No Palimony, No Common Law Marriage in Florida

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Marriage and divorce laws are state specific.  What that means is that the law in one state, say New York, is not necessarily the same as the law in for example, Florida when it comes to marriage, divorce, and children.

While there are some common themes, such as “no fault state” or “equitable distribution state”, each state has specific marriage and divorce statutes.  So that causes a lot of misconceptions among the lay public.

So listen up about living together:  there is something called a co habitation agreement that can govern the legal relationship of two people living together outside of a marriage.  While marriage confers certain rights under Florida law, a co habitation agreement does the same thing for people who co habit but are not married.  Without a written co habitation agreement, and other than the intent and performance of the parties, there is no legal relationship that would be enforced in a court of law.

Same holds true for palimony.  While California has palimony support, Florida does not.  So be careful when you enter a serious relationship with another without the benefit of a legal marriage.  Consult a lawyer before you spend years of your life without any legal significance.  For more information call one of the divorce and family lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at

Prenuptial Agreements and the 30 DAY RULE

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are thinking about getting married for the first time or remarried, if you have assets, it is important to protect them.  That is where the prenuptial agreement can help you, especially if you already have children from another relationship.

The prenuptial agreement predetermines death issues as well as divorce issues.  I work with estate planning counsel and tax advisors to assure clients the protections they require.   This is a highly skilled process and it determines the rest of your life.

I also want to observe the 30 day rule:  the prenuptial agreement must be negotiated, worked out and agreed upon by the fiance, at least 30 days prior to the wedding.  This gives the fiance time to reflect, time to seek independent tax advice and legal counsel without pressure.   If you want more information, come in to see me.  Call 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at for more information.

Divorce and the Prenuptial Agreement

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

No one goes into a marriage thinking it will end in divorce.  However, where there are substantial assets to protect and perhaps a family from another relationship, a prenuptial agreement anticipates a divorce and prepares the parties for it prior to the marriage.

I have a client who married after living with a woman for three years.  The marriage lasted two.  He came to me and wanted to file for divorce.  The first question I asked was is his wife going to contest the prenup.  He indicated that she was not, and so the divorce would be fairly simple.

Guess what?  He was wrong.  The wife was an immigrant who did not read English very well.  She claimed in her divorce petition that she did not understand what she was signing when she signed the prenup.  They are still in litigation over this. 

I did not prepare the prenuptial agreement but if I had, I would have videotaped the signing of it, making it much more difficult for the wife to play this game. 

The point of this story is that anyone can contest or challenge a prenuptial agreement in a divorce case.  The question is whether or not the challenger will prevail.  The burden of proof requires fraud, over reaching, duress, misrepresentation, shame marriage. 

For more information, or if you are planning a marriage or a 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 for more information.

In Marriage Or Divorce, Communication Is Key

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Whether you are entering a marriage or trying to leave one, it is important to communicate with your spouse.  It is where unreasonable expectations raise their ugly heads. 

That is when it is important to consult with advisors, whether they are financial, legal, or psychological. 

Regarding a marriage, there is alot to talk about: prenuptial agreements, family finances, children, extended families, who owns what property.  In divorce alot of the same issues apply, but add to those the issues that of  time sharing with children, attorneys fees, spousal support or alimony.   And of course the division of marital property and preservation of separate property or inheritences.  If there is no commingling during the course of the marriage, separate property remains non marital.

Marriage and divorce are life changing events as is deciding to have children.  The best advice is to seek professional help from lawyers, accountants, insurance professionals, finanacial planners, marriage counselors or therapists if you just can’t communicate effectively with your partner or if you are having touble sorting things out by yourself.

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

Friends During and After Divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It is difficult for your friends to see you go through a divorce.  Sometimes they choose sides and sometimes they try to tactfully navigate between the husband and the wife.  But it is common knowledge that married friends socialize with married people and singles gravitate toward single people.

There is a reason for this…wives do not want single woman around their husbands.  It is jealousy and sometimes threatening.  A single woman can have sex with whomever she chooses…single woman fix themselves up intentionally and often look more “put together”.   Single men have the same options and even more attitude.  Married men can be jealous of the freedom and sexuality of a single man. 

Singles and marrieds are like water and vinegar.  So don’t blame your friends if suddenly you are not invited to that dinner party.  It is a human condition.  For more information about divorce please call on one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at

Sex and money and marriage… Do something about it to save a failing marriage.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Marriages break up mainly because of two reasons:  sex and money.  Let’s discuss these one at a time. 

Either there is too much sex outside the marriage, and/or not enough sex within the marriage.  Marriages can be of the roommate kind as in a roommate marriage with your best friend, a sham marriage (simply a business deal for say immigration purposes or money), sexless marriages that are true marriages in every way except in the bedroom, or open marriages which encompasses sex in and out of the marriage bed.   Sex outside the marriage falls into several categories:  an affair with someone other than your spouse; multiple sex partners, sex addiciton, pornography;  sex chat rooms, use of prostitutes and escort services.  However it happens, one of the spouses is getting it, and the other is not.  The result?  Both spouses are not happy within the marriage.

