How To Modify Divorce Final Judgments And Other Family Court Orders In Florida

How To Modify Divorce Final Judgments And Other Family Court Orders In Florida.

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Mediation Can Accomplish A Divorce Settlement

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

All parties to a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, must attend mediation at least twice in the course of a case, prior to taking the matter into the court room.  The first mediation occurs shortly after mandatory disclosure documents are received and analyzed by the opposing side.  The purpose of this mediation is to establish an agreed order on temporary relief pending the rest of the divorce proceedings.

Things to be decided include: children’s schedules, child support, alimony on a temporary basis, and who is to pay for which of the household bills to maintain the status quo during the divorce.

If that mediation results in an agreement, it is reduced to an enforceable agreed order until a final order on the entire divorce issues is entered by the court. If there is no agreement, or partial agreement, then  the parties, having satisfied the mediation requirement, can seek a temporary decision from the judge.

The second time the parties must attend mediation in Palm Beach County divorce cases, is when trial for the entire divorce is set by the court.  Sometime prior to that trial date, the parties must return to mediation to see if they can reach a global settlement on things like permanent alimony, equitable distribution of assets and debts of the marriage, time sharing schedules long term and the like. 

If the parties can settle the entire divorce, the terms are drafted into a marital settlement agreement and that becomes part of a final judgment of divorce. If the parties cannot agree, then they are free to continue on to court for the divorce trial, having met the mediation requirement yet again.  About 70% of this Firm’s cases settle in mediation.  It is a useful way to proceed, even with attorneys and CPAs present at the mediation.  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.

Your Divorce Is Public Record!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You may not be aware of this, but your friends, private investigators, nosy neighbors, future husbands or wives, and complete strangers can have access to your final judgment for divorce and more, to be found right there in your court file.  Anyone can see what assets you get or give away in your divorce.  Anyone can see how many children you have, how many homes you have, how many cars you have and what debts you walk away with…it’s all right there for the looking and available to anyone who cares to see right there in public view.

Things that are protected from prying eyes of the world include bank account and credit card numbers, social security numbers, children’s names and birthdates, adoption records, mental health and other health records.  These are privacy protected by the court system.

However, all pleadings in your divorce matter and all allegations made in court documents are on public view, no matter which party makes them.  So if you are going to call your husband or wife a liar and psychopath, or a child molester, you may want to think about the effect on the children in the future.  Financial affidavits, like arrest records, are also public record.  Financial affidavits list everything from
 a person’s monthly dry cleaning bill to rent or mortgage payments.

Perhaps the most damaging or privacy invasive court document available for the world to see is the final judgment of divorce or the marital settlement agreement.  These are very detailed documents which set forth marriage and divorce details you might not want your neighbors to know.  Unfortunately, it is in rare cases that certain documents can be kept out of the court file.  If you want more information about your particular case, 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.

After The Divorce Is Final…A Checklist

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The divorce process is full of details, stress, and decisions.  After the divorce is final, you and your divorce lawyer cannot drop the ball and ignore performance under the terms of the final judgment.  Below is a checklist of possible tasks in a hypothetical divorce case:

1.  Record any quit claim or real estate property deeds.  Make sure they are signed by both the husband and the wife, witnessed properly, with proper legal descriptions, and notarized.  Otherwise the recording department at the courthouse will not accept transfer of title on real property.

2.  Roll over any retirement plans by having a qualified domestic relations order QDRO prepared and signed by the judge in your case, and properly approved by the retirement plan administrator.

3.  Change titles to cars, boats or other vehicles by properly executing title documents.

4.  Open new bank accounts, stock accounts, annuities or other investment accounts in your name only.

5.  Cancel joint credit cards, cell phone accounts and the like and open new ones in your name only.

6.  If you are the one staying in the home, transfer utilities to your name only.  If you are the one leaving the marital home, notify the utility companies to remove your name from these accounts.

7.  Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance and other testimentary documents.

8.  Wives need to get certified copies of the final judgment of divorce from the courthouse to change your name on drivers licenses, passports and other legal documents.

9.  Once the dust settles, re read your final judgment to make sure you and your now ex have complied with all its terms.   If your spouse refuses to comply or simply won’t comply with its terms timely or by deadline dates, let your divorce lawyer know.  The lawyer can file a motion for contempt or a motion to enforce a court order against your ex.

For any other questions concerning this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, PA at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

Keep Divorce Decree With Important Papers

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many instances in life where we have to be prepared to provide important documents like tax returns, proof of income,  health history, credit scores and the like, for purposes of applications for various things we may need.  One of those important documents is your final judgment of divorce.

Your divorce decree may be required for the following:

1.  Transfer of retirement plans from your ex to you.

2.   Purchase of a new car.

3.  Purchase of a new home.

4  Changing your name on driver’s license and passport.

5. Changing your name on bank accounts.

6.  Application for life insurance.

7.  Transfer of real property.

8.   Change of beneficiary.

9.  Modification of alimony or child support.

10.  Valuation of antiques, artwork etc.

11.  Loan applications.

So keep your divorce decree in a safe and accessible place, because chances are you are going to need it.  You may even need a copy of your divorce decree to be certified as true and correct by the 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 www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

How Fast Can I Get A Divorce?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you retain the Firm to represent you, we can draft all your documents and get them filed within 24 to 48  hours.  The next step is to have a process server deliver the divorce papers to your husband or wife, or to speed things up, he/she can waive service of process.  Then we can speed things up even more if they waive an answer and counterpetition and go right to the marital settlement.  Our lawyers can draft the agreement if there is one, or the parties have to exchange financial disclosure and go to mediation where a settlement can be reached then.   

I once did a divorce case start to finish in four days with a marital estate in excess of $30 million …  the parties came in with an accountant and terms to which they agreed to.   I drafted and filed all the documents including the petition for dissolution of marriage, notice of final hearing, final judgment of divorce and marital settlement agreement. 

Where a collaborative divorce is done, and the parties agree in advance, that makes the process much quicker and more pleasant.  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.

Marital Settlement Agreements Can Reinforce Prenuptial Agreements.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The easiest divorce I ever did was for a client who came in with a prenuptial agreement that both the husband and the wife  wanted to enforce in their amicable divorce.   Nine years earlier, the prenuptial agreement was negotiated and executed (signed) well in advance of the wedding…both the future bride and future groom had attorneys representing their individual interests, there was full disclosure by both parties, and the agreement was fair under Florida law.    They got married and after 8 years they decided to divorce in a collaborative manner.

They each retained counsel just to be certain that everything would be taken care of.  I was to draft a marital settlement agreement which reaffirmed that the parties wanted to enforce all the terms of the prenuptial agreement.

The petition for dissolution of marriage announced that the parties had executed a marital settlement agreement of divorce and that the marital settlement agreement stated the prenuptial agreeement was to control.  All issues were dealt with in the prenuptial agreement.  The final judgment of divorce referenced these agreements and then all I had to do was set final hearing and attend with my client. 

One key element missing was the fact that this couple had no children between them.  That made upholding the prenuptial agreement and marital settlement agreement so much simpler.  Today, this couple is divorce and still best of friends.  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.