Who Has To Move, Him Or Her?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many couples going through a divorce  just don’t have the funds for separate residences.  It is cheaper (not easier) to stay under one roof, until the divorce is final and the issue of the marital home is decided by the judge or agreed to by the parties.

For those couples  lucky enough to have assets, or those in two income families, it is easier (not cheaper) to live separately and apart pending divorce proceedings.  So how do couples decide who shall stay and who shall go?

First, you don’t lose your marital rights to the marital residence merely by moving out, if your name is on the deed or on the lease.  The remaining party has no right to change the locks unless by agreement of the parties or court order.

Secondly, if there are children, it is understandable that they are going through enough changes during divorce.  They should remain, if at all possible, in a stable home environment.  So who is going to be the parent who will be or continue to be the major caregiver?    It is that parent who should stay, as it is in the best interests of the children.

On the other hand, there are cases whereby only one of the parties can afford to pay the mortgage, maintenance, insurance and taxes.  That is the party who should stay.  The other should go, with or without children in tow.

In cases where neither party can afford the mortgage or expenses of the marital home,  both should move out and rent the home or keep it as an investment property, or you both agree to list the house for sale and stay until it sells.

Lastly, where a home is in foreclosure or short sale status, you both should work it out to stay, because that is in both  your best interests.

In some cases, both parties want the home or neither husband nor wife wants the home.  Every case is different.  If the spouses cannot agree, the divorce court judge will decide for you both.



Three Or More Things To Do With The Marital Home In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire

You generally have three options for the marital home, if you are getting divorced.  But there are some other things you can agree to with your spouse regarding the house.   Here are some options I use for my Palm Beach County clients who own homes here:

Options 1 and 2.    If the home has any equity at all, either you buy out your spouse (at a bargain rate these days) and then refinance to get your spouse removed from the mortgage, OR your spouse buys you out and refinances to get your name off the mortgage.  Either way, one of you keeps the home totally releasing the other.

Option 3.  You get divorced and stay real estate partners with your X.  One of you can live there and pay the mortgage on behalf of both and get a credit at the back end years later, when you both agree to sell.

Option 4.  You are getting divorced and you both list the home for sale.  You split any net proceeds.

Option 5.  You are getting divorced, your spouse has moved out and on, and you just live in the home until the bank takes it away in foreclosure.

Option 6.  You are getting divorced and both of you cooperate to do a short sale.

Option 7.  One of you lives in the home with the minor children until they go to college.  The other splits all mortgage payments, taxes, insurance.  The resident spouse pay maintenance and utilities.

Option 8.  You both live in the home until it goes into foreclosure.

Option 9.  You both move out and on and rent the house out to a third party.  The rental should cover all your expenses and if there is any profit it is split.

I am sure you can get more creative with sale and leaseback situations or other good ideas, but these are the most common given todays real estate market in Palm Beach County.   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.

Do I Need A Divorce Lawyer To Get A Divorce In Palm Beach County?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The answer is it depends.  Legally, you do  not need a divorce lawyer.  Your life is at stake, but this is not criminal court.  If you have virtually nothing to divide, no children to worry about, you can probably do your own divorce.

However, if you have a claim for alimony, or a defense to it, or have children, or assets and debts to fight over, chances are you need counsel.  The more issues there are between the husband and the wife, the more likely there is a disputed issue (or several) and you will want someone on your side.

Additionally, you might want other professionals to assure that you will get what you are entitled to.  That could be a CPA or even a psychologist.  For more information, come in for a consultation.  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.

PLANNING YOUR DIVORCE for the new year.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are unhappy in your marriage, but are not sure what to do, chances are you will stick it out as a family until after the holidays.  BUT NOW is a good time to plan your exit strategy.  While your spouse is out shopping with the kids, or visiting Mom’s house, start photocopying everything you can get your hands on:  income statements, pay stubs, credit card bills, bank statements, loan documents, mortgage papers, retirement accounts, real estate listing agreements, titles to cars, boats, trucks, household expense accounts, investment statements, everything that will show ASSETS, DEBTS, OR INCOME.

Divorce planning is important because it helps you sort out the details of your marriage…this is useful when you go to the lawyer for the consultation.  It gives everyone a better idea of what is at stake and what the issues are to be addressed.

