Liars, and Cheaters and Fraud…Oh My!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I once heard a divorce court judge address a courtroom full of lawyers, husbands and wives, court reporters and spectators, and what he said will never leave my memory…he said something to the effect that, this is divorce court.. everyone is lying.

Appraisers can place valuations of heirlooms to real estate to benefit the party who hires them…accountants can make the numbers say anything they want to…lawyers can interpret statutes and case law from their ownone sided  perspectives…financial affidavits of husbands and wives generally and regretably leave something off the asset column.  One can conclude divorce court is not an exact science.

So how do you reconcile the difficulties of litigation?  The first and best answer is to stay out of court.  At least in settlement talks the parties can determine their own destinies, like it or not.  The next best step is zealous advocacy.  Hire professionals who really on are your side and are dedicated to doing the best job possible for you.  This includes the accountant, the lawyer, the appraiser, the shrink, and private eye and anyone else you need to rely upon for zealous advocacy.

Lastly, you must not have personality conflicts involved in your case.  If you are not comfortable with your “team” do something about it before it is too late.  You can always change attorneys, CPAs, shrinks, etc.

For more information about this or other hot 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 for more information.

Advertisements

What Is A Complex Divorce?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A complex divorce is one in which there are many issues to resolve and the Husband and Wife are anything but agreeable.  It could involve many real estate properties, tax issues, a privately held corporation or several closely held businesses, marital assets in several states, trust assets, split siblings or special needs children, assets or businesses that need valuations, and supplemental issues including vocational studies, custody battles, an unfit parent, off shore bank accounts and the like.   Complex divorces can also include bad behavior including adultery and the dissipation of marital assets due to outside relationships, gambling, drug or alcohol use or uncontrollable shopping or other mental health issues.

The more complex the marriage, the more complex the divorce.  The more a couple has to fight over, generally the more complex the divorce.  This type of divorce usually turns ugly and requires the use of a divorce team.  This team includes psychologists or psychiatrists, appraisers, private investigator, real estate agents, CPAs, estate planning attorneys, corporate attorneys, tax attorneys, and of course the divorce lawyer.   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.

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.

How Fast Can I Get A Divorce?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you retain the Firm to represent you, we can draft all your documents and get them filed within 24 to 48  hours.  The next step is to have a process server deliver the divorce papers to your husband or wife, or to speed things up, he/she can waive service of process.  Then we can speed things up even more if they waive an answer and counterpetition and go right to the marital settlement.  Our lawyers can draft the agreement if there is one, or the parties have to exchange financial disclosure and go to mediation where a settlement can be reached then.   

I once did a divorce case start to finish in four days with a marital estate in excess of $30 million …  the parties came in with an accountant and terms to which they agreed to.   I drafted and filed all the documents including the petition for dissolution of marriage, notice of final hearing, final judgment of divorce and marital settlement agreement. 

Where a collaborative divorce is done, and the parties agree in advance, that makes the process much quicker and more pleasant.  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.

DIVORCE CASE OF THE MONTH: What Is A Mediated Agreement?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

All parties to a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, have to attend a mediation session for purposes of attempting a settlement, prior to going before the Court on any disputed issues in a divorce.  This means that financial information must be exchanged persuant to Fl. Fam. Rule 12.285 Mandatory Disclosure prior to the mediation.  Then the parties and their counsel and CPAs can go forward with mediation.

I did just that with a client who came to agreement with her spouse after five hours of negotiations in mediation.  The terms of agreement were typed up into the document called a Marital Settlement Agreement.  This “MSA” was to become part of this couple’s final judgment of dissolution of marriage at the final hearing on the divorce.  But there was just one problem.  The husband fired his attorney on the spot and refused to sign the agreement after 5 hours of negotiations. 

If an agreement is reached, IT MUST BE SIGNEDBY THE PARTIES.  If there are no signatures, there is NO AGREEMENT.  Now this couple will have to turn to the Courts to resolve their disputed issues in divorce court.  For more informaiton 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.

Why Prenuptial Agreements Are Expensive And Worth It

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Congratulations! You are getting married.  If you are over the age of 30 you probably have your own assets and debts.  To assure  that your hard earned assets are not lost in a quickie marriage, the first rule of thumb is to keep your assets entirely separate.  That means, don’t use any of it for marital purpose, don’t put your hard earned cash into joint bank accounts, and don’t commingle your funds in any way for joint purchases.   Or if you do, you need to realize that investment is joint and marital.  It will be at issue if you divorce later.  Fully disclose in your prenuptial agreement what  you are going into the marriage with.  That way if you leave the marriage, your assets go with you, unless otherwise intended.

As far as debts are concerned, you need to know what your bride or groom’s credit score is.  You need to be released or held harmless from this beloved’s premarital debts.  In that way, your assets are protected and you are not responsible for your spouse’s debts.

Because premarital agreements deal with the potential for divorce, it is important to realize how extensive the protections can be.  A bride or groom who is waiving marital rights, needs to know what they  waiving in order for that waiver to be valid and enforceable down the road.

Anti-nuptial agreements also deal with death of a spouse and protection for the surviving spouse.  However, it is important to remember, a prenup is NOT a testamentary document.  It does not replace a will or trust document.  Sometimes I engage the expertise of  an estate planning lawyer to assist me with the drafting of death provisions of a prenup.

Also, there are tax implications of any property distribution scheme, or division of assets, so a tax advisor is recommended to work us as well.

In addition to the experts that may be required in the drafting of your prenuptial agreement, we also use videographers to record the actual execution of the document.   The importance of this is to assure that the parties are entering into the contract free of duress, over reaching, fraud or misunderstanding or even sometimes a language barrier.   Any breach here, and your prenuptial agreement can voidable even years later.

If done properly, prenuptial agreements are generally upheld when challenged in court.   Budget  about $10,000 or more, depending upon the complexity of your estate.  This is your future that is at stake, so remember, you get what you pay for.  Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish by hiring an attorney who will cut corners to keep the price down.  That is definitely not in your best interests.

Should You Forgive Him/Her???

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Should you forgive your spouse?  The lawyerly answer is ” it depends”.  Know your rights first.  Then you can make an informed decision as to whether forgiveness is easier or to move on is easier.  Consider the physical, mental and financial parameters.  Here’s how:

1.  Talk to a shrink.  Marriage counseling and psychotherapy can do one of two things: it can put the marriage back on track, or help with dismantling it.

2.  Talk to a lawyer.  Divorce lawyers can tell you what rights you may have if you stay or if you go.  We can also predict outcomes concerning the family finances and your obligations.

3.  Talk to an accountant.  There are tax ramifications of splits of marital assets and debts.

As with any divorce, there are physical, mental and financial stresses.  However, those may seem easier than forgiving and forgetting, or living every day in a lie.  For more information 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.