The Legal Effects of Drug and Alcohol Abuse In Divorce Cases

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I often see in my divorce cases here in Palm Beach County extensive drug use, legal and illegal substance abuse, and alcoholism.  Sometimes it is my own client who is the wrongdoer, and sometimes it is my client’s husband or wife who is the wrongdoer.

Eventhough Florida is a no fault state, there are ramifications of drug and alcohol abuse.  The first falls into the category of dissipation of marital assets.  If a spouse is spending a fortune on his/her drug habit, the court can award the innocent spouse a substantial portion, more than 50%, of the existing marital estate to make up for the expense of the other. 

However the more severe ramifications of drug and alcohol abuse involve children.  In my cases, I do not wish to see a drunk father or mother driving around with a two year old in the back seat.  So I ask for supervised visitation.  The judge can order random drug testing as well as psychological counseling and anger management classes.  Behavior is key when it comes to fighting for children in custody battles and in time sharing. 

My dream case is where a mother or father parties til 2 am four times a week and comes home drunk, then sleeps until noon.  This scenario unfortunately is more common than you can imagine.   I will work very hard for the other side and for the best interests of the children.   If you are getting divorced in Palm Beach County and want answers to your questions, 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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Stress is no excuse for child neglect.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

All kinds of marital problems can cause stress to both the husband and the wife.  Deciding whether to separate and divorce can be stressful.  Going through the process of divorce, even under amicable circumstances, can be a very stressful experience.

But where children are concerned, stress of the parents is no excuse for neglecting children.  If one spouse is abusing alcohol or drugs, it is the duty of the other spouse to step in and make whatever arrangements have to be made to protect the children.  Certainly no child should be in a car with an alcoholic parent. 

Legal options are available to provide for the best interests of the children.  Grand parents, although they have no rights by operation of law, can file for and become temporary custodians of the children.   Relatives can file in the courthouse for temporary guardianships.  In either case, this gives the natural parents time to get back on their feet emotionally and financially in order to be a fit parent to their children. 

An unfit parent is detrimental to the children.  The other spouse should then file for temporary sole custody for the same reason. 

In conclusion, if you see a child that is abandoned, abused or neglected, there are ways legally to protect that child and you need to do something IMMEDIATELY about  this unfortunate situation.  For more information, 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.

Divorce and the holidays…what is right for you?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Shoud you file for divorce before the year is out?  There are two ways to look at that question.  First, if your marriage is on the rocks, are you able to stick it out as an intact family until after the holidays?  Staying together for the sake of the kids plays heavily in this decision.  But obviously, if domestic violence, alcoholism, and drug abuse is part of the marriage, why suffer through the holidays, why wait any longer? 

Or, the other way to look at that question is as follows:  if you file for divorce before the holidays, you get somewhat of a fresh start to the New Year even if the divorce won’t be final for several months. 

The choice is a very personal one.  It also depends upon the circumstances, the family entanglement, finances. and one’s tolerance level during the holidays, which is normally a stressful time for anyone anyway.  Add that together with the current economic conditions, and the answer may come clear to you.

As a divorce lawyer, I never encourage anyone to divorce without seriously thinking the matter through.   If you want to know your rights, options and alternatives, click on the law firm’s website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at Robin Roshkind, P.A. by calling for an appointment at 561-835-9091.

Sex and money and marriage… Do something about it to save a failing marriage.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Marriages break up mainly because of two reasons:  sex and money.  Let’s discuss these one at a time. 

Either there is too much sex outside the marriage, and/or not enough sex within the marriage.  Marriages can be of the roommate kind as in a roommate marriage with your best friend, a sham marriage (simply a business deal for say immigration purposes or money), sexless marriages that are true marriages in every way except in the bedroom, or open marriages which encompasses sex in and out of the marriage bed.   Sex outside the marriage falls into several categories:  an affair with someone other than your spouse; multiple sex partners, sex addiciton, pornography;  sex chat rooms, use of prostitutes and escort services.  However it happens, one of the spouses is getting it, and the other is not.  The result?  Both spouses are not happy within the marriage.

Regarding money issues, it is obvious that in today’s economic climate, everyone, even the rich, have money problems.  Marital discussions lead to disagreements which lead to arguments which lead to contempt, disrespect, even sometimes domestic violence.  Some marital issues involve paying the bills, keeping or selling the marital home, cancelling the credit cards, taking out a survival loan, getting a job, moving out of state to get a better job, selling a car, the list is endless. 

How to resolve marital problems that are causing stress and sleepless nights?  First, I tell clients who need it to seek professional help.  Either go to marriage counseling with a psychologist or get medication with a psychiatrist.  For stress, coping skills, and anger management there are classes available to take and books you and your spouse can read.  For more serious ailments like bi polar disorder or depression, a medical doctor can prescribe drugs to control these illnesses.  Alcohol and drug abuse or addiction can also cause a marriage to fail.  There are treatment centers for both. 

The point is if your marriage is breaking or broken do something!  Get immediate help.  Then if all else fails, the ultimate recourse is a divorce for your own survival.  For more information click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or call for a consultation with one of our attorneys at 561-835-9091.