Protect Yourself With Divorce Planning

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are thinking about getting divorced, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself.   The very first thing is to educate yourself about the family finances.  Then start a photocopying and photographing campaign. 

When you eliminate the emotional baggage, divorce is about money….dividing assets and debts of a marriage, as well as determining income for purposes of alimony, child support, and attorneys fees. 

In terms of being able to prove the incomes of the spouses, it is important to have things like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements showing any direct deposits of income.  Incomes of the parties are key to any divorce.   Employment history is important too.  A spouse should not be able to voluntarily under employ himself or herself and get away with it. Remember, income can be passive as well, resulting from investments, sale of real estate and the like.  Think about what you need to PROVE these things.

Valuing of assets are a necessary must in terms of who gets what.  For example, appraisals of jewelry, art, antiques, cars, even the family business will help the parties or the court divide the assets fairly.  Determining debt is the other side of the coin.  Things like mortgages, lines of credit, credit card bills, car loans need to be addressed, so it is important to have these papers organized and ready to present.

Photographs speak volumes when it comes to valuable cars, boats, and household items of substantial worth.  When you have finished gathering all these documents, deliver the boxes of evidence to your divorce attorney for safekeeping.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, see http://www.familylawwpb.com, or call for a consultation appointment 561 835 9091.

 

If Your Marriage Is On The Rocks, PROTECT YOURSELF!

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Clients come in for a consultation for information.  They either are thinking about getting out of a bad marriage or relationship, or their spouse has mentioned something about a split.  I often get the question, how do I protect myself?

The first easy piece of advice is PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING.  That includes the cars, the boat, the grand piano, grandmother’s sterling silver, jewelry, antiques, paintings, and collections such as wine, coins, stamps, even the big screen.

The second easy piece of advice is PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING.  The wine lists, coin and stamp logs, mortgages, car titles, deeds, corporate documents, bank statements, credit card bills,  income statements, tax returns, pay stubs, investment accounts, whatever you can get your hands on.

Drop the cartons of pics and copies off to your lawyer.  Don’t leave them in the trunk of you car!

Lastly, don’t leave car keys, wedding rings and other small valuables lying around the house.  They have a tendency to be “stolen”.  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.

It’s A New Year…Don’t Put Off Divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

With the new year just begining and the holidays over, now is the time to start thinking about your future.  If you have been living in a bad marriage for a while, then perhaps it’s time to do something about it. 

Verbal abuse, physical abuse, money problems, lack of intimacy, are all good reasons to move on and find a new relationship and get out of the one your in.  If you are thinking about a divorce, here is the initial checklist:

1.  Gather all financial documents like tax returns, income stubs, bank statements, credit card bills, household bills.

2.  Gather all title documents like deeds, car titles, boat titles.

3.  Gather all loan documents like mortgages, lines of credit, car loans.

4.  Photograph all valuables like jewelry, piano, artwork, sterling silver.

5.  Gather all insurance documents.

Armed with your “ammunition” store these in a safe place, most likely to be your divorce lawyers office.   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 for more information.

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.

Video Tapes, Transcripts and Other Evidence At Trial

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

You’ve been to mediation and tried to settle with your spouse.  Unfortunately, the case is going to trial.  It’s time to hire a lawyer, if you have attempted to get your divorce without counsel.

What types of evidence will be necessary at trial?  Things like deposition transcripts, documents including tax returns, court papers, deeds to property, mortgage and car loan docs, the parties financial affidavits, credit card bills, appraisals of real and personal property, and any other relevant proof.

What are you trying to prove?  It depends if you are asking for child support, alimony, or attorneys fees, in which case incomes are important, or if  you are asking for distribution of marital assets and debts, then what the asset values are and what the debts are.

If a pre nuptial agreement is being challenged, then produce the video of the signing.  If a spouse is suspected of hiding income, then lifestyle studies are important.  If a spouse is unemployed, an employability study can be used as evidence of the marketable skills of the spouse.

Remember, you are in court because you could not agree.  At this point, don’t go to court without a lawyer.  This is too important and too tricky for a do it yourself divorce.  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.

Finances and the public record.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce cases in Palm Beach County, both parties have to fill out and file in the courthouse a financial affidavit.  This is mandatory whether you are wealthy or not.  A financial affidavit is a sworn statement as to all your assets, debts, bank accounts, credit card debt, mortgages, loans, income, securities and more.  Anyone can access the court file on you and learn about your financial situation.

Financial affidavits and marital settlement agreements are filed with the court for all to see as part of the public record.  Third parties can ascertain the division of marital assets and debts, whether alimony is paid or received, how much a party is to pay in child support and to whom, and in general, everything about the settlement or trial results.   Any account numbers are identified by the last four digits of the account for minimal privacy. 

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.

Legal documents and divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Patience, patience, patience is required to fill out or gather all the forms and documents necessary to comply with the Florida family law rules of court.  The following documents are necessary evils and you should be prepared to cooperate with your attorney and comply by producing the needed information.  If you do not comply, opposing counsel will most definitely file a motion to compel you to produce and unless you file and WIN a motion for protective order, you will also be taxed with your spouse’s attorneys fees!

So be ready to produce the following:

1.  Financial affidavit   2. answers to opposing party interrogatories and requests for production   3.  personal and corporate tax returns  4. credit card statements  5. bank account statements  6. mortgages, deeds and any other title instruments    7. stock and bond account statements  8. retirement account statements   9. pay stubs  or any other evidence of ANY income   10.  loan applications   11.  insurance policies  12. health insurance cards  13. pre nuptial or post nuptial agreements  14.  Court orders from previous marriages .

Divorce is paper intensive.  At my law firm, our paralegals are highly trained to assist clients to carefully produce evidence.  For more information about this divorce topic or other subjects, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or consult with one of the attorneys at the Firm by calling for an appointment at 561-835-9091.