Job changes, job loss, sale of property, Christmas bonuses, year end commissions, relocation, new school districts, are all considerations that need to be looked upon by your lawyer.  You can help your lawyer to better serve you if you have all the right information going into the consultation.  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 www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

Marital Homes Cause Problems In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It used to be that divorcing couples would fight over who would get the parties’ biggest asset, the marital home.  With today’s economy, now couples are fighting over who won’t get the marital home.  This is because the house is worth less than what is owed on it.  In other words, the marital home is under water.

If both names are on the mortgage, both the husband and the wife will suffer.  Should the house go into foreclosure both parties lose good credit.  If one of the spouses stay there, he/she is paying more than the home is worth.  And the other spouse cannot get his/her name off the mortgage in order to buy another home.   I have seen this cripple the departing spouse who wants to get on with his/her life.

Until the real estate market improves, everyone will suffer the consequences of a bad real estate market.  The best you can hope for is an amicable settlement and let it play out if one of the spouses can eventually refinance.

If you are thinking about divorce and live 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.

What to do if you are divorcing and are “stuck” with the house.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

About two years or so ago, divorcing couples were fighting over who gets the biggest asset of the marriage, that most often being the marital home.  The wife generally had the nesting instinct and wanted to stay in the marital home with the children.  The husband, who may have purchased the home prior to the marriage, would fight with the wife over a buy out so he could stay. 

But all that is changed.  Instead of couples fighting over who is going to keep the marital home, they are now fighting over who is going to vacate it, leaving the other “stuck” with a depreciating asset, just like a boat.  The present economy is the reason.

If in pre divorce negotiations, you can’t agree as to which of the two of you is going to keep the home, you have several options:

1.  Let the bank take it back.  The problem with this is both the husband and the wife will suffer bad credit.

2.  One spouse take the house along with the debt and live there, foreclose, or sell. 

3.  Both parties stay real estate partners even after the divorce and agree now to sell when the market improves.  You both can move and rent out the property splitting the proceeds. 

4.  Short sale the house to a third party.  Again you might both suffer bad credit ratings.

There is no ideal answer in this economy but there are options to discuss with a lawyer.  For more information about this or other divorce topics call one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

Preparing for divorce…the devil’s in the details.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The marriage hasn’t been good for awhile.   The house is going into foreclosure or a short sale.  A new job awaits you in a different state.  Is it time to start over? 

Revolution makes evolution.  Time for a new life.  But before you jump into divorce court, it is time to take some steps to plan for your divorce.

Divorce planning can be complex or simple depending upon the extent of assets and debts of the marriage.  If there are assets, setting up a trust with your spouse may be just the answer to getting assets out of the marital estate and off to the kids by agreement before the divorce word is ever spoken. 

If debts are high,  it might be wise to consult a bankruptcy attorney as well as a divorce attorney.  It might be best to let that house go into foreclosure. Your course of action depends on the facts specific to your marriage.   Divorce planning is just that…thinking before you leap.   Know your finances, and know where to get good advice.

For more information about this or other divorce topics, call on one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at www.familylawwpb.com.

Financial issues that may arise in your case, and how to deal with them.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Divorce forces sale…you have seen this on home listings.  Well divorce forces a lot more than the sale of the marital home.  Divorce forces an innocent spouse to have a suddenly bad credit rating; divorce forces the mortgage to be in default; credit cards to be maxed out for living expenses; divorce forces cell phones to be cut off;  divorce forces bank accounts to be emptied;  divorce causes good people to do bad things.

In these economic times, there are several things you should be on the look out for.  Below are a few of them:

1.  Check your credit card interest rates and pay off those cards with the highest rates first.

2.  Consolidate your debt at a lower rate, if possible.

3.  Request a forebearance action on your car loan or other installment loans.

4.  Pay all minimums on your credit cards to protect your credit rating.

5.  Contact your mortgage lender for a mortgage modification or refinance.

6.  List your home for sale or rent long before it goes into foreclosure.

7.  Live more frugally and save money where you can.

8.  Consult with a credit counselor.

For more suggestions, call one of the attorneys at the Firm at 561-835-9091 or click on the ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. web site at www.familylawwpb.com.