can also cause a marriage to fail.  There are treatment centers for both. 

The point is if your marriage is breaking or broken do something!  Get immediate help.  Then if all else fails, the ultimate recourse is a divorce for your own survival.  For more information click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or call for a consultation with one of our attorneys at 561-835-9091.