“He Said She Said” Not Enough In Divorce Court

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
After filing for divorce in Palm Beach County, it is mandatory that the parties exchange financial information by way of proof.  This helps to settle divorce issues like alimony and attorneys fees, child support and division of marital assets and debts.

Each party must provide to the other things like tax returns, bank statements, credit card bills, pay check stubs or income statements, mortgages, investment and retirement accounts and the like.  Both parties are required to disclose this information under Florida Family Law Rule 12.285, which is commonly referred to as the mandatory disclosure rule.  In most cases, the court requires going back one to three years with these statements.

The court views these statements as the back up data to a parties’ sworn financial affidavit, perhaps the most important document in any divorce.  A divorce cannot be granted without one.  Proof of income is used for child support calculation purposes; to show need or ability to pay alimony and attorneys fees.  Credit card and other billing statements show debt.  Investment accounts, mortgages, and deeds to real estate show lifestyle of the marriage and determine equitable distribution schemes.

The paper pile tends to grow but merely standing in court and testifying as to your need, or lifestyle or debt is just not enough for the divorce court judge.  Your allegations must always be backed up by proof.  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.

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What You Go Into A Marriage With You Leave With…

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Generally speaking, what you go into a marriage with you leave a marriage with.  However, first you have to prove it.  You have to prove that you had an asset going down the isle.  You also have to prove how much that asset was worth at that time.  For example, if you have a retirement plan valued at $100,000 on the wedding day and 15 years later you are getting divorced, you need to provide a statement showing your retirement plan was worth $100,000 on the wedding day.    The same holds true for stocks, bonds, other investment vehicles.  Your spouse may share in the extra value above and beyond the original $100.000 or not at all if you did not invest marital funds to make it grow or use funds from it for marital bills.

There is something called comingling, which hampers the fact that an asset is yours and yours alone.  If you comingle your stocks and bonds by putting your spouse’ name on the account, or using the funds for marital purpose, this then makes your assets marital assets and in divorce it becomes an asset to be divided among the two of you.

So be careful when you have assets you go into a marriage with.   Disclose and document what it is that you have when walking down the isle.  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.

Dividing Retirement Plans In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many divorcing couples do not realize that retirement plans such as 401Ks and IRAs are marital even if they were started prior to the marriage.

What happens in Palm Beach County, Florida, divorce situations is that the retirement plan is valued at the date of the wedding through the date of filing for divorce.  Any appreciation is divided in half and belongs by virtue of equitable districution marital assets to the non earning spouse.   By way of example, if a husband had a 401K valued at $25,000 on the wedding date, and at time of filing for divorce, the account was worth $68,000, the Wife would be entitled to 68 minus 25 divided by 2, which comes to $21,500. 

A roll over retirement plan would allow the wife to avoid tax consequences so she could preserve the entire amount due her.  Retirement plans are often transferred between spouses by a qualified domestic relations order or QDROs, which is a court order separate from the divorce decree.  It usually has to be approved by a plan administrator from the employer who initiated the retirement plan. 

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

Older divorcing couples have special concerns.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Health issues, social security, retirement, loss of income,  insurance issues,  medicare, and house issues all effect the older divorcing couple in a different way than that of younger marrieds.

I have done divorce cases of octogenarians, and with the advent of viagra and its progeny, we divorce lawyers are seeing more and more of these types of cases involving long term marriages of the elderly.  Couples who have accumulated assets, properties, children and a history together require a special type of lawyer who understands the hopefulness of the party wanting the divorce, and the hopelessness of the spouse who does not.  

Mental deficiency is often blamed for the spouse who wants out.  A lawyer must ascertain that the divorcing party (as well as the other spouse) has the capacity to understand the ramifications of the divorce.   Oftentimes, adult children are involved, and where there are blended families, this too can get complicated, because everybody has an opinion.

For more information about older divorcing couples, please 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.

40 Tips for Surviving Your Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I have an ebook available to you which covers the issues divorcing spouses will have to consider.   It covers topics such as alimony and child support, division of property, insurance issues, tax issues, negotiation and settlement, retirement plans, temporary support, children’s issues.  There is also a discussion of modifiable and non-modifiable alimony, capital gains on the marital home, valuation of household goods, stock options, and a full discussion of retirement plans and qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs).   

For more information call to consult with one of the attorneys at Robin Roshkind, P.A. at 561-835-9091, or go to the Firm’s website at www.familylawwpb.com and click on the “order ebook” button on the right.  The entire booklet is download-able.