Who Should Be On Your Divorce Team?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida
If you are going through a divorce, you have lots of experts giving you great guidance, advice, and opinions: your BFF, your next door neighbor who heard or saw all the fuss, your mother, your co-workers, your hairdresser.  But the team you really need on your side consists of professionals who are well versed in dealing with divorce issues.

You should first consider who you hire as a DIVORCE LAWYER.  Be sure there is a open line of communication and confidence, and no personality conflicts.  Second in line should be your SHRINK.   This professional will help you get through the stress and emotions of separation, divorce, and transitioning to an individual.  Next comes your FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT.  This team member is the number cruncher who traces money and assets, both obvious and hidden.  Then there is the PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR.  This professional tracks down a carousing, partying spouses, who may or may be spending substantial money on a paramour.  They also get the goods on drinkers and drug users.

Lastly, comes your KEY WITNESSES:  teachers, babysitters, friends with children who play with yours, medical professionals, or police officers who had to come investigate domestic violence, if any, and any other witnesses who can help your cause.

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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Negotiating The Terms Of A Marital Settlement Agreement In Divorce

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Generally speaking, the divorce issues that need to be dealt with include as follows: alimony or spousal support, attorneys fees and costs, mediation fees, declaring what property is marital and what is non marital, fairly dividing up what is marital property and personal property, and dividing up marital debt, then declaring what is not marital debt. There is also the issue of the marital home and other real property, as to who will buy out whom, or will the properties be rented, or listed for sale and what happens then.  

Aside from these financial issues, are children’s issues, which include as follows: time sharing to each parent, child support worksheet calculations, shared parental responsibility or sole parental responsibility on certain decision making, (who will do homework), a parenting plan, schooling, religious training, counseling, and whether a parenting coordinator will be beneficial to facilitate the matter between the parties. 

All of these terms go into a 30 or so page document called a marital settlement agreement.  This agreement is agreed to and signed by the parties and becomes part of a final judgment of dissolution of marriage. 

As anyone can imagine, with all that there is to decide, two divorcing people will have a hard time.  That is where lawyers, accountants and shrinks come into the picture.  With knowledge about the possible ruling from a judge under the law, the team of experts guide the parties.  They can either negotiate in good faith and reach a resolution no one likes but everyone can live with, or the judge will decide their futures by enforceable court order.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. 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.

Seeking The Help Of Other Professionals During Divorce

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It is very common in my divorce practice to seek the assistance of other professionals to help me litigate a case.  Below is a list of professionals I use and why:

1.  Psychotherapist, psychiatrist, child psychologist, social workers.  I use these professionals mostly in dealing with children’s issues like custody, sole parental responsibility and time sharing.

2.  Vocational evaluators.   If a spouse refuses to pursue a career or simply find employment, these experts can testify as to earnings and ability.  I use these professionals mostly in alimony cases.

3.  CPAs.  I use accountants to trace funds, do lifestyle studies, value businesses, assess finances, determine one’s true income.   CPAs are my best friends when alimony and high assets are at stake.

4.  Appraisers.  If the marriage included extensive and substantial art work, jewelry, antiques, coins, stamps, guns, cars, anything of exceptional value, I use appraisers to help in equitable distribution of assets cases.

5.  Real estate agents.  Obviously these experts assist me in valuations of real estate whether it is the marital home, vacation home, rental or commercial buildings.

6.  Medical personnel.  These experts assess special needs children and spouses for support purposes.

7.  Tax attorneys and CPAs.  These experts help with end games to show tax effects of settlement offers and their true value.

8.   Estate planning attorneys and financial planners.  These experts can assess a settlement offer to see if it is workable over a lifetime.

9.  Private investigators.  You know what they do.  Now in the computer age information is priceless.

I would not hesitate to co counsel with any of these experts if I feel it is in the best interests of my client.   In high asset cases or child custody cases where there is a lot at stake, experts are the best advisors to a judge.    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.

Should You Forgive Him/Her???

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Should you forgive your spouse?  The lawyerly answer is ” it depends”.  Know your rights first.  Then you can make an informed decision as to whether forgiveness is easier or to move on is easier.  Consider the physical, mental and financial parameters.  Here’s how:

1.  Talk to a shrink.  Marriage counseling and psychotherapy can do one of two things: it can put the marriage back on track, or help with dismantling it.

2.  Talk to a lawyer.  Divorce lawyers can tell you what rights you may have if you stay or if you go.  We can also predict outcomes concerning the family finances and your obligations.

3.  Talk to an accountant.  There are tax ramifications of splits of marital assets and debts.

As with any divorce, there are physical, mental and financial stresses.  However, those may seem easier than forgiving and forgetting, or living every day in a lie.  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.

Friends During and After Divorce, part II.

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Everyone has an opinion…your neighbor next door, the baby sitter, your mother, your personal trainer, your secretary, your gym buddies…all will tell you what you should be doing, what you are not doing, what you’ve done is wrong, and more, about how you are handling your divorce.

Don’t listen to any of them!  Every case is different and no two outcomes are ever the same.   Any lay advice is bad advice.  You are talking about your life, the life of your children, your finances and your future here.   That should be discussed with your shrink, your accountant and your divorce lawyer.  There is a reason all three are on your team. 

If you don’t have a team of experts on your side, you are short changing yourself on something that is going to determine the rest of your life.  Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish with your future.  (Note: This advice is not self serving…someone other than lay persons should assist you in making these important, long lasting decisions.)  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.

Staying together for the sake of the kids…is it worth it?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Back in the fifties and sixties, divorce was not as prevalent as it is today.  Divorce laws were tougher and it was mostly the domain of celebrities.  However, many couples raising baby boomers wanted to stay together for the sake of the children in order to remain respectful in the community and to maintain an in tact family.

Psychologists and “having a shrink” became vogue in the late seventies and eighties, and since then, dramatically changed their opinions about divorce and domestic violence, as the women’s movement took hold.

Today, if you ask therapists about staying together merely for the sake of the children, most would generally advise not to do that.  The reason:  in a home where a divorce should occur, staying together creates an unhealthy environment in which to raise children.  There are several reasons:

The children learn abuse, verbal and  physical.  They learn disrespect, not love.  They see fighting and arguing among adults.  They blame themselves for their parents’ malfunctions.  They act out in school.  They develop problems interacting with others.  The list can go on and on.

If you are in a situation that requires a divorce but you are not sure what to do, consult with a marriage counselor.  Then see a divorce lawyer to protect  your rights.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, 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.