Why Divorce Lawyers Work Hourly

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In Palm Beach County, there are some divorce lawyers who charge upwards of $600 per hour for their expertise; and there are others who are less experienced who charge $200 per hour.  There are also those in between.  What we all have in common is a Juris Doctor education, a Bar exam and license, and divorce clients who pay us based upon an hourly rate. 

This is because when a divorce lawyer takes a case, it is difficult to determine, let alone be certain, of the outcome.  While every case is different, there are, of course, common themes and common issues, like child support, alimony, division of assets and debts and attorneys fees.  But the main reason divorce lawyers work hourly, is because we have no control over the other side of the case.  We cannot control your spouse’ attorney, nor can we control your spouse.  We do not know if there is going to be an amicable settlement or if we have to litigate an issue, or all issues.  We do not know how much or how long we will have to work a divorce case.

We cannot insist upon a settlement, or predict settlement terms.  We cannot guarantee a good result, because we lawyers cannot get into the judge’s head.  We just don’t know what is going to happen.  What we do get to do is advocate for our client’s position.  We strategize in order to present our client in the best possible light.  We deal with either cooperative spouses and their lawyers, or uncooperative spouses and uncooperative lawyers.  Or even one of each.  All this takes time and skill, following the rules of procedure, and reading up on any applicable laws that may or even may not apply. 

At my Firm, for example, every new client is assigned to a paralegal and attorney team.  It is the paralegals who do the ministerial or administrative tasks on a case, to keep our clients’ bills within reason.  Paralegals, too, work hourly, but at a much lower rate than the attorneys rates.   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.   

 

Divorce And Your Future

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce cases, there are two choices:  you can either settle with your spouse out of court, or trust your luck in the divorce court casino.  But know full well, that judge’s hear this stuff all day long, day in day out, and your case is not unique in that sense.  Judge’s also do not like to micro manage people’s lives, and will do anything, including throwing the attorneys out into the hallway during a trial, to avoid having to make a ruling. 

That being said, how do you know what is likely to happen?  How do you know whether to settle with your spouse or go to trial?  The operative word is “reasonable”.  If the settlement proposal is reasonable, and it is something you both can live with, although neither likes, and both parties are compromising, then it is probably best to negotiate the offer. 

Whether a divorce is resolved by settlement or trial, know that your future depends upon what happens in divorce proceedings.  Educate yourself, then trust your instincts.  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.

A Speedy Trial In Divorce Court?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Getting divorced is a process, and the wheels of justice turn ever so slowly.  That is the answer to the question of a speedy trial in divorce court:  it is highly unlikely.  Here’s why:

1.  The first reason is that all divorcing couples in Palm Beach County must provide a financial affidavit backed up with documents called mandatory disclosure.  This includes things like pay stubs, tax returns, bank account statements, bills, and lots of other paper proof, including appraisals, mortgages, car loan documents and the list goes on and on.  These things take time to gather and there are mandatory deadlines along with extensions for good cause.  Often times you can’t rush those deadlines.

2.   Along with discovery of documents, comes depositions.  Each side has the opportunity to take the deposition of the other party, their witnesses and expert witnesses like the CPA, appraiser or the psychologist. 

3.  Expert witnesses need time to put together reports for the judge to consider. Whether it is a social evaluator, a vocational evaluator, a real estate appraiser, a forensic CPA, or any other expert, they need time to analyze and prepare their evidence and reports.

4.  All parties to a divorce in Palm Beach County must go to mediation before ever seeing the judge.  This needs to be scheduled and involves several people: the lawyers, the CPAs, the parties, and the mediator.  It is a challenge to get everyone available at the same time, and this takes some doing.

5.  Negotiations are ongoing.  While all of the above is ongoing, settlement is always a possibility.  Some parties have a habit of offering up settlement offer after settlement offer just to keep the litigation ongoing or to buy some time to strategize. 

In conclusion, if you are thinking about a divorce, the process can take anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending upon how much is involved in the marital estate, and vindictive the husband and wife want to be toward each other.  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.

 

 

What Is Temporary Relief?

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Temporary relief includes any kind of relief for the “have not” spouse, to allow the spouse to live and pay bills, pending the outcome of divorce proceedings.  There is usually a temporary relief hearing before the judge, in the event that a court ordered and required mediation does not resolve in a global settlement of the divorce.

Temporary relief can include a court order on child support, time sharing, shared parental responsibility, alimony, attorneys fees, exclusive use and possession of the marital home, a partial division of marital assets and debts, and any other relief requested by the spouse, to allow normal household bills to be paid, and maintain the status quo pending any outcome in the divorce.  Temporary relief stays in place until further order of the court, or an agreement of the parties.  Temporary relief may or may not be precedent setting.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the Palm Beach divorce lawyers at 561 835 9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.

Liars, and Cheaters and Fraud…Oh My!

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

I once heard a divorce court judge address a courtroom full of lawyers, husbands and wives, court reporters and spectators, and what he said will never leave my memory…he said something to the effect that, this is divorce court.. everyone is lying.

Appraisers can place valuations of heirlooms to real estate to benefit the party who hires them…accountants can make the numbers say anything they want to…lawyers can interpret statutes and case law from their ownone sided  perspectives…financial affidavits of husbands and wives generally and regretably leave something off the asset column.  One can conclude divorce court is not an exact science.

So how do you reconcile the difficulties of litigation?  The first and best answer is to stay out of court.  At least in settlement talks the parties can determine their own destinies, like it or not.  The next best step is zealous advocacy.  Hire professionals who really on are your side and are dedicated to doing the best job possible for you.  This includes the accountant, the lawyer, the appraiser, the shrink, and private eye and anyone else you need to rely upon for zealous advocacy.

Lastly, you must not have personality conflicts involved in your case.  If you are not comfortable with your “team” do something about it before it is too late.  You can always change attorneys, CPAs, shrinks, etc.

For more information about this or other hot 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.

Did You Know Divorce Settlement Talks Are Confidential?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

In divorce court, there are many opportunities for the parties to settle their disputes.  The first, being upon retention of counsel.   Counsel can set the stage for coming to the table with the opposing party and attorney to effectuate a settlement.  If that does not work, after much discovery and production of financial statements and back up docs, the parties can then go to a formal mediation.  Settlement talks can be had as many times as the parties desire or need to follow up with additional information or documents.

Any negotiations or statements made in settlement conferences are not admissible in court and must be kept confidential.  Any breach could result in a contempt of court action and financial penalties or sanctions.  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.

What Type Of Divorce Will You Have? Part 2 Settlement or Trial

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida, know that your divorce can go only one of two ways.  Either you and your spouse will settle your divorce issues, (including alimony, attorneys fees, child support, if any, child time sharing, equitable distribution of assets and debts, non marital property, name changes,) or  you will take all or some of the disputed issues to the judge.

Settlement is quicker, less expensive and less stressful.  But it can only happen if both parties want to settle.  If one spouse wants to settle but the other does not, you are going to trial.  Going to trial entails extensive discovery, depositions, witness preparation, transcripts, document production and analysis by a forensic CPA, court reporters, evidence and logs, and costs a bundle.   It also takes up a great deal of time and could cause illness from the stress of it all.

Counseling and therapy more than lawyering can help husbands and wives decide how to proceed.  Parties who can set aside emotion and just get the job done have a better chance of settlement.  Also judges would rather the spouses manage their own future lives.  They do not like to micro manage families. 

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.