When Buying A Home Make Sure Your Name Is On Deed

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Divorce clients don’t realize that what they do years earlier when the marriage is in the “good times” stage, can have huge ramifications, when, years later, they are facing a divorce that they never imagined would happen.   Take buying a home, for example.

If prior to the wedding a man puts up all the money, takes the mortgage and note in his name only, and purchases a home with his name only on the deed, later, when he marries and the marriage fails, in divorce court, the husband can change the locks, throw the wife out on the street and she then has to fight in divorce court for an interest that is legally hers by virtue of the marriage.  It makes life difficult when a spouse is not named on the deed to a marital home.  

Many spouses who have good credit, put their names on a mortgage and note as a favor for the other spouse, who may have bad credit.  When a divorce occurs, the “good credit spouse” is at a disadvantage if the mortgage and note go into default caused by the other spouse.  That also makes it more difficult to refinance to get your name off the obligations.  “Good credit spouses” oftentimes are lulled into the marriage in the first place just for their good credit.  What happens is many husbands and wives end up getting divorced, with a newly acquired bad credit, and their name attached to an obligation on an asset they no longer have.  If the other spouse cannot qualify for a refinance, the house should be sold, but this doesn’t always happen.  Divorcing couples need to be careful about the language in their marital settlement agreements concerning the marital homes. 

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 for more information.

 

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Who Has To Move, Him Or Her?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many couples going through a divorce  just don’t have the funds for separate residences.  It is cheaper (not easier) to stay under one roof, until the divorce is final and the issue of the marital home is decided by the judge or agreed to by the parties.

For those couples  lucky enough to have assets, or those in two income families, it is easier (not cheaper) to live separately and apart pending divorce proceedings.  So how do couples decide who shall stay and who shall go?

First, you don’t lose your marital rights to the marital residence merely by moving out, if your name is on the deed or on the lease.  The remaining party has no right to change the locks unless by agreement of the parties or court order.

Secondly, if there are children, it is understandable that they are going through enough changes during divorce.  They should remain, if at all possible, in a stable home environment.  So who is going to be the parent who will be or continue to be the major caregiver?    It is that parent who should stay, as it is in the best interests of the children.

On the other hand, there are cases whereby only one of the parties can afford to pay the mortgage, maintenance, insurance and taxes.  That is the party who should stay.  The other should go, with or without children in tow.

In cases where neither party can afford the mortgage or expenses of the marital home,  both should move out and rent the home or keep it as an investment property, or you both agree to list the house for sale and stay until it sells.

Lastly, where a home is in foreclosure or short sale status, you both should work it out to stay, because that is in both  your best interests.

In some cases, both parties want the home or neither husband nor wife wants the home.  Every case is different.  If the spouses cannot agree, the divorce court judge will decide for you both.

 

 

Common Mistakes About Divorce In Florida.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many people who are going through a divorce for the first time,  do not understand Florida law.   I get questions like the following:

1.  REGARDING JEWELRY: husbands and wives think that because a piece of jewelry is a gift given during the marriage,  the jewelry belongs exclusively to them.  Not true… it is marital.  This can make a big difference if the jewelry is substantial.

2.  REGARDING PUNISHMENT:  couples often think that the one who files for divorce, or the one who leaves the marriage,  is the one who will be “punished” by the court in terms of receiving less assets from the marriage.  Not true, because Florida is a no fault state.

3.  REGARDING ADULTERY:  same premise as above.  If your husband or wife is cheating on you, the only recourse you have is to divorce the cheater.

4.  REGARDING MOVING OUT OF THE MARITAL HOME:  Floridians do not lose their property rights by “abandoning” the marital home.  If you have sweat equity in the house, or your name is on the deed, or have any other marital interest, you have an entitlement to your property whether or not you live there.

5.  REGARDING NAME CHANGES: if you want your name restored, you should do it now during the divorce proceedings.  If you wait, you will have to pay another filing fee for a new case in the courthouse.

6.  REGARDING YOUR SPOUSE SUPPORTING YOU:  you don’t have to get a divorce to get your spouse to support you.  If you have the need and your spouse has the ability to pay, you can get support without divorce.

7.  REGARDING CHILD SUPPORT:  the statutory child support guidelines have not changed in a generation.  The Florida legislature really needs to address this.

8.  REGARDING RESIDENCY: you have to be a Florida resident for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce.  That means having your “stuff” in the state, having a Florida driver’s license, owning property, or having a leasehold interest here.

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.

Changing the locks…when is it legal?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Can a husband or wife be thrown out of the marital home?  The answer is “it depends”.  Certainly if there is domestic violence and the police are called, if they arrest one of the spouses, there is a no contact order put in place until a hearing before the court two weeks later.  The alleged perpetrator is immediately removed from the marital home.

If a spouse voluntarily moves out of the marital home, but his/her name is clearly on the deed, or the lease, as the case may be, the remaining spouse under the law cannot change the locks unless the moving spouse has all his/her personal effects and gives permission.  Under this circumstance, it is advisable for the moving spouse to take photos of the contents of the marital home before moving out.

Moving out of a marital residence, in the state of Florida, does not constitute abandonment.  In other words, if a moving spouse has a title interest in the leasehold or fee simple property, he/she does not lose rights by vacating.

In divorce cases, often a temporary relief court order awards a marital residence to one or the other spouse for exclusive use and possession of the marital residence, pending the divorce proceedings.  In that case, and with the court order, the remaining spouse can change the locks.  The moving spouse is allowed access to get personal property from the home, often accompanied by a police officer and by appointment with the remaining spouse.

For more information about changing the locks or other divorce topics, call on one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.