When You Realize It’s OVER

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When you finally come to the conclusion that your marriage is all but over, it is time to invest in a photo copying machine.  You are going to need it for your own protection.  You will have to start photocopying everything you can get your hands on from mortgage payments to tax returns.  Here is a beginner’s list:

1.  ANY evidence of income of either party from whatever source.

2.  Title documents for cars, boats, jewelry purchases, artwork, real estate.

3.  Insurance documents of any kind, including health, life, homeowners, additional riders.

4.  Bank account statements from whatever source (banks, brokerage firms, lenders)

5.  Retirement account statements.

6.  Social security or other benefit payouts including stock options.

7.  A list of what each party came into the marriage with.

8.  A list of what each party inherited during the marriage.

And this is just for starters.  In any divorce action, you and your spouse will need to fill out a financial affidavit and produce mandatory disclosure documents to back up your claims.  You may want to find a couple of empty cartons to put all this paper into and deliver it immediately to your divorce lawyer’s office, before your spouse steals it out of the trunk of your car.  Yes, divorce is a nasty business. 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.

“He Said She Said” Not Enough In Divorce Court

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
After filing for divorce in Palm Beach County, it is mandatory that the parties exchange financial information by way of proof.  This helps to settle divorce issues like alimony and attorneys fees, child support and division of marital assets and debts.

Each party must provide to the other things like tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, pay check stubs or income statements, mortgages, investment and retirement accounts and the like.  Both parties are required to disclose this information under Florida Family Law Rule 12.285, which is commonly referred to as the mandatory disclosure rule.  In most cases, the court requires going back one to three years with these statements.

The court views these statements as the back up data to a parties’ sworn financial affidavit, perhaps the most important document in any divorce.  A divorce cannot be granted without one.  Proof of income is used for child support calculation purposes; to show need or ability to pay alimony and attorneys fees.  Credit card and other billing statements show debt.  Investment accounts, mortgages, and deeds to real estate show lifestyle of the marriage and determine equitable distribution schemes.

The paper pile tends to grow but merely standing in court and testifying as to your need, or lifestyle or debt is just not enough for the divorce court judge.  Your allegations must always be backed up by proof.  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.

What Is A Motion To Compel?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

A motion to compel is filed with the divorce court and heard by the divorce court judge when a party to a divorce does not do something required to get the divorce finalized.  Usually a motion to compel has a request for attorneys fees or sanctions in it, since the filing of this type of motion was caused by the bad behavior of the other party, for which he/she might have to pay your attorneys fees and costs for having to bring the motion in the first place.

Motions to compel are filed when your spouse does not provide things you are entitled to in the divorce process.  For example:

1) A financial affidavit which is a requirement for a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida

2) Mandatory disclosure, including tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, pay stubs, and the like,  including other financial information to which you are entitled to.

3)  If your spouse refuses to take the required parenting class and file a certificate of completion.

4)  If better answers to requested interrogatories are necessary and not provided, the divorce court judge may compel better or more complete answers.  The divorce court judge can also compel a party to comply with a request to produce.

5)  The court can also compel attendance at mediation and require the erring spouse to pay for the other party.

Motions to compel are case specific and depend upon what is required and what is not complied with in the divorce process.  Don’t forget to ask for an award of attorneys fees in motions to compel.  For more information about this or other divorce topics in Palm Beach County divorce courts, 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 Long Will My Divorce Take?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Divorces are like people…each case is different.  But I can give my clients some guidelines as to how long it will take to get a divorce, based upon the facts of the marriage and the personalities involved.

If both parties want the divorce, obviously it will go quicker than if one spouse wants it and the other does not.

If someone is motivated to cooperate, it will go quicker.  For example, if a spouse wants to remarry fairly quickly.

If both parties have been already living separate and apart, chances are the divorce will be on the fast track.

If there is nothing substantial to fight over, in terms of assets, debts or children, the divorce will be fast.

So what does this mean…normally, when a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed and served, the recipient has 20 days to respond.  He/she can respond on day 1 or day 19.  After that, financial affidavits must be filed.  That can be done also within days.  If parties cooperate, a divorce can be done in less than a month.

Other divorces are more complex, leaving the parties with minutia to fight over.  These types of litigious divorces can take as long as several years to complete.  Every step of the way may require a court hearing, in terms of motions to compel, motions for protective orders, motions to set mediations, depositions or other hearings and no one agrees to anything.

So depending upon your circumstances, divorces can be completed in as little as 4 weeks or as long as three years. If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Palm Beach County, talk 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 for more information.

What Are Interrogatories?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many tools divorce lawyers use to determine the truthful facts of a marriage.  Depositions are one way to seek information.  Production of documents or discovery documents are another.  This is where a party has to produce tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills and the like.  A financial affidavit is a sworn statement that asserts the truth about one’s expenses, income, assets and debts.

Interrogatories are another way a divorce lawyer can gather information.  They are a series of questions that ask everything from whose name is on the deed of the marital home to how much is set aside for kids’ college educations.  They are sworn to as correct and truthful by the party who answers the questions.

If you are getting divorced in Palm Beach County, Florida, and want more information about this or any other divorce topic, 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.

Preparing For An Uncontested Final Hearing

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are going before the judge in Palm Beach County for an uncontested final hearing on divorce the following is a check list for documents that will be required of you:

1.  Both parties have to present a certificate of completion of the parenting class.

2.  Both parties have to have filed a financial affidavit.

3.  Both parties have to have a written and signed marital settlement agreement dividing all the assets and debts of the marriage.

4.  If there are children involved, a child support calculation worksheet needs to be included showing the child support obligation, in addition to a parenting plan which details the time sharing agreement.

5.  An income deduction order must be ready for the judge to sign if the party is paying child support through the workplace.

6.  A final judgment must be ready for the judge to sign.

7.  A support information sheet detailing information about the names, addresses, work numbers and home numbers, social security numbers and children’s details must be presented to the judge.

8.  A Case Disposal form should be presented to the judge.

9.  A notice of final hearing must be presented to the judge so the judge can see that the respondent party was noticed of the final hearing.

10.  Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license which shows proof of residency for 6 months prior to filing your petition for dissolution of marriage.

For more information about this or other divorce topics please 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.