Special Problems With Elder Divorce

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Everyone knows that having assets precludes one from claiming medical benefits they may otherwise be entitled to.  So often times, older couples file for divorce to separate themselves from their assets purposely.  It can be problematic, when the divorce is not a true divorce but rather done for fraudulent purposes.  Or hypothetically, assuming the husband gets sick, and the wife simply wants out.  These are tough decisions usually about long term marriages. 

However, in cases where there is a real divorce among octogenarians, the issue arises as to whether or not a party to the divorce is clear thinking enough to negotiate a settlement and contract.  In order for any negotiation and marital settlement agreement to be valid and enforceable, the parties signing it, agreeing to it, have to be of sound mind.  This comes into question, when the elderly divorce and want to settle their cases.

The capacity to contract is a threshold question in any divorce involving people over the age of 80.  For more information about this of 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.

 

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Verbal Agreements Are Not Enforceable In Divorce Court

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce cases in Palm Beach County, written agreements signed by the husband and the wife are enforceable.  These agreements can cover everything from time sharing with the children to when alimony should be paid.  There are temporary agreements, partial settlement agreements, and marital settlement agreements.  All should be in writing in order to be enforced by the court.

Even written agreements that have been executed can be modified by new agreements if they are in writing and signed by the parties. But the danger lies in agreements that are made between parties verbally, and then reneged upon. 

If for example, the parties verbally agree to a pick up and drop off time and place for the children, that is different from the written agreement, and then a party changes his/her mind at the last minute, the written agreement controls.  The verbal agreement cannot be enforced by the court. 

Don’t set yourself up for unreasonable expectations.  If you and your spouse agree to something, agree to it in writing.  That makes it enforceable in the eyes of the law.  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.familylawwbp.com.

 

Marital Settlement Agreements Are “Special” Contracts

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When you are going through the divorce process in Palm Beach County, Florida, you will have to go to mediation, prior to going to trial in the courtroom.  This is court  mandated, and gives a divorcing couple a formal way to settle out their differences by themselves, instead of having the judge dictate how the family will live from final judgment forward.

Marital settlements agreements become part of final judgments of divorce.  They are based upon both the husband and the wife fully disclosing all finances, separate and marital property, legal obligations and debt.  They equitably divide marital assets and debts, setting aside separate property, they provide for spousal support or alimony, and also set forth guidelines to follow for any children of the marriage.

That can include child support, time sharing, vacation time, grandparents rights, shared parental responsibility, health insurance, doctors visits travel and just about anything else.

After full disclosure and negotiations, if the parties can agree, they will sign a marital settlement agreement, freely, with full knowledge of their rights and obligations and with intent to be bound.  Marital settlement agreements are enforceable by the court as is any court order. For more information about 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 http://www.familylawwpb.com.

If You Think You Have A Divorce Settlement, BE CAREFUL!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

We divorce lawyers have a old trick…get the other side to think we are settling the case, but then move forward to the divorce proceedings.  The moral of the story is, in divorce court, if you do not have a signed settlement agreement, or a signed agreed order, you do not have an agreement.  You may think you do, but therein lies the problem for you.

In Florida, it is a statutory requirement that all “agreements” be in writing and signed by the husband and wife.   So if you have discovery that is due, temporary alimony payments that are due, depositions that are set, a court hearing to attend, your lawyer still must prepare as if there is no settlement at all until such time as there is a signed document.  Don’t fall into the settlement trap.

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.

Watch Out For The Neighbors!

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When you are going through a divorce, or thinking about going down that path, clients tend to consult with everyone in confidence.  I find parents talk to other parents, neighbors talk to other neighbors, teachers, coaches, babysitters, and anyone who will listen.

This includes husbands and wives.  Divorce thinkers share their drama, ask for advice from co workers, bar tenders, shop girls, plastic surgeons, family members.

This gets especially bad when the client has a lawyer who is guiding them.  The lawyer’s advice is the right advice, but the rest of the world doesn’t think so.   And of course, EVERYONE has an opinion.  That just makes my job a little more difficult and the client’s bill a little higher, because I have to answer sometime ridiculous questions that have no relevancy to the legal issues at hand.  This especially comes into play when preparing a prenuptial agreement or a marital settlement agreement or court pleadings.   We lawyers put language in these documents for a reason.  Lay persons just don’t know it.

So if you have a lawyer, let the lawyer do the job for you.  Be careful of lay persons and the opinions they may have.  For more divorce 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.

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.

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.