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

A prenuptial agreement, also referred to as a premarital agreement, is a marriage contract entered into before a couple gets married. In a prenuptial agreement the parties can predict division of assets in the event that there is divorce. Prenuptial agreements create certainty and avoid costly divorce proceedings.

Domestic Partnership Agreements

Domestic partnership agreements are similar to those of prenuptial agreements. The objective of a domestic partnership agreement is to protect couples that chose to live together in long term relationships instead of marrying. Domestic partnership agreements can determine how financial issues will be dealt with during the relationship and after the relationship may end.

Divorce Overview

Getting divorced is a legally and emotionally difficult process. The purpose in any divorce is to decide the issues in the marriage; which may include 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 complicated cases, the State of Florida currently employs a process known as simplified dissolution of marriage. A simplified dissolution of marriage is a simplified process for divorce designed to dissolve certain types of marriages as quick as possible.

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

Uncontested and Contested Divorce

Florida recognizes both uncontested divorce and contested divorce. An uncontested divorce is one in which both parties agree to all the issues that may arise 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 does not agree on the matters that may come up in the divorce. Contested divorces are typically both more costly and stressful on the parties. If the parties can’t agree after negotiations the court will likely require a mediation. If after mediation, the parties still are not able to agree on all or some of the issues the case will go to trial and a judge will decide any issues the parties cannot agree upon

Equitable Distribution of Assets and Debts

Marital property is distributed based on the approach of equitable distribution in the State of Florida. This is significantly less clear cut than in some other states that divide property 50/50. The first step in the property distribution 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 describes spousal support as payments from one spouse to the other on a temporary or permanent basis. The purpose of alimony, or spousal support, is for each spouse to live in the life style they enjoyed during the marriage.

Permanent spousal support is a required monthly payment from one party to the other 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

If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce and have minor children, you will have to make difficult decisions regarding your children. These decisions may include where they live and how choices about their future will be made. To do this, the court will require you to prepare 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 the state of Florida, both parents must pay child support to their children. The amount of child 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 based on income and adjusted to consider health insurance, daycare and parental timesharing.


Mediation is used as an essential tool to keeping divorce more cost effective. Mediation involves the use of an independent and neutral mediator to assist in negotiating a settlement between the divorcing parties. The purpose of mediation is to achieve an agreement that both sides can be happy with, resolving the issues within the divorce in an complacent and confidential manner.

Attorney’s Fees

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


After concluding 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 current agreement. In order to change any current settlement agreement the party seeking modification must show considerable changes in circumstances.

Enforcement of Court Orders

There are a various court orders that may come from a divorce case. Those orders can deal with property distribution, child custody and timesharing, alimony, and/or child support. It is very 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. These consequences may include 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 essential for you to be fully 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 the upbringing of your child. That is why it is essential to establish paternity as early as possible.

Grandparent and Relative Custody

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

Domestic Violence Injunctions

Domestic Violence Injunctions are court orders requiring a person not to threaten, batter or harass another person. An injunction can restrict a party from having contact with the party 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 evidence and witnesses are required at an injunction hearing, 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