Working the System! Name Change

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In normal circumstances in Palm Beach County, to change one’s name requires a petition to the court for a change of name. This costs at least the filing fee, if not more for the attorney, and also requires a court hearing.  However, in divorce cases, a change of name for the wife comes as part of the divorce process.  A wife can have her name changed back to her former name or maiden name without a petition for name change, and without paying a filing fee for a court hearing, as these are included in her original petition for dissolution of marriage.  

In other words, a wife can change her name during divorce proceedings without paying anything to do so.   There are many ways to “work the system”.  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.

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Contract Law and Divorce Lawyers

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many people don’t realize the amount of knowledge a divorce lawyer must have in order to effect  justice between the Husband and Wife in divorce court.

Often times, a divorce lawyer has to be well versed not only in FAMILY law, but also in TORT law, CRIMINAL law, and CONTRACT law.   Family law encompasses what is in the best interests of the child/ren, name changes, relocation matters, child support and time sharing between parents;  tort law comes into play when there is spousal abuse, physical injury, spread of disease between husband and wife; criminal law addresses stolen or damaged property of one spouse by another, violence, rape, battery and the like. 

But divorce lawyers also deal in contract law in terms of effectuating a valid, enforceable, marital settlement agreement between the parties,a division of assets and debts, future real estate arrangements, partnerships without the marriage factor.  Contracts can only be valid and enforceable if they are fairly negotiated, fully understood, and freely agreed to under controlled circumstances.   That is why in my practice, I go through a marital settlement agreement with my clients a page and paragraph at a time for an extra layer of protection.   In high asset or complex divorce matters I video tape the actual signing of these documents.   The other party always has the opportunity to challenge an agreement but the real issue is whether or not he/she will prevail.  I do everything possible to prevent a winning challenge to these contracts.

If you are thinking about getting divorced in Palm Beach County, Florida, or know someone who is, 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.

Name Changes Are Less Expensive If Done During Divorce Proceedings

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are contemplating changing your name back from your married name to your former name, it is much cheaper to do it as part of your divorce proceedings than after the fact as a separate court case.  The judge needs your testimony that the name change is not for the purpose of thwarting your creditors, or for any other fraudulent purpose.

But if you have children,  you may NOT want to change your name back even if you do not like your husband’s name.  This is because the children and you will continue to have the same name and often it is in the children’s best interest to do so.  You need to weigh the benefits to the negatives to determine for yourself what your comfort level is.

Sometimes, husbands who are planning to remarry quickly, or who are prominent in the community, require their stbx wives to relinquish their name back to the former name for money.  This is a negotiation and could be to your benefit.

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.

After Divorce…Now What?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

So much to do, so little time.  Post divorce problems always arise following the final hearing and the judge’s stamp on the final divorce decree.

If your divorce was resolved by a settlement agreement or by trial, there are duties post dissolution, to transfer assets, pay off debts, execute documents, name changes on licenses, and the big one, adjustment to single life or single parent.

From a legal standpoint here are some typical tasks that need to be addressed post divorce:

1.  Title to your car or other vehicles such as boats, motorcycles etc.

2.  Title to real estate

3.  Division of retirement plans

4.  Paying off creditors/credit cards

5.  Paying or receiving child support or alimony

6.  Refinancing of marital home or other real estate

7.  Changing beneficiaries on life insurance policies or taking out a new life insurance policy

8.  Redoing a will or other testamentary documents

9.  Investment planning

10.  Getting a new health insurance policy.

Think about your legal life including name changes on driver’s license and passport.  You will realize that post divorce there is much to do if you are going to obey court orders.  For more information about getting divorced in Palm Beach County, Florida, call the experienced 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.

Common Mistakes About Divorce In Florida.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many people who are going through a divorce for the first time,  do not understand Florida law.   I get questions like the following:

1.  REGARDING JEWELRY: husbands and wives think that because a piece of jewelry is a gift given during the marriage,  the jewelry belongs exclusively to them.  Not true… it is marital.  This can make a big difference if the jewelry is substantial.