Regarding money issues, it is obvious that in today’s economic climate, everyone, even the rich, have money problems.  Marital discussions lead to disagreements which lead to arguments which lead to contempt, disrespect, even sometimes domestic violence.  Some marital issues involve paying the bills, keeping or selling the marital home, cancelling the credit cards, taking out a survival loan, getting a job, moving out of state to get a better job, selling a car, the list is endless. 

How to resolve marital problems that are causing stress and sleepless nights?  First, I tell clients who need it to seek professional help.  Either go to marriage counseling with a psychologist or get medication with a psychiatrist.  For stress, coping skills, and anger management there are classes available to take and books you and your spouse can read.  For more serious ailments like bi polar disorder or depression, a medical doctor can prescribe drugs to control these illnesses.  Alcohol and drug abuse or addiction can also cause a marriage to fail.  There are treatment centers for both. 

The point is if your marriage is breaking or broken do something!  Get immediate help.  Then if all else fails, the ultimate recourse is a divorce for your own survival.  For more information click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at or call for a consultation with one of our attorneys at 561-835-9091.


By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many reasons to legally marry.  But there are also many legal reasons to live together under one roof and not marry.

One reason to not marry is if one partner is getting alimony payments.  Generally, by operation of law, alimony ceases upon remarriage of the recipient.   Another reason not to marry is to be able to continue to collect social security benefits.  A third reason is that marriage is prohibited among gay and lesbian couples in the state of Florida.  They can’t marry, at least not yet and until the laws change.

Whether the relationship is heterosexual or homosexual, in addition to the emotional bonds between unmarrieds, this segment of the population CAN still protect their legal rights by executing a domestic partnership agreement.

These legal documents are contracts that set forth in legal terms, the close relationship that takes place under one roof.  They are used as proof for health insurance coverage and other company benefits of one partner to the other.  They allow for beneficiary designations, visits in the hospital, property rights, and also responsibilities of one partner to the other and the household.  They are wholly recognized and enforcable in a court of law.  They are for life partners who are in a long term relationship but choose not to marry or cannot marry. 

Issues that need to be addressed by this segment of society also include power of attorney, which allows one partner to legally stand in the shoes of the other, to sign contracts, collect rent, write checks and pay bills, open and close bank accounts, credit card accounts, purchase insurance, buy or sell property, etc.

Health care surrogacy agreements provide for health care decision making should one partner be incapacitated, unconscious or unable to make medical decisions for themselves. 

Pre need guardianship agreements are legal documents that establish one partner as legal guardian over the other and his or her property, in advance.  These agreements go into effect when and if the need arises.

Living wills are legal documents that designate who should make the decision and when to “pull the plug” should one partner become in a vegitative state.   Oftentimes a partner designates the other partner and the treating physician/s to make this decision jointly.

Cohabitation agreements set forth in a legal contract, who pays for what in the household, and how the assets and debts are to be split should the relationship fail.  There can be no divorce if there is no marriage, so cohabitation agreements serve the purpose of the prenuptial agreements for unmarrieds.

The BIG POINT is this:  IF YOU ARE LIVING WITH A PARTNER IN A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP AND ARE NOT GOING TO MARRY, THERE ARE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE AND SHOULD TAKE TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR PARTNER UNDER THE LAW.  For more information go to the web site of Robin Roshkind, P.A. at or consult with one of our attorneys by calling for an appointment today.  561-835-9091.

What is a post-nuptial agreement and why do you need one?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida

With all the second and third marriages taking place, most couples appreciate the need for parameters that lay out the foundation of divorce should a marriage fail.  Where prenuptial agreements set forth those terms, post-nuptial agreements serve a different purpose.  Post-nuptial agreements are signed AFTER the marriage takes place.  It may even be years after the wedding day.

Perhaps the most important reason to have a post-nuptial agreement in place is for the husband and wife to reaffirm the prenuptial agreement.  This adds an extra layer of protection, should one or the other spouse challenge the validity of the prenuptial agreement years later. 

Secondly, a post-nuptial agreement can change what the prenuptial agreement says, either by being more or less generous to a spouse or by redirectgin assets to children.  These agreements also deal with present day changes in the marriage.  For example, if a spouse gets caught cheating, a post-nuptial agreement can lay forth what financial “punishment” will take place if the spouse gets caught a second time. 

The obvious problem with post-nuptial agreements is getting the already married spouse to sign them.  It would have to be something both husband and wife want to do to keep the marriage in tact.  Both parties should seek independent legal advice before signing anything.

I practice family law in Palm Beach County, Florida.  For more information about these agreements, please call my law firm, Robin Roshkind, P.A., for a consultation (561-835-9091) or visit the firm’s website at