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.

Financial Disclosure An Important Legal Matter

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Financial disclosure, sometimes called discovery, or mandatory disclosure, is an important requirement of several legal situations.  Without it, the validity of an agreement cannot be verified, a divorce cannot be granted and a prenuptial agreement may be declared voidable.

For example, a financial affidavit and supporting documents such as tax returns are a requirement for a divorce in Palm Beach County.  Without the parties’s disclosure, the judge cannot grant a divorce.

In cases where the parties wish to marry and have a prenuptial agreement, disclosure is required before a party can waive his or her marital rights.

In a marital settlement agreement, if there is any hidden money, secreted bank accounts or funds not disclosed, a divorce will turn nasty, lengthy and expensive.

We lawyers have our ways of getting hold of these documents.  We issue a request to produce certain documents, interrogatories, or a request for admissions.

We divorce lawyers also  have our ways to limit disclosure.  Discovery can be protected though if it causes undue burden, is a vague request, too broad in time frames.  This is accomplished by a motion for protective order and a hearing before the judge. 

If you are thinking about getting divorced or married in Palm Beach County, Florida, call ond of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

What Happens If You Don’t Show Up For A Deposition?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are a party to a Florida divorce action, (a spouse), a family member, friend or a witness, or even an expert, you may be requested by notice, subpoena, or court order to attend a deposition.  This is where the opposing counsel or the other party gets to ask questions or see documents to obtain information that may or may not be helpful or relevant to their case.  Information obtained through depositions are evidentiary and can be used at trial or at hearings.

If you do not cooperate by showing up at the appointed time and place, the party calling for your deposition can then set a hearing before a judge asking for a court order to have you to pay for everyone else’s time, including the court reporter who was there to take down your words for a transcript.

You may also be found in contempt of court, if your deposition was set by court order.   So think twice about not showing up for your deposition or producing documents, if requested.  For more information about trial procedures, discovery 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.

How To Work With a Divorce Lawyer.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When you hire a divorce lawyer, you become partners in a mission…that being protecting your rights during your divorce.  Understand that divorce is a process.  There are time frames that must be met according to law.  And your divorce lawyer needs your cooperation.

The lawyer needs to know the facts of the marriage.  Things like how long you are married, did you both work during the marriage, was a business formed during the marriage, are there any inheritences during the marriage, number and ages of children, why did the marriage break up.

You will be required to produce documents about the family finances.  Many clients don’t realize how costly it becomes when they don’t cooperate with their own attorneys.

You will be expected to be level headed and non emotional.  Save the fear, anger, depression for the shrink.  Let the lawyer do the lawyering.

You need to budget funds to pay your lawyer until he/she can get into court to get your spouse to pay, if that is what is required under the law and facts of your marriage.  This usually takes about 3 -4 months in Palm Beach County.  Mediation has to come first, and before that, financial disclosure.

For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

How to determine if you should divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Getting married is easy.  Divorce may not be.  So in order to evaluate whether or not to divorce here are some things to consider:

1.  Where you are going to live if you leave the marital home.  Same neighborhood, same state?

2.  Why you are leaving the marriage.  Abuse, money issues, in laws?

3.  Do you have a support network of friends and relatives.  Someone to talk to with problems and stress related issues.

4.  Do you need professional help.  Perhaps a marriage or family counselor.

5.  Do you know the family finances.  You will be required to fill out voluminous financial documents.

6.  How you will pay for a divorce lawyer.  Do  you have savings, assets to sell, or a family member who will help you.

7.  What are the laws in your state.  Have some basic knowledge.

8.  Lastly, can the marriage be saved. 

If you need help with evaluating whether or not to divorce, speak to 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.

Divorce and full disclosure. It’s part of the process.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach

When anyone files for divorce in the state of Florida procedurally,, one must follow the rules of mandatory disclosure.  This rule is 12.285 in the Florida Rules of Court.

What is says is if any party is seeking financial relief, or if child support is involved in the case, one must disclose all his/her financial information.  This includes filing a sworn financial affidavit, accompanied by supporting documents.  A financial affidavit includes one’s income, assets, debts, deductions, financial obligations to a prior family, and the like.  Documents required to be produced to the other party include pay stubs, tax returns, bonuses, deeds, mortgages, car payments, health insurance costs, child support paid to another family, if any, loan documents title documents, credit card statements, bank statements, stock account or other financial instruments.  In other words, all documentation that is evidence of one’s financial resources and obligation must be provided. 

