What Do Divorce Paralegals Do?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

The paralegal staff at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. are highly trained, experienced paralegals who have been with the Firm for more than 10 years.  They serve both the divorcing clients of the Firm, and the lawyers who advocate for those clients.  When a new client retains the Firm for legal representation in a divorce case, the client is assigned to a paralegal and attorney team, because that is the most cost effective way for the client to get through the process. 

The paralegal will handle all the administrative and ministerial tasks on a divorce matter.  She works at a much lower billable rate per hour than does a divorce lawyer.  She does things like assist the client with filling out financial affidavits or finding an accountant for the client to work with on this task.  She will issue to your spouse or the attorney representing your spouse, the standard requests for mandatory disclosure of financial information, standard interrogatories, requests to produce documents, and also schedule when these things are due back pursuant to the Family Law Rules.  She will remind the divorce lawyer when these documents are due back, so if they are not back timely, the lawyer will then do a motion to compel and for fees for having to do so.  The paralegal will organize and log in all this discovery, which could be boxes and boxes of documents.

Paralegals generally schedule and keep the attorneys calendar of conferences, meetings, mediations, depositions, court hearings; she will coordinate these with opposing counsel’s office and the judicial assistant to the judge assigned to the case.  She will hire translators, appraisers, private investigators, real estate agents, gather information about life insurance, credit cards, and perform other helpful services to the divorcing client.  She will notarize documents, send pleadings to opposing counsel, file documents in the courthouse, courier urgent deliveries of documents,  write letters, issue subpoenas, all in service of the client’s best interests during this pressing time.

Paralegals keep a divorce case moving from point to point to point with clarity, efficiency, accuracy, and diligence.  They are invaluable to the attorneys who they work for, and priceless to the divorcing clients they work with. 

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.

 

 

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.   

 

Exchanging Information In Divorce Cases

by Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

It is common knowledge that divorce is all about money.  Sometimes it is amazing at how two people can greatly differ in opinions at to what things are worth.  For example, a marital home, a piece of jewelry, a painting, a business…the parties can be worlds apart as to what the true value is of any marital asset. 

That is why parties in divorce cases employ appraisers.  And even appraisers can differ.  But in dividing marital assets and debts, no matter how you look at it, there has to be  an exchange of financial information.  This takes up most of the time in a case early on.  It is called the discovery phase of the case.  There is mandatory disclosure, and there are requests for documents to be produced. There are also interrogatories to be answered.  All this information has to be gathered, photocopied, logged and presented to the opposing side in the divorce case.  This is extremely tedious, time consuming and downright annoying for both parties involved but it is a necessary evil.  Upon the exchange of financial information, the lawyers will set a mediation in an attempt to settle the matter.  Any disputes will be presented at trial in a temporary relief hearing, and the divorce lawyers will then start preparing for trial.  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.

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.

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.

Misconceptions About Divorce In Palm Beach, Florida

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

There are many myths and misconceptions about divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida.  One of the most common is that the judge is concerned about why the marriage broke down.  The judge doesn’t care about  punishing a cheating spouse.  Since Florida is a no fault state, the job of the judge is only to divide the assets and debts of the marriage in an equitable fashion and protect any children of the marriage.  Only where there is significant and substantial economic misconduct in a marriage, such as gambling or drugs, or spending large sums on a paramour, will the judge address a deviation from a shared split of assets.

The second misconception is that everything should be divided equally.  Equitable distribution of assets and debts does not necessarily mean equal to the penny.  There are many statutory factors a judge must consider and he/she must also make certain findings about the facts of the marriage in doing an equitable distribution scheme.

Another misconception is that divorces must go to trial.  More than 70% of Palm Beach County divorce cases settle in mediation or prior to mediation.  While it is true that all parties to a divorce in Palm Beach County, Florida MUST go to mediation at least once to attempt a settlement, most cases settle there.  The mediator and lawyers indicate what the outcome will likely be if a particular case is tried in the courtroom, and the parties can settle based upon that.  It is far cheaper and the results will likely be similar. 

Remember, it is always better to have a divorce lawyer to advise you.  Sometimes, you also need tax advice from a tax advisor, and in cases where there are children involved, therapists and other professional are advised.  If you are thinking about getting divorced 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.