Court Orders Dealing With Children and Divorce

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many issues to be decided regarding children in divorce cases.  They include child support, shared parental responsibility (otherwise known as major decisions) regarding travel, passports, schooling, (private, public, or home), day care and after care, health insurance,  parental alienation, siblings, activities, number of over night stays which each parent, and ultimately who pays for what, like team uniforms, equipment, clothing and supplies, uncovered medical and dental care.

When the divorcing parents come to an agreement regarding the well being of their children, that agreement is reduced to a court order.  Or, if the judge must decide what is in the best interests of the child/ren, that becomes a court order.  Court orders are enforceable by the judge.

But court orders involving children can be changed or modified, provided there is a substantial change in circumstances from the time the original court order was entered.  So whether it is child support, which can be reduced or increased, or a parent needs to relocate, or the time sharing needs adjusting, or whatever it is that has to do with minor children in divorce cases, court orders can be modified IF the parties or court determines it is in the best interests of the children because of a change in circumstance.  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 for more information.


What Is The Parenting Class?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In Palm Beach County, Florida, all parties to a divorce where children are at issue in the divorce MUST take a parenting class.  It is a four hour class that can be taken in person in the evenings or online.  Each person must file a certificate of completion in the court file in your case, because without it the judge will refuse to grant a divorce, either uncontested or contested. 

This is public policy.  The course covers things like the peaceful exchange of children for time sharing with the other parent…packing clothes, homework etc., and setting up an environment in each parent’s home where the children can feel relaxed and comfortable.  It covers subjects such as using the children as messengers between the parties, disparaging the other parent to the children and its effects on the children, fighting in the presence of children and the negative effects that has.  The class essentially is child focused and instructs parents about what not to do in front of their children and why. 

Children are often used as pawns in divorce and post divorce communications between the husband and the wife.  For example, the mom may buy the kids new clothes but when the children return from dad’s house, they come back in dirty ill fitting clothes because dad keeps them in order to make mom buy more.  These types of shennanigans happen quite often when the divorce is acrimonious and there are children involved. 

In addition to fights over clothing, are fights over sports equipment and homework.  For example, mom may complain that dad never does homework with the kids and this responsibility rests squarely with her.  The statute says SHARED parental responsibility. 

When children are involved in a divorce, it gives the parties much more to fight about.  This parenting class illustrates all the wrongs to avoid for the sake of your children and is a must before the court will grant the divorce.  If you are planning to get divorced in Palm Beach County or just 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 for more information.

What Does Shared Parental Responsibility Mean?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

When children are involved in a divorce, the issues become many, to be decided amongst the husband and wife or ordered by the court in the best interests of the children.  The first issue is time sharing.  Where will the children spend most of their time.  Or will it be a 50/50 split between husband and wife?  After time sharing is determined, then the child support calculation is done.  Who will pay what to whom?  Then there are other considerations like health insurance, uncovered medical bills, transportation, private school, camp, vacation time with each parent, and shared parental responsibility.

What does shared parental responsibility mean?  First, both parents are obligated to support their children.  Second, with major decisions affecting the child’s life, both parents have equal say.  For example, whether or not the children are brought up in a certain religion, whether or not they go to private school or public school, whether they take piano lessons or golf lessons, where they spend the summers, should they have braces.  In short, parents SHARE all major decision making.

When a child is with a specific parent on any given day during that parent’s time sharing,  it is that parent who makes the day to day decisions without interference from the other parent.

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 for more information.

Parenting Responsibilities May Increase Due To Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In an intact marriage, most often one parent or the other shoulders the major responsibility for the daily caring of the minor children.  There is homework, bath time, dinner, preparation for school, transportation, and lots of other considerations.  In a divorce, both parents must act individually and on their own during their time sharing.

This is a major consideration in establishing what is called in Palm Beach County a “Parenting Plan”.    Parenting plans set forth the time sharing schedule and addresses other issues such as the transfer from one parent to the other, transportation to and from school and after care, who pays for extra curricular activities, summer camp, which parent has Christmas Day, and so forth.

But the reality is that during a parent’s time sharing, there is no help from the other parent.  You are on your own with homework, laundry, soccer practice etc.  So consider the responsibilities of parenting before you agree to any time sharing scheme. 

If you want more information about this or other divorce topics, or are thinking about divorce in Palm Beach County, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at

Disparaging Your STBX To Your Kids

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The divorce is nasty.  You are having trouble communicating with your STBX spouse.  Or there is a lover involved.   Bad behavior, bad parenting.