Once both sides exchange these items, then in Palm Beach County divorce court, all parties and their counsel must attend mediation prior to going to court.  This is a court mandate, becu\ause most cases settle without a judge.  Mediation is where the parties andtheir attorneys can try to come up with a marital settlement agreement.  If that should fail, then a temporary relief hearing, a mini trial, is set before the judge.  The case at this point then turns from settlement to litigation, which is very costly. 

For more information about financial discovery in divorce cases, please click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling 561-835-9091.

When Do I Tell My Spouse I Want A Divorce?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida

I often get this question at the initial consultation with a client.  My answer does not depend upon whether the client believes the case will settle or go to trial.  My answer depends upon the circumstances of the marriage and current relationship of the parties.

1.   If the parties are still living under the same roof:  

I advise my client to not say a word about divorce until he or she can photocopy as much evidence of the marriage as possible.  This includes bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, mortgages, deeds, loan applications, loan documents, promissory notes, car titles,  income statements, pay stubs, health insurance policies, life insurance policies, medical bills, brokerage accounts, and any other documents to prove lifestyle of the marriage.  Only after the client has set up in this manner would I advise a client to discuss divorce with a spouse.   If the situation is amicable, that is, BOTH parties know the marriage has failed and just want to get on with life, then the discussion should be about a COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE.  If, on the other hand, one party is hurt and angry, a spouse should protect himself or herself from a situation conducive to domestic violence.  See a lawyer and get the divorce papers filed as soon as possible.

2.  If the parties are already living separate and apart:

The husband and wife know that divorce is coming and that it is just a matter of time.  In situations such as these, I advise clients to have us file the divorce papers and simply serve the other spouse without any tip offs.  If a client has a conscience, and wishes to tell the other spouse “you will be served”, oftentimes the receiving spouse avoids service of process of the divorce papers just for spite.  Without service of process, or an opposing lawyer accepting service, there can be no divorce. 

A very important point to remember is that the filing date of the divorce papers is often used as a cut off date for marital assets and debts.  Once the papers are filed in the courthouse, each party is responsible for himself or herself.  Until then, you are married, and may share the marital debt.

For more information, see our Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com or call Robin Roshkind, P.A. at 561-835-9091 for a consultation with one of our attorneys.  The Firm services husbands and wives of Palm Beach County, Florida.

Legal Fees and Divorce: What is reasonable?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida

Many people call my office and the first question they ask is “How much will my divorce cost?”  The answer is, IT DEPENDS.  Let me explain:

When one spouse wants to settle the matter and the other does not, this type of divorce becomes expensive because it involves preparation for a full blown trial.  You or I cannot control the other party’s attorney or spouse.  That is why most divorce lawyers work hourly using hourly rates. 

On the other hand, where both parties agree to stay out of court and settle their disputes like adult business men and women, without the anger, without the vindictiveness, and without emotional complications, these types of divorces are certainly less expensive.  And less stressful. 

So what is reasonable?  In my divorce practice, I have settled cases for $3,500 up to $15,000.  The range is due to how long it takes to negotiate, how many times we go to mediation, and how many offers and counter offers are proposed until an agreement is reached.  If a marital settlement agreement is signed by both parties after going back and forth only once or twice, this will take less time and cost less than an agreement that goes back and forth four or five times until a settlement is reached. 

Going to trial is a different animal all together.  Preparation for trial includes depositions, subpeonas of people and records, much more extensive document production and discovery, testimony of witness, accountants’ fees, pychologist reports, employability studies of a non-working spouse, custody evaluations, business valuations, appraisals of real and personal property and the list could go on and on.  In my experience, fees and costs for trial preparation can run from $15,000 on upward into the six figures.   

The other factors that go into a determination of what a divorce will cost is the complexity of the case.  For example, a divorce with children usually costs more than one without.  A divorce where there are numerous homes and other real estate will cost more than one for a couple with only one marital home.  Generally the more “stuff” in a marriage, the more there is to fight over, the higher the cost of the divorce. 

Then there are the emotional issues.  Where a husband or wife leaves the marriage for another, this type of divorce can certainly costs more than if two people just decide together to call it quits.  Fighting over children gets expensive.  Hiding money or keeping control of marital funds while keeping the other party in the dark can cause the price of a divorce to skyrocket.

In conclusion, the price of your divorce depends upon the complexity of the case and the mindset of the spouses.  Hourly rates for attorneys in Palm Beach County, Florida, generally average from $300 per hour to $550 per hour. 

The experienced family law attorneys at my firm all work at $350 per hour (we accept all major credit cards).  For additional information, please call my law firm, Robin Roshkind, P.A., for a consultation (561-835-9091) or visit the firm’s website at www.familylawwpb.com.