2.  REGARDING PUNISHMENT:  couples often think that the one who files for divorce, or the one who leaves the marriage,  is the one who will be “punished” by the court in terms of receiving less assets from the marriage.  Not true, because Florida is a no fault state.

3.  REGARDING ADULTERY:  same premise as above.  If your husband or wife is cheating on you, the only recourse you have is to divorce the cheater.

4.  REGARDING MOVING OUT OF THE MARITAL HOME:  Floridians do not lose their property rights by “abandoning” the marital home.  If you have sweat equity in the house, or your name is on the deed, or have any other marital interest, you have an entitlement to your property whether or not you live there.

5.  REGARDING NAME CHANGES: if you want your name restored, you should do it now during the divorce proceedings.  If you wait, you will have to pay another filing fee for a new case in the courthouse.

6.  REGARDING YOUR SPOUSE SUPPORTING YOU:  you don’t have to get a divorce to get your spouse to support you.  If you have the need and your spouse has the ability to pay, you can get support without divorce.

7.  REGARDING CHILD SUPPORT:  the statutory child support guidelines have not changed in a generation.  The Florida legislature really needs to address this.

8.  REGARDING RESIDENCY: you have to be a Florida resident for at least 6 months prior to filing for divorce.  That means having your “stuff” in the state, having a Florida driver’s license, owning property, or having a leasehold interest here.

If you are thinking about getting 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 www.familylawwpb.com for more information.

Should You Change Your Name?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are contemplating whether or not to change your married name back to your former name during divorce proceedings, know that it is less costly to do this now than after the divorce is granted.

As part of your divorce petition, you can ask the court to restore your former name.  However, if you think about it after the fact, it will require a separate court action, another filing fee and another hearing before the judge.  You will have to prove you are not changing your name to defraud creditors.

In a divorce action, judges know that some wives wish to drop their husbands’ names, so it is allowable under the same case.  So whether or not to change your name depends upon the following:

1) How much you hate your stbx or his name.

2) Whether you wish to keep the name because your children have the same name.

3)  If you have the mindset of getting a fresh start in life you may want to drop your married name.

4) If your driver’s license, credit cards and other documents still have your former name, you will want it back.  On the other hand, if all of those docs have your married name, you may want to keep it simply for the convenience of not changing all your cards and docs back again.

Whether or not to change your name during divorce proceedings is a very personal matter and should be considered along with all the other issues in your divorce.  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.

About Robin Roshkind, P.A. Divorce Lawyers, West Palm Beach, Florida

Robin Roshkind, Esquire, founded the Firm on May 17, 1998, the day she was admitted into The Florida Bar.  She was 43 years old when she went back to law school.  Her children were 10 and 12 years old.  Her marriage was over, and a nasty divorce was about to begin.   Her divorce and her law school education took the same three years.  In 1998, she founded the Firm as a solo practitioner at the age of 46.  She had never worked in a law firm before.  So she hired really good people. 

Today, Attorney Maria Patullo has been with the Firm for more than 9 years.  Certified Family Law Paralegal, Laura “Charlie” Petrich, has been with the Firm for more than 9 years.  Attorney Catherine Eaton has been with the Firm for 8 years, and Certified Family Law Paralegal Darlene Hayes, 5 1/2 years.   The staff also includes Tracy Von Schmittou, a Certified Family Law Paralegal, who does all the Firm’s document discovery, and Legal Assistant, Jennifer Perez, who is bilingual.  

The Firm has an excellent reputation among the bar and the bench in Palm Beach County, Florida.  Its area of concentration is divorce, collaborative divorce, mediation, paternity, custody disputes, prenuptial agreements, relocation with children, child support, alimony disputes, name changes, same sex couples issues, including cohabitation agreements.   For more information, contact one of the Firm’s attorneys at 561-835-9091 or visit our web site at www.familylawwpb.com.