DO NOT DISPARAGE YOUR SPOUSE TO YOUR CHILDREN.  Therapists and marriage counselors know this is detrimental to the kids.  They want this divorce to go away.  They want peace.  They want their parents back together again.  They do not accept one’s boyfriend or girlfriend.  They are scared.  They blame themselves.  They also see themselves as part of each parent.

If you disparage your spouse to your children you don’t get points.  You get beat up kids.  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

What is parental alienation syndrome and how can I stop it?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Parental alienation syndrome is where one parent turns the children against the other parent.  Most divorce decrees have a “disparagement” paragraph which forbids each parent from disparaging the other to the children.

Courts recognize that children see themselves as a part of each parent and where there is denegration, it is harmful to the child because the child loses self esteem; he or she also loses respect for the disparaged parent and parenting becomes more difficult.  Judges take this bad behavior seriously and the Florida legislature has even passed a shared parenting statute which forbids disparaging behavior of one parent to the other.

Where evidence and testimony is produced showing a child is harmed by alienating behavior, courts will decide to alter the parent time sharing arrangement.  The court’s job is to protect the child and the best interests of the child.  Limiting time sharing, or requiring supervised time sharing is the response to a parent who alienates the other to the detriment of the child.

For questions about this topic or other divorce topics, call on one of the attorneys at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at

Mental Health Issues in Divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many issues in divorce that can be affected by one or the other spouse’ mental health.  The following is a list where mental health issues can determine and outcome of the case here in Palm Beach County, Florida:

1.  Custody battles.  The job of the court is to determine the best interests of the child/ren.  If a spouse is bi polar, clinically depressed, has anger management problems, eating disorders or suffers from alcohol or drug addicition, chances are likely that the other spouse will get much greater time sharing with the children.  The spouse suffering from mental health issues may get limited or supervised visits.

2.  Alimony.  A non breadwinner spouse with mentalhealth issues may get more in an alimony award for rehabilitation purposes as a special needs spouse. 

3.  Dissipation of marital assets.  A spouse who is a compulsive gambler will be accused of dissipating the marital assets, and as a result, will get a smaller piece of the marital pie in divorce court.

4.  Unfit to parent.  A spouse who abuses prescription medications may be seen by the court as an unfit parent.  Ditto for a spouse who returns the children in a dirty, hungry, neglectful  state. 

5.  Domestic violence.  A spouse who goes into a violent rage, destroying marital or separate property will be awarded less in equitable distribution of property.

Anyone suffering from these mental health afflictions should seek the help of a professional counselor for the benefit of the entire family and for him or her to be able to better cope with divorce and life in general.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at of call for a consultation appointment with one of the attorneys at the Firm at 561-835-9091.

Children and Florida Divorce…your behavior affects them.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire – West Palm Beach, Florida

Children are often the victims of divorce due to the anger between two parents.  They become the pawns in the relationship between divorcing parents; they are caught in the middle and are sometimes left to fend for themselves.

Issues involving children can emcompass the following: 

1. Moving out of state:  One parent wants to prevent the other from a relationship with the child and is determined to move away.   In Florida, the law:  the best interests of the child prevails.   If the move is proven to be in the best interests of the child, the court will allow the relocation. 

2.  Fighting over the child’s time:  Especially when there are teenagers who have their own friends and agenda, kids can’t stand it when they HAVE TO go to one parent or the other instead of to soccer practice.  If it is YOUR time, or your timesharing, be flexible and consider what the child wants.

3.  One upmanship:  Don’t try to “buy” your kids or entice them with more than the other parent.  They will pit the two of you against each other.  Kids are smart and know how to take advantage of the situation.

4.  Children’s clothing, shoes, books, toys:  Kids should have these things at both parents’ homes.  It is not right for a child to have to pack PJs every time they travel between homes.

5.  Messenger service:  Your child is not your messenger between you and the spouse or ex spouse.  This is harmful.

6.  Disparaging one parent to the child:  It is common knowledge that a child sees himself as a combination of the two of you.  Don’t degrade one half of him or her.

7.  Neglect is the worst thing you can do to your child in order to hurt the the child or the other parent.  You are divorcing your spouse, not your child.  Sometimes children are forced to choose sides, and this is not healthy.

For more information about children and divorce, please go to the Firm’s web site at or call today for a consultation with one of our attorneys in West Palm Beach, Florida.   Robin Roshkind, P.A. 561-835-9091.