What If HeShe Won’t Return The Child?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You have a court order in place giving each parent a time sharing schedule.   The other parent won’t return the child per the court ordered schedule.  You can do one of several things:

You can call the police and maybe they will intervene and maybe they won’t.  It depends upon how busy they are at the moment.  The real truth is that keeping one’s own child is not a criminal act unless the child is removed from the country.  Otherwise it is a civil matter and up to the discretion of the police if they want to get involved. 

You can call your lawyer.  The lawyer will file for an immediate pick up order if the child is endangered.  Or if not, the lawyer will file a motion for contempt and enforcement of the court order.  However, this takes time to get into a court hearing.  Such issues are not seen as emergencies by the judge unless the child is somehow endangered.

You can appeal to the common sense of the wrong doing parent.  This usually does not work.

Where there is no court order for time sharing or custody in place yet, as in a paternity case that has yet to be adjudicated, or in a divorce case that is still pending and time sharing has not yet been established, that makes it more difficult to control.

The best advice is to get some arrangement agreed upon and make into a court order as soon as possible.  That way, if one of the other parent keeps the child without permission, and in violation of the court order, you have recourse.  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 for more information.

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Divorcing before the end of the year…why and why not?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Timing of a divorce often includes many customized factors.  People may wait until the marital home sells before they divorce.  They may wait to divorce when the youngest child goes off to college and is out of the house.  They may wait until just after Christmas???  Yes, often couples decide to divorce at this time of year for tax reasons…or a fresh start to the new year.   It makes life a little simpler for marrieds and singles.

If you are married until December 31, 2008, you must file your 2008 taxes as a married person.  You spent the year married.  You can still file as a couple or as a married filing separately, but you are married in the eyes of the IRS.  If you divorce before the year is out, you must file as a married for 2008, but the good news is in 2009 you can file as a single.  You may also have head of household deductions for children living with you.  And you can tap the child tax exemptions for 2009 if you are the custodial parent, that is the parent with whom the children live for a majority of time. 

Oftentimes, couples rush to divorce court to execute the divorce papers before the year is out.  This also gives a fresh start for the new year.  On the other hand, many couples wait it out…hoping to stay together for the holidays to celebrate as a family, and for the sake of the children.  This puts the marriage into the next year, and couples must file as marrieds even if they are only married for a small portion of the new year.  There are many reasons to divorce before the year is out.  Talk to your tax advisor before you call in the lawyers.  For more information, click on the website of Robin Roshkind, P.A. at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091.