What Is An Agreed Order In Divorce Court?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

An agreed order begins with a dispute.  The husband or the wife file a motion.  It could be a motion to compel production of documents; a motion to freeze assets; a motion to return property; a motion for contempt.  The motion arises out of a dispute of the parties, during the ongoing divorce proceedings.

Under normal circumstances, a judge who is assigned to the main case, will hear all the motions that go along with it.  The lawyers will have to appear in court on the motion to either advocate or defend the motion.  Sometimes there are affirmative defenses to the motion, that is, a reasonable excuses as to why the motion arose in the first place.  The judge will hear affirmative defenses and then rule, either granting or denying the motion, and issuing an order from the bench. 

But sometimes, by merely filing the motion, the disputed issue can be resolved among the parties without the need for going to court.  This saves the parties attorneys fees, time and money.   Once the motion is out there, the parties can agree to resolve the dispute reasonably.  So on a motion to compel production of documents, for example, the parties can conceivably decide together on an extension of time and a deadline by which the documents will now be due.  This agreement is reduced to an agreed order, and is fully enforceable by the judge.  On a motion to freeze assets, perhaps the parties can agree as to which particular assets to freeze.  This agreement similarly will be reduced to a court order, signed by the judge and fully enforceable by the court.  On any motion, the return of personal property, contempt, attorneys fees, anything, can be agreed upon by the parties, reduced to a court order signed by the judge, and then fully enforceable by the court.  Enforcement can be by contempt, imprisonment, fines, fees, and other sanctions.

Agreed orders are just like other orders signed by the judge, but without the need for a hearing, saving the parties time, money, and stress.  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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What Is Marital Waste In Florida Divorces?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

My clients often ask me why something that happened 20 or 30 years ago in their marriage matters in today’s divorce court.   The reason is the divorce court judge in Palm Beach County cases can look back to see if there was any marital waste.  What exactly does that mean and why is it significant.

It can mean the following:  marital funds spent on a gambling habit; drugs; alcoholism; prostitutes; mistresses; extended family members; relatives overseas.  Marital waste is anything that marital monies are spent on that does not further the marital purpose. 

Some might consider marital waste as a dissipation of marital assets.  But dissipation can also encompass bad investments, or other waste of marital funds done in good faith in trying to maintain the marriage.  Selling a marital asset to pay marital bills is dissipation, but it is in furtherance of the marriage.  That is the nuance difference between the two concepts. 

The reason that dissipation of marital assets and marital waste are both important, is because the judge has to divide marital assets and debts between the husband and the wife.  It is not always a 50/50 split.  For example, if one spouse financed a gambling problem over the last 30 years, today in divorce court, that spouse is going to pay by getting less than his/her half of the marital assets.  Of course, marital waste or dissipation of marital assets has to be proven.  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.

 

If You Think You Have A Divorce Settlement, BE CAREFUL!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

We divorce lawyers have a old trick…get the other side to think we are settling the case, but then move forward to the divorce proceedings.  The moral of the story is, in divorce court, if you do not have a signed settlement agreement, or a signed agreed order, you do not have an agreement.  You may think you do, but therein lies the problem for you.

In Florida, it is a statutory requirement that all “agreements” be in writing and signed by the husband and wife.   So if you have discovery that is due, temporary alimony payments that are due, depositions that are set, a court hearing to attend, your lawyer still must prepare as if there is no settlement at all until such time as there is a signed document.  Don’t fall into the settlement trap.

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.

Child Time Sharing And Splitting Up Siblings

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In Palm Beach County, when parents are separating and getting divorced, in a case where there are children, the Court does not really entertain what is in the best interests of the parents.  The focus remains on what is in the best interests of the children.  If a parent cannot serve the best interests of the children, then the other parent is given the greater amount of parental rights.

When it comes to time sharing, the court will consider the work schedules and residential location of the parents.  But more often than not, the Court will not split siblings unless there are unusual circumstances.  One such example of that may be if one of the children is an infant, and the other is a teenager.

Oftentimes teen age boys go to live with their father.  This can be by agreement of the parties, or if the Court finds it is in his best interests to do so.  Evidence and testimony is taken at trial and the trial judge makes this decision if the parents are unable to agree.  For more information about this  or other Palm Beach County divorce topics, call one of the 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.

Remarrying Your X!

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You suffered through some unhappy years of marriage…you’ve been to marriage counseling, and therapy on your own…you’ve survived your divorce and lived as a single or  a single parent…now you want to reconcile with your ex and your ex spouse agrees.

Some might say that that is a stupid thing to do, but in my practice of more than 12 years, I have seen it 5 times! With marital settlement agreements in place from the divorce, and all property and debts divided, it is starting over.

The terms of divorce stay in place.  What may be a new experience is the prenuptial agreement you should have with your now ex spouse JUST IN CASE it happens again.  Don’t remarry without one.  It gives both of you some certainty and an insurance policy of sorts. 

People grow through experiences.  Sometimes you realize what you had and what you lost.  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.

Do You Have Divorce Questions?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are getting divorced in Palm Beach County, or if you are thinking about getting divorced and own property here, it would benefit you to consult with an attorney.  Even if you do not wish to retain counsel, it is best to know what you are going to face in the process.  Information never hurts.

You may have special circumstances that need to be addressed.  Or you may have all the normal issues in a divorce case that you need to know how to handle.  Maybe you just need a referral to a therapist for your children…or you are not sure how to pay the household bills…consult with an attorney.

You will educate yourself and perhaps feel better about your situation and more confident in your decision making.  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 for more information.