Family Law

If you are considering a Prenuptial Agreement or Domestic Partnership Agreement, are facing the difficult decision of divorce, or need to modify an already existing timesharing, custody, child support or spousal support agreement, please contact Winston Law, P.A. at (561) 670-9375 or email at

Prenuptial Agreements

Also known as premarital agreements, a prenuptial agreement is a marriage contract entered into prior to marriage. In a prenuptial agreement the parties can predict division of assets in the event that there is divorce. Prenuptial agreements create certainty and avoid expensive divorce proceedings.

Domestic Partnership Agreements

Domestic partnership agreements are similar to those of prenuptial agreements. The purpose of a domestic partnership agreement is to protect couples that chose to live together in long term relationships instead of marry. Domestic partnership agreements can determine how assets and debts should be distributed if the relationship dissolves, how assets should be gained by the couple during the relationship, and monetary support during and after the relationship.

Divorce Overview

Getting divorced is a legally and emotionally perplexing process. The objective in any divorce is to decide the issues in the marriage; which may include alimony or spousal support, equitable distribution of the assets and liabilities, child custody and timesharing, child support and any other matters that may be specific to your marriage. These issues can be settled through negotiation, mediation or trial.

Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

In less legally complex cases, the State of Florida currently employs a process known as simplified dissolution of marriage. Just as it sounds, a simplified dissolution of marriage is a simplified process for divorce designed to promptly dissolve certain types of marriages.

If you qualify for a simplified dissolution of marriage it is essential that both parties are aware they are giving up certain legal rights given to them in a regular dissolution of marriage.

Uncontested and Contested Divorce

Florida does recognize two kinds of divorce, uncontested divorce and contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree to all the issues that may come up in their divorce. Depending on the situation those issues may include, equitable distribution of the assets and liabilities, spousal support or alimony, parental responsibility, timesharing and visitation.

A contested divorce is one in which each party disagrees on the matters that may arise in the divorce. Contested divorces are usually more costly and stressful on both parties. If the parties can’t agree after negotiations the court will likely require a mediation. If they are unable to resolve their issues at mediation the court will have to decide.

Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts

In the State of Florida, marital property is divided based on the approach of equitable distribution. This is significantly less clear cut than in some states that divide property 50/50. The first step in the distribution of property is to decide which assets and debts are marital and which are non-marital.

Once the marital assets and debts are determined they are each valued by the Court and divided equally between the parties, unless there is a reason enumerated by statute for an unequal distribution.

Alimony/Spousal Support

Florida Law characterizes spousal support as payments from one spouse to the other on a temporary or permanent basis. Its purpose is for each spouse to live in the life style they enjoyed during the marriage.

Permanent spousal support is paid on a monthly basis and usually only applies in long term marriages. Temporary support can be paid from one spouse to the other during the divorce proceeding, until one spouse can further their skills or education to obtain a better job, or to bridge the gap between marriage and being single.

Parental Responsibility and Child Custody

In the event that you and your spouse are contemplating divorce and have minor children, you will have to make difficult decisions regarding your children including where they live and how choices about their future will be made. To do this, the court will require you to create a parenting plan with your husband or wife. A parenting plan is a document governing the roles, responsibilities and decision making authority of each party when making major decisions in the lives of their kids. The parenting plan also includes a timeshare schedule for each minor child.

Child Support

In Florida, both parents are required to pay child support to their children. The amount of support each parent is required to pay is determined by Florida Child Support Guidelines which can be found in Florida Statute 61.30. Child support amounts are dependent upon on income and adjusted to take into consideration health insurance, daycare and parental timesharing.


Mediation is utilized as an essential tool to keeping divorce more cost effective. Mediation involves the use of an independent and neutral mediator to help negotiate a settlement between the divorcing parties. The objective of mediation is to achieve an agreement that both sides can be content with, resolving the issues within the divorce in an peaceable and confidential manner.

Attorney’s Fees

In spite of the fact that each party is responsible for paying their own attorney’s fees, Florida Law does permit the court to order that one party pay the other’s attorney’s fees. The court will balance one party’s need with the other’s ability to pay.


After finalizing your alimony, timesharing, and child support agreements, it is possible that your needs and situation may change over time. You will need to petition the court to change your present agreement. In order to alter any current settlement agreement the party seeking modification must show a considerable change in circumstance.

Enforcement of Court Orders

There are a number of different court orders that may stem from a divorce case. Those orders can deal with property distribution, child custody and timesharing, alimony, and/or child support. It is extremely frustrating to have a court order resolving an issue and your ex-spouse does not honor it. Not following a court order can result in serious consequences including lawyer fees, loss of driver’s license, bank account levies, tax return seizures or jail time.

Paternity and Father’s Rights

If you are a father to a child and not married to the mother of that child, it is very important to be aware of your rights in Florida. According to Florida Law, if you are not married to the mother of your child at the time of the child’s birth your rights may be limited. Even if your name is on the birth certificate, if you are not married to the child’s mother, you may have a hard time seeing your child or making decisions about your child’s upbringing. That is why it is essential to establish paternity as soon as possible.

Grandparent and Relative Custody

While Florida Law does not specifically accommodate for grandparents and other relatives to have visitation or timesharing rights with their grandchildren, there are certain circumstances where grandparents and other relatives can seek custody of the children to protect them from an environment that is not safe.

Domestic Violence Injunctions

Domestic Violence Injunctions are court orders requiring an individual not to threaten, batter or harass another individual. An injunction can restrict a party from having contact with the person filing the injunction or limited phone contact. Further, at an injunction hearing, the Court can also require a party to leave a shared home or award temporary child custody. Because an injunction hearing must have evidence and witnesses, it is important for both victims of domestic violence and those accused of domestic violence to have representation at the hearing.

If you or a loved one need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney please contact Winston Law, P.A. by calling (561) 670-9375 or by emailing