What Is A Temporary Relief Hearing?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce court, all parties must attend a mediation to attempt a settlement prior to bringing a divorce case to court.  If and when mediation should fail to resolve disputed issues, either party at that time may file a motion for temporary relief.

Temporary relief puts into place by court order boundaries by which the parties shall live pending the final divorce proceedings.  An order of temporary relief establishes child support, time sharing and parental responsibility, if there are children of the marriage.  The temporary relief order also establishes who pays what household expenses, health insurance, attorneys fees, spousal support, and even may divide up some of the assets of the marriage to give the parties monies to live on.  Temporary court orders are enforceable by contempt of court. 

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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Do I Need A Divorce Lawyer To Get A Divorce In Palm Beach County?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The answer is it depends.  Legally, you do  not need a divorce lawyer.  Your life is at stake, but this is not criminal court.  If you have virtually nothing to divide, no children to worry about, you can probably do your own divorce.

However, if you have a claim for alimony, or a defense to it, or have children, or assets and debts to fight over, chances are you need counsel.  The more issues there are between the husband and the wife, the more likely there is a disputed issue (or several) and you will want someone on your side.

Additionally, you might want other professionals to assure that you will get what you are entitled to.  That could be a CPA or even a psychologist.  For more information, come in for a consultation.  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.

What Type Of Divorce Will You Have? Part 2 Settlement or Trial

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, know that your divorce can go only one of two ways.  Either you and your spouse will settle your divorce issues, (including alimony, attorneys fees, child support, if any, child time sharing, equitable distribution of assets and debts, non marital property, name changes,) or  you will take all or some of the disputed issues to the judge.

Settlement is quicker, less expensive and less stressful.  But it can only happen if both parties want to settle.  If one spouse wants to settle but the other does not, you are going to trial.  Going to trial entails extensive discovery, depositions, witness preparation, transcripts, document production and analysis by a forensic CPA, court reporters, evidence and logs, and costs a bundle.   It also takes up a great deal of time and could cause illness from the stress of it all.

Counseling and therapy more than lawyering can help husbands and wives decide how to proceed.  Parties who can set aside emotion and just get the job done have a better chance of settlement.  Also judges would rather the spouses manage their own future lives.  They do not like to micro manage families. 

If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, 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.

PLANNING YOUR DIVORCE for the new year.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are unhappy in your marriage, but are not sure what to do, chances are you will stick it out as a family until after the holidays.  BUT NOW is a good time to plan your exit strategy.  While your spouse is out shopping with the kids, or visiting Mom’s house, start photocopying everything you can get your hands on:  income statements, pay stubs, credit card bills, bank statements, loan documents, mortgage papers, retirement accounts, real estate listing agreements, titles to cars, boats, trucks, household expense accounts, investment statements, everything that will show ASSETS, DEBTS, OR INCOME.

Divorce planning is important because it helps you sort out the details of your marriage…this is useful when you go to the lawyer for the consultation.  It gives everyone a better idea of what is at stake and what the issues are to be addressed.

Job changes, job loss, sale of property, Christmas bonuses, year end commissions, relocation, new school districts, are all considerations that need to be looked upon by your lawyer.  You can help your lawyer to better serve you if you have all the right information going into the consultation.  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 for more information.

Punishment Happens Sometimes In Florida Divorce Courts

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Since Florida is a no fault state, it is very unusual for a husband or wife  to be punished for bad behavior such as adultery, being verbally abusive,  or leaving the marital home.

But there are exceptions.  In the case of adultery, if substantial marital funds were spent on the boyfriend or girlfriend, such as buying him/her a new car or condo, this falls under dissipation of marital assets and the innocent spouse will get more than one half of the remaining assets to make up for the dissipation.   Same with spending marital money on gambling, drugs and excess spending.

The recourse for a verbally abusive spouse is divorce itself, so there is no punishment unless the abuse is physical; this then falls under domestic violence statutes and the wrongdoer can be prosecuted.

Abandoning the marital home is not punishable under Florida law, because a husband or wife does not lose their rights or liabilities to the marital home simply by living somewhere else. 

There is punishment under Florida law for willfully failing to obey court orders.  This is willful contempt of court and the wrongdoer can be sanctioned or jailed.  There is punishment also for running up an attorneys bill frivolously, and for frivolous litigation;  for failure to produce required documents in divorce cases; for causing opposing party to file motions to compel behavior;  for failure to appear at court hearings and depositions.

If you are not sure about your specific situation, 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.

Things You Can Waive In Divorce Court

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

 There are certain things you can waive when going through the divorce process.  Why would you waive certain rights?  See below:

1.  SERVICE OF PROCESS.  You can sign a document waiving your right to be served divorce papers by a sheriff or a process server.  Then your spouse or his/her attorney can simply mail you the petition for dissolution of marriage.  It is less embarassing than being served at work, or at home in front of your family.  I often have the opposing side waive service of process when there is an amicable divorce.

2.  FILING AN ANSWER AND COUNTER PETITION.  You can waive your right to file an answer within 20 days or a counter petition for dissolution of marriage.  This speeds up the process, costs less money and where there is already a marital settlement agreement, it is unnecessary.

3.  RIGHTS TO MARITAL PROPERTY.  You can waive your rights to any marital property in order to get a settlement on the table.  It serves as an inducement.

4.  RIGHTS TO ALIMONY and ATTORNEY FEES.  You may be entitled to collect alimony and attorneys fees, but you can waive your rights and get more of the marital estate or less of the marital debt.  This is done in the marital settlement negotiations.

5.  RIGHT TO DISCLOSURE.  You or your spouse can waive your entitlement to extensive discovery of the family finances.  This saves time and money, especially if  you both know exactly what the marital assets and debts are.

One thing spouses cannot waive is YOUR CHILD”S RIGHT TO SUPPORT FROM BOTH PARENTS.  So if you are considering a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, and want 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.

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.