Who Has To Move, Him Or Her?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Many couples going through a divorce  just don’t have the funds for separate residences.  It is cheaper (not easier) to stay under one roof, until the divorce is final and the issue of the marital home is decided by the judge or agreed to by the parties.

For those couples  lucky enough to have assets, or those in two income families, it is easier (not cheaper) to live separately and apart pending divorce proceedings.  So how do couples decide who shall stay and who shall go?

First, you don’t lose your marital rights to the marital residence merely by moving out, if your name is on the deed or on the lease.  The remaining party has no right to change the locks unless by agreement of the parties or court order.

Secondly, if there are children, it is understandable that they are going through enough changes during divorce.  They should remain, if at all possible, in a stable home environment.  So who is going to be the parent who will be or continue to be the major caregiver?    It is that parent who should stay, as it is in the best interests of the children.

On the other hand, there are cases whereby only one of the parties can afford to pay the mortgage, maintenance, insurance and taxes.  That is the party who should stay.  The other should go, with or without children in tow.

In cases where neither party can afford the mortgage or expenses of the marital home,  both should move out and rent the home or keep it as an investment property, or you both agree to list the house for sale and stay until it sells.

Lastly, where a home is in foreclosure or short sale status, you both should work it out to stay, because that is in both  your best interests.

In some cases, both parties want the home or neither husband nor wife wants the home.  Every case is different.  If the spouses cannot agree, the divorce court judge will decide for you both.



Three Or More Things To Do With The Marital Home In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire

You generally have three options for the marital home, if you are getting divorced.  But there are some other things you can agree to with your spouse regarding the house.   Here are some options I use for my Palm Beach County clients who own homes here:

Options 1 and 2.    If the home has any equity at all, either you buy out your spouse (at a bargain rate these days) and then refinance to get your spouse removed from the mortgage, OR your spouse buys you out and refinances to get your name off the mortgage.  Either way, one of you keeps the home totally releasing the other.

Option 3.  You get divorced and stay real estate partners with your X.  One of you can live there and pay the mortgage on behalf of both and get a credit at the back end years later, when you both agree to sell.

Option 4.  You are getting divorced and you both list the home for sale.  You split any net proceeds.

Option 5.  You are getting divorced, your spouse has moved out and on, and you just live in the home until the bank takes it away in foreclosure.

Option 6.  You are getting divorced and both of you cooperate to do a short sale.

Option 7.  One of you lives in the home with the minor children until they go to college.  The other splits all mortgage payments, taxes, insurance.  The resident spouse pay maintenance and utilities.

Option 8.  You both live in the home until it goes into foreclosure.

Option 9.  You both move out and on and rent the house out to a third party.  The rental should cover all your expenses and if there is any profit it is split.

I am sure you can get more creative with sale and leaseback situations or other good ideas, but these are the most common given todays real estate market in Palm Beach County.   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.

PLANNING YOUR DIVORCE for the new year.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are unhappy in your marriage, but are not sure what to do, chances are you will stick it out as a family until after the holidays.  BUT NOW is a good time to plan your exit strategy.  While your spouse is out shopping with the kids, or visiting Mom’s house, start photocopying everything you can get your hands on:  income statements, pay stubs, credit card bills, bank statements, loan documents, mortgage papers, retirement accounts, real estate listing agreements, titles to cars, boats, trucks, household expense accounts, investment statements, everything that will show ASSETS, DEBTS, OR INCOME.

Divorce planning is important because it helps you sort out the details of your marriage…this is useful when you go to the lawyer for the consultation.  It gives everyone a better idea of what is at stake and what the issues are to be addressed.

Job changes, job loss, sale of property, Christmas bonuses, year end commissions, relocation, new school districts, are all considerations that need to be looked upon by your lawyer.  You can help your lawyer to better serve you if you have all the right information going into the consultation.  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.

Divorcing Homeowners May Have Serious Problems

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

If you are divorcing in Palm Beach County, Florida, and own a home that your spouse  is going to keep, if there is a mortgage on that home, it could cause problems for you.  Here is why:  your spouse is going to buy you out of any equity in the home.  In order to do that, he/she needs to refinance the home.  He/she may not qualify, so for you to get your check, you may need to co sign a new mortgage, which leaves you liable if your spouse defaults.

In another scenario, if there is NO EQUITY in the marital home, and your spouse is going to keep the home and live there,  you will need to quit claim deed the home to your spouse.  Just because the home is now hers/his, does NOT release you from your original liability of the original mortgage you both took out as a married couple.  UNLESS your spouse can qualify for a new mortgage, by way of a refinance, on his/her own, you will still be liable to the lender for the original mortgage on a home you do not own, if your spouse cannot or will  not pay the obligation.  In other words your good credit may be at the mercy of your ex.

It used to be that divorcing couples would fight over which one of them keeps the marital home.  Now couples are fighting over which one of them does not keep the marital home.  From the lender’s standpoint, nothing has changed unless there is a refinance in the sole name of the spouse who is going to live there.   The only other alternative is a short sale to a third party.  Should that occur the deficiency belongs to both of you.

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.

Marital Homes Cause Problems In Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It used to be that divorcing couples would fight over who would get the parties’ biggest asset, the marital home.  With today’s economy, now couples are fighting over who won’t get the marital home.  This is because the house is worth less than what is owed on it.  In other words, the marital home is under water.

If both names are on the mortgage, both the husband and the wife will suffer.  Should the house go into foreclosure both parties lose good credit.  If one of the spouses stay there, he/she is paying more than the home is worth.  And the other spouse cannot get his/her name off the mortgage in order to buy another home.   I have seen this cripple the departing spouse who wants to get on with his/her life.

Until the real estate market improves, everyone will suffer the consequences of a bad real estate market.  The best you can hope for is an amicable settlement and let it play out if one of the spouses can eventually refinance.

If you are thinking about divorce and live 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.

How the economy effects divorce law, part 2.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

We all know people who wish to divorce but can’t afford to sell the marital home.  That is because many homes today are worth less than the mortgage.  Please see my discussion on short sales or call me for more information on this subject.  But this isn’t the only issues divorcing couples face today.

There are other aspects of divorce that are also effected by this shrinking economy.  For example, alimony.  It is better to divorce when a payor spouse has a higher income.  It is better to divorce when a payor spouse can afford a higher child support.  Division of debt is also a factor, whereby the parties used to come out of a marriage with some assets.  Now, many are coming away with just debt from credit cards, mortgages and other sources.  Jobs are being lost, and benefits such as health insurance are being eliminated. 

However, it may be better to leave the marriage even under these circumstances.  If  you just can’t take it anymore, as the Nike ad says, just do it.  Cut your losses and move on.

For information on how to do that, 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.

Marital home options in divorce.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are several things you can do with your spouse and the marital home if you are contemplating divorce.  Given this economy, leave it to the lawyers to offer you options.

1.  Find a buyer at any price and let the lawyers assist you with lenders to accept a short sale.

2.  Get your divorce and remain real estate partners with your spouse until the market turns around. One of you stays in the home, continues to pay the mortgage, and maintains the property,  (you have to live somewhere anyway).  Settle it all out at the time of sale years later.

3.  Allow the children and one parent to remain in the home until the youngest child reaches the age of majority.  Do a split (50/50, 60/40, 70/30) on handling the costs by agreement.

4.  Sell the house at today’s fair market value.  If you have equity, you will still come away with cash in hand.  If not, then a short sale is the way to go.

5.  Dump the house and let the mortgage lender worry about it.  The bad thing about this alternative is you ruin your credit and that of your spouse. 

For more information about the marital home and divorce, click on the Robin Roshkind, P.A. website at www.familylawwpb.com or set an appointment for a consultation with one of the Firm’s attorneys by calling 561-835-9091.