The Difference Between A Simple Divorce and a Simplified Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There is a difference between a simple divorce and a simplified divorce that the lay person who is not a divorce lawyer would not know.

Some divorces are “simple” because the husband and wife agree to everything without futher negotiation, disclosure or court hearings to compel information.  These types of divorces go off without a hitch because both parties are on the same page as to terms, intensity, mind set, purpose.  They are the nicest, most amicable divorces created.

A Simplified Divorce is an entirely different animal.  It is a legal term of art, meaning that there is no marital home to divide, no marital stuff or property to divide, no children to provide for, no marital credit card debt, no mortgages, no car loans, no nothing to divide at all.  That is the meaning of a simplified divorce. 

Where it is only the marriage that needs to be obliterated, then the husband and wife can file for a simplified divorce. In Palm Beach County, Florida, both parties MUST be present at the final hearing on divorce to assure the judge that there are no children, no property, no assets, no debts.   

Most cases require a divorce in the normal course with marital assets and debts and sometimes children.  One of the parties has to be present at the final hearing in Palm Beach County.   For more information about divorce in Palm Beach County, 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.

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Choosing A Divorce Lawyer

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I have written about this subject before, but because there is so much confusion about the hiring of a divorce lawyer, I feel it is important to write about it again.

The first issue one must decide after concluding that a divorce is inevitable, is whether or not to use professional assistance in terms of hiring a divorce lawyer.  Because of the economy, many divorcing couples try “do it yourself” divorce.  This is fine if you have no IRS debt, no credit card debt, and no assets that are joint.  Where the danger lies is that you may have joint assets and not realize it!  Then you are giving away your rights without know what they are. 

I often say that not using a divorce lawyer is penny wise and pound foolish.  And yes, divorce lawyers are not cheap.  But if you have children, assets or debts at stake, don’t be foolish.  Get a lawyer on your side.

How to choose one?  Go for a consultation.  Look around. A lawyer should not tell you only what you want to hear.  He/she should know what he/she is talking about, has years of experience, a nice office and an experienced staff.  Get a feel for compatability and trust.  Do not hire a lawyer solely upon advertisements or hourly rates.  Just because the hourly rate is low or the retainer is minimal, these are not good reasons to choose that divorce lawyer.  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 www.familylawwpb.com.

Finances and the public record.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce cases in Palm Beach County, both parties have to fill out and file in the courthouse a financial affidavit.  This is mandatory whether you are wealthy or not.  A financial affidavit is a sworn statement as to all your assets, debts, bank accounts, credit card debt, mortgages, loans, income, securities and more.  Anyone can access the court file on you and learn about your financial situation.

Financial affidavits and marital settlement agreements are filed with the court for all to see as part of the public record.  Third parties can ascertain the division of marital assets and debts, whether alimony is paid or received, how much a party is to pay in child support and to whom, and in general, everything about the settlement or trial results.   Any account numbers are identified by the last four digits of the account for minimal privacy. 

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.

Your credit and divorce…how it effects your future.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

We all know the importance of a good credit score…without it, you can’t buy a car, get a mortgage, rent an apartment, or even get a good job.

Unfortunately, bad marriages can lead to bad credit for the innocent spouse.  A spiteful shopaholic spouse can run up joint credit card accounts; a business gone bad can incur huge debt; boats and car purchases can put both the husband and the wife into serious debt; so can job loss and not paying bills.

The fact is your credit can be restored after divorce.  Here are some helpful hints to restoring your credit:

1.  Don’t close accounts in your name only.  15% of your credit score is your credit history and 10% is your diversity.

2.  Rebuild your credit with secured credit cards that are tied to savings accounts.  If you put $3000 into a savings account you can charge up to that amount each month.  Then pay it off.

3.  Continue to pay monthly minimums, or even over pay the minimum.

4.  Keep expenses down; do not incur additional debt.

For more information about divorce and credit 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.

How the economy effects divorce law, part 2.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

We all know people who wish to divorce but can’t afford to sell the marital home.  That is because many homes today are worth less than the mortgage.  Please see my discussion on short sales or call me for more information on this subject.  But this isn’t the only issues divorcing couples face today.

There are other aspects of divorce that are also effected by this shrinking economy.  For example, alimony.  It is better to divorce when a payor spouse has a higher income.  It is better to divorce when a payor spouse can afford a higher child support.  Division of debt is also a factor, whereby the parties used to come out of a marriage with some assets.  Now, many are coming away with just debt from credit cards, mortgages and other sources.  Jobs are being lost, and benefits such as health insurance are being eliminated. 

However, it may be better to leave the marriage even under these circumstances.  If  you just can’t take it anymore, as the Nike ad says, just do it.  Cut your losses and move on.

For information on how to do that, 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.

DIVORCE AND THIS ECONOMY

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida

It is common knowledge that everyone everywhere is now affected by what is happening on Wall Street.  The problem is enormous and worldwide.  It is also common knowledge the two main reasons marriages fail is because of sex and money.  This article will speak to the latter.  Disagreements over managing money in this economy, and high lifestyle expectations (dashed) are more than ever causing marriages to fall apart. 

If you are the major breadwinner of your family,  now is a good time to get a divorce.   You will be able to buy your spouse out of the marital home for a bargain basement price.  That is, if you can get financing. As far as division of marital assets and debts is concerned, if your retirement plan took a recent hit on Wall Street, that is that much less you will need to split with your spouse.  If your spouse is irresponsible with money, a shopaholic, or high maintenance, now is the time to get rid of him or her. 

If your job is at risk, or bonuses are not forthcoming, your alimony obligation may also be lower.  Make it unmodifiable or a lump sum in the negotiations!  Child support may be lower too, if your passive investment income is down.  

If you are the dependent spouse, a divorce may be just the thing to protect your good credit!  You may need it to buy a condo or townhouse when the credit freeze eases.  As to credit card debt, try to pay at least the minimums each month for the same reason.   Credit can be ruined by an irresponsible spouse.

With divorcing parents, the spouse who maintains custody of the children gets a child support check tax free from the other spouse.  This custodial parent also gets the head of household tax deduction every year and may also keep the child deductions in settlement negotiations.

So if you are thinking about divorce, there are many favorable economic reasons to start divorce proceedings in this bad economy.  For more information, go the Robin Roshkind, P.A. web site at www.familylawwpb.com or call one of our attorneys at 561-835-9091 for a consultation sooner rather than later.