You need your problems resolved and interest protected. You need divorce attorney Steven Winig...
Palm Beach County / West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney
The greater reward; the greater the challenge. Nothing is more rewarding than building a family. You
need an attorney that understands the nuances of family law. One who has the experience to know, however great the challenge,
how to read your situation and guide you through to the best possible resolution.
West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is undoubtedly difficult for everyone involved. So many underlying issues arise during this already challenging, emotional time that makes it even more complicated. With over 30 years of background in family law, Steven L. Winig uses that experience to guide you to the resolution you need, even in the most complex of situations.
When children are involved, it is exceedingly important to work through the issues and establish a stable post-divorce environment as soon as possible. Winig Law can help resolve your family legal issues without utilizing the Florida family court system, which can be slow moving, costly, and stressful to your family. However, if it is necessary to take the problem to court, Winig Law will employ all its resources to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
I have nearly forty years of experience offering legal counsel in these specialize areas of Divorce Law: (click for details):
West Palm Beach High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce is always an overwhelming and stressful time; dividing property and finances fairly is difficult for everyone. The situation becomes much more complex when there are multiple properties, extensive assets, complex, alternative forms of ownership, or complex finances involved.
The first step in a high net worth divorce is creating an in-depth breakdown of assets and income, as well as liabilities and expenses. In order to divide assets fairly it is necessary to define what resources should be split, according to what both parties owned before their marriage, including stocks, trusts, and business assets versus what assets were acquired during the marriage. Winig Law will work with an experienced Forensic Accountant to ensure all assets are located and properly evaluated.
In high net worth divorces, there is much more at stake. It is all the more important to find a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer who is capable of protecting your assets. Winig Law is experienced in high net worth divorces and has the knowledge, effectiveness and experience to represent you in your divorce.
High Asset Cases
While the laws in Florida are the same in high asset cases as they are in low asset cases, high asset cases are often more complex in nature and require a great deal more financial analysis. Some contested cases may even require expert witnesses such as forensic accountants, business evaluators, and vocational experts.
Common Issues Involved in High Asset Cases:
- Business Valuations
- Division of Stock, Financial and Retirement Accounts
- Sale or Equitable Division of Multiple Properties
- Trust Accounts
In high asset case, there is a lot at stake. It is all the more important to find a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer who is capable of protecting your assets. Winig Law is experienced in high asset cases and has the knowledge, effectiveness and experience to represent you in your divorce.
West Palm Beach Divorce Modification Attorney
Occasionally after a court order, situations may change that warrant a modification to the program, be it alimony, child support, or child custody. There are many reasons that could make a modification necessary: change in financial status, relocation, or a change in availability, to name a few. Petitioning the court may be necessary if the two parties cannot reach a decision on their own.
On occasion, a party decides that they are not going to adhere to the terms court’s order. To enforce child support, alimony, or visitation standards, it may be necessary to take the other party to court to settle the issue. The Court has the power and authority to impose powerful remedies including contempt of court, wage garnishments for nonpayment, and impose liens to compel payment.
Contact Winig Law to begin the process, and take the right steps to protect your family.
After a Final Judgment is entered, one of the parties may have a change of circumstances which requires the modification of said judgment.
What can be modified?
Parties may seek to modify the following including, but not limited to:
- Child Support
- Child Custody
- Parental Responsibility
- Time Sharing
How can I Modify my Final Judgment?
If both parties are in agreement with the proposed modification, the parties can draft an agreement clearly stating the modification terms. However, if both parties are not in agreement, the party requesting modification must file a Supplemental Petition for Modification setting forth what he or she wishes to modify. The Supplemental Petition must also state the substantial change in circumstance which has occurred since the Final Judgment was entered and explain why the requested modification is warranted. In modification cases, the parties are often ordered to attend mediation in an effort to resolve the issue prior to hearing. If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, the Court will then hear the matter and make an appropriate determination.
Contact Winig Law to begin the process, and take the right steps to protect your family.
West Palm Beach Separation Attorney
There are many reasons that couples may want to file for a legal separation before they go through with a divorce. In most cases, the two individuals want to begin living their lives separately, settling family and financial issues before filing for divorce. Most use separation as a trial run for a divorce, to be certain that divorce is the correct solution for the couple, leaving the option open to reconcile without finality of a divorce.
While Florida does not recognize legal separation, it does create a situation that brings to the surface other potential legal issues. Utilization of child and spousal support as well as timesharing and parenting plans for minor children is not uncommon.
If you are facing a separation and would like more information about your options, please contact Winig Law.
West Palm Beach Alimony Attorney
In a divorce proceeding, the court may award "alimony" or "maintenance" to either party who demonstrates the need for financial assistance and the other party's ability to pay same.
How is Alimony Determined?
“Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.08(2)(a), when determining an award of alimony or maintenance, the court must consider all relevant factors including, but not limited to:
- The standard of living established during the marriage.
- The duration of the marriage.
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- The financial resources of each party, including the non-marital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
- The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
- The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
- The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
- The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
- All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
- Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.”
TYPES OF ALIMONY
“Bridge-the-gap” alimony may be awarded to a party, for a period of no more than two years, to help make the transition from being married to being single. Bridge-the-gap alimony terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage of the party who is receiving it. An award of bridge-the-gap alimony is non-modifiable.
“Rehabilitative” alimony may be awarded to a party who requires financial assistance while he or she completes a specific rehabilitative plan in order to attain financial independence. The rehabilitative plan would enable the party to either restore his or her previous skills and qualifications or obtain the training and education needed to acquire new skills and qualifications. Under certain circumstances, rehabilitative alimony is modifiable and can be terminated.
“Durational” alimony may be awarded to a party who requires financial assistance for a specific period, not to exceed the duration of the marriage. Durational alimony is usually awarded in a short-term or moderate duration marriage or in a long-term marriage in which the party has no continuing need for support and an award of permanent periodic alimony would be inappropriate. Durational alimony terminates “upon the death of either party or upon remarriage of the party receiving alimony” and may only be modified or terminated based upon “a substantial change in circumstances”.
Permanent alimony may be awarded to a party who is financially unable to provide for his or her own needs, in accordance with their life style during the marriage. Permanent alimony is usually awarded in long-term marriages only. However, permanent alimony may be awarded in marriages of short or moderate duration in some circumstances. Permanent alimony terminates upon the death of either party or upon remarriage of the receiving party” and may only be modified or terminated based upon “a substantial change in circumstances” or upon the existence of a “supportive relationship”.
“Lump Sum” Alimony:
“Lump sum” alimony may be awarded to a party in situations where ongoing monthly payments are inappropriate or impracticable. Lump sum alimony may also be awarded out of marital assets.
Temporary alimony may be awarded to a party who requires financial assistance during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. Temporary alimony terminates immediately upon the divorce becoming final.
West Palm Beach Annulment Attorney
Legal annulments differ from religious annulments, such as those performed by a priest. A legal annulment essentially voids a marriage. It is extremely difficult to get an annulment granted in Florida.
There are two distinctive types of annulment. If for some reason a marriage was never valid to begin with, considering itself void in the eyes of the law, granting an annulment is easy. If the marriage was legally valid from the start, the marriage may be voidable and annulling it is considerably more difficult.
You must meet specific guidelines in order to have your marriage annulled: the relationship must have been bigamous or incestuous, involve an underage spouse, or fraudulent.
Annulment proceedings can be difficult and having an experienced family lawyer on your side is necessary. Winig Law is qualified to help with your annulment process from start to finish.
What is Civil Annulment?
"Civil annulments" differ from the commonly misunderstood "religious annulments", which can only be granted by a church or clergy member. Parties who obtain a religious annulment are still considered legally married in the State of Florida.
A civil annulment is a court order which declares a marriage invalid. Legally, an annulled marriage is one that never existed.
GROUNDS FOR ANNULMENT IN FLORIDA
Unlike in divorce matters, there are no Florida Statutes which govern annulments, however Florida appellate courts have distinguished a number of grounds for a marriage to be annulled. Those grounds are based heavily upon whether the marriage in question is "void" or "voidable".
Void vs. Voidable Marriages:
A void marriage is a marriage that was invalid from its inception, whereas a voidable marriage is a marriage that was not necessarily invalid from the beginning.
Examples of Grounds for Annulment in Void Marriages:
- Both spouses are underage
- One spouse is permanently mentally incapacitated and unable to consent to marriage.
Examples of Grounds for Annulment in Voidable Marriages:
- One of the spouses lacked the mental capacity to consent to the marriage at the time of the ceremony as a result of a temporary, but serious, mental issue or due to the spouse's inebriation from alcohol or drugs;
- Fraudulent acts or misrepresentations