Why Affairs Don’t Matter In Palm Beach Divorces

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

“He/she has been cheating on me!  This divorce is all his/her fault!”  Those are words that may be spoken in divorce court, but they will have no legal significance and the judge will probably tune it out UNLESS the testimony or evidence can prove there were substantial marital funds expended on the paramour.

Florida is a “no fault” state.  The spouse who is “wronged” does not get to punish the wrongdoer in the legal scheme of things because there is a big difference between moral wrongs and legal ones.  The court is not going to decide who was right and who was wrong.  The court is not going to entertain the reasons for the parties split.  The court is not going to micro manage your lives. 

Where there are cases dissipation of marital assets, due to drugs, gambling, affairs, the court MAY give the wronged spouse additional funds to make up for the misery.  This legal principle is called dissipation of marital assets by one spouse to support his sex, drugs, shopping or other addiction.  But remember, you the innocent spouse, married this person, and stayed married all those years.  It is something to think about.  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 Cheating Spouse Be Punished By Florida Divorce Courts?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Sitting in my office, listening to potential divorce clients, it seems like no one is having sex within their marriage.  They are either sex deprived, or they or their spouse are cheating on the side.

To some extent, the Florida law protects cheaters, directing the “cheated upon” spouse to simply divorce the cheater.   That’s what is meant when we divorce lawyers say Florida is a “no fault” state.    However, the law does protect an innocent spouse from dissipation of marital assets.   What that means is if a cheater is spending significant sums of marital monies on the affair, that so called dissipation of marital assets can be considered in the financial scheme of the divorce.  There may be an unequal equitable distribution given in favor of the innocent spouse by the divorce court judge.

Case law defines significant sums as: buying a girl friend an expensive car, paying her rent, buying a condo for the paramour, taking numerous expensive vacations or shopping trips, all the usual but expensive trappings of keeping a lover.   A casual dinner out does not qualify.

If you suspect your spouse is the cheating kind, 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 for more information.  We may want to put a private eye on your spouse and use that testimony and evidence in court to get you the better part of the marital estate.

Using Private Investigators In Palm Beach Divorces

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If Florida is a no fault state, and there is no punishment for adultery, why then hire a private investigator?  I get this question all the time when I recommend to my clients that they hire one.

The reasons are many:  First a private investigator can assess all public records on a spouse to ascertain if they are property owners, car owners, boat owners, alone or with another person.  You, the divorcing spouse, may not have the entire picture of assets, property wise, and a private investigator will find that information for you.  If a spouse purchased a condo for a paramour, for example, this will show in the property records, and that is money in your pocket, as you will file a dissipation of marital assets claim based upon that information.

Secondly, a private investigator can ascertain all criminal activity, driving records, and behavior of your spouse or your spouse’ live in.   If your spouse “forgot” to tell you about the DUI he/she got, this information may be helpful if you are going for custody of the kids.

Thirdly, a private investigator or forensic computer specialist can access computer files, telephone records, text messages, internet postings on facebook, match.com and the like.  Information is always helpful.   A private investigator can be a great witness at the divorce trial.

If you are being stalked, your car damaged, or other unusual behavior, a private investigator will discover that as well.  There are many other reasons to use a private investigator and/or a computer forensic specialist.  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.

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.

Modification of Alimony…What You Need To Prove To Reduce Your Payments

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are the payor of alimony to your former spouse, there are certain conditions under the laws of the State of Florida which allow you to modifiy to eliminate your alimony obligation.

The first thing you need to look at is whether or not the alimony is ‘non modifiable” by agreement of the parties.  If it is non modifiable, then the judge cannot interfere with that agreement and change the alimony obligation.

Barring that, to modify your alimony obligation, you need to prove the following:

1.  That there is a substantial change in circumstances since the agreement or the trial awarding your spouse the alimony in the first place.

2.  That your spouse is perhaps living with a paramour who is supporting him/her financially.

3.  That you have had either a job loss or substantial pay cut.

4.  That your former spouse has had either a substantial raise/bonus or has won the lottery.

5.  That the lifestyle indicators of your former spouse warrant a change.  For example if you suddenly see your former spouse driving a Rolls  or living in a mansion, you know something is different.

Modification of alimony obligations hardly ever settle.  Usually a court hearing is required and so is the proof of your case.  For help with this issue, 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.

How To Introduce Your New Boyfriend/Girlfriend To Your Children

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It happens so often that the marriage breaks because of a boyfriend or girlfriend in the shadows.  Now that you are in divorce court, the cat is often let out of the bag.  The husband or wife has a new love and inevitably, that paramour will be introduced to the children.

How you do that can be damaging to the well being and mental health of your kids.  Know that all children want their parents back together in an ideal world.  They don’t want to have to call a stranger mommy or daddy, although you would be surprised at how often children are forced to do this.

Children need time to adjust to the divorce, to having two households, to having two sets of toys, books, etc.  If you force a new love onto your children, there could be rejection and resentment, including tantrums and acting out in school.  The best way to deal with a new relationship and your kids, is to take it slowly, and reassure the children at every opportunity that you love them.

If you are getting divorced in Palm Beach County, Florida, and want 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.

What Does “Exclusive Use and Possession” mean?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce cases, oftentimes the couple lives together under one roof while the divorce proceedings are pending.  But in cases where there is domestic violence, or one of the spouses has a paramour, the parties may choose or be court ordered to live separate and apart.

In those cases, or after a temporary relief hearing is had in court, one or the other spouse may be awarded by the judge exclusive use and possession of the marital home.

This does NOT mean that person can change the locks.  It means that the ousted party does not have a right to be on the property without knowledge and permission of the spouse who does.  It is used on a temporary basis, while the divorce is progressing. 

One does NOT lose his/her property rights by being ousted.  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.