What Is Marital Waste In Florida Divorces?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

My clients often ask me why something that happened 20 or 30 years ago in their marriage matters in today’s divorce court.   The reason is the divorce court judge in Palm Beach County cases can look back to see if there was any marital waste.  What exactly does that mean and why is it significant.

It can mean the following:  marital funds spent on a gambling habit; drugs; alcoholism; prostitutes; mistresses; extended family members; relatives overseas.  Marital waste is anything that marital monies are spent on that does not further the marital purpose. 

Some might consider marital waste as a dissipation of marital assets.  But dissipation can also encompass bad investments, or other waste of marital funds done in good faith in trying to maintain the marriage.  Selling a marital asset to pay marital bills is dissipation, but it is in furtherance of the marriage.  That is the nuance difference between the two concepts. 

The reason that dissipation of marital assets and marital waste are both important, is because the judge has to divide marital assets and debts between the husband and the wife.  It is not always a 50/50 split.  For example, if one spouse financed a gambling problem over the last 30 years, today in divorce court, that spouse is going to pay by getting less than his/her half of the marital assets.  Of course, marital waste or dissipation of marital assets has to be proven.  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 Dissipation and Marital Waste In Florida Divorce Law?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Anything that happened during a marriage a long time ago and long forgotten may certainly raise its ugly head when the husband and wife are in Florida divorce courts.  An example of this is as follows:  say for example that 15 years ago, the husband gambled away $100,000.  The act is long forgiven, but when it comes to dividing assets and debts in a divorce case, this will come back to haunt the husband.  The wife will claim that she should get $100,000 of some other marital asset, to even the playing field.  This is not the divorce lawyer’s idea.  It is the law. 

That example is a perfect way to explain dissipation of marital assets.  Other examples of dissipation of marital assets are substantial monies spent on a girlfriend or boyfriend,  monies spent on supporting relatives, making bad investments, incurring high interest for non payment of bills and the like.  Marital waste is usually associated with bad behavior like using marital funds to support a drug habit, gambling, or prostitutes, or excessive shopping.

If the waste or dissipation can be proven, then the injured party will be granted an unequal division of marital assets by the courts to make up for any benefit received by the other spouse even if it happened long ago.  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. 

 

 

Can A Divorce Court Judge Force The Sale Of The Marital Home?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The answer is yes…if the parties cannot agree between themselves what to do with the marital home, the divorce court judge can order that the marital home be sold in the prevailing marketplace, and at fair market value, with the net proceeds, if any, split between the parties, as well as any dificiencies.  Usually the split is 50/50, but there are certain circumstances under which the divisionof net proceeds or dificiencies may be unequal.

For example, if the wife proves in court that the husband has spent substantial amounts of money on a paramour, or gambling habit, or drugs.  This is called marital waste or dissipation of marital assets.  Another example is where a spouse sold a home prior to the marriage and then used those funds to purchase the marital home, when the marital home sells, the spouse gets that premarital money off the top before a distribution.  In other words, where the case calls for an unequal split of the  marital estate, the net proceeds or dificiencies from any sale of property may be less than equal.

There are several other ways in which a marital home can be dealt with in divorce court.  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.

Do You Lose Rights If You Leave The Home?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many divorcing people believe that if you leave the marital home to take an apartment, or to co habit with a paramour, that you will lose your rights to the marital home.

While that may be true in other states, in FLORIDA,  if your name is on the DEED you will not lose your ownership rights simply by relocating during the divorce proceedings.  That is assuming there are no other extenuating circumstances whereby your rights to the home will be forfeited, including situations of extreme marital waste.  But having your name on the deed generally assures your ownership.

Notice I said DEED and not mortgage, promissory note or other instrument.   The title document is the DEED, it must be recorded, and your name has to be on it.    If you are thinking about divorce 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 http://www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

Your rights in divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Husbands and wives (and children, too) have certain protected rights in divorce matters.  For example, children have the right to a relationship with both parents unless a relationship is detrimental to the child in some way (physical abuse for example).   Both parents can fight for major timesharing with children.  Husbands and wives have the right to investigate if substantial marital monies are being dissipated or wasted by the other party.   The point is that there are many rights that are protected under family law.

The issue is not to confuse RIGHTS with prevailing at trial.  For example, a party may have the right to litigate an issue, but that does not mean that he/she will win on that point.   

Bringing a disputed issue before the judge is a right.  Whether or not you will win, is another matter.  A win will be determined by the evidence presented, and the testimony.  It is important to keep in mind that judges in family court use their discretion and subjective opinions and impressions of the parties, along with the application of family law.  So if you find you are going to trial, it is best to be represented by counsel.

For more information about your rights in divorce court, consult with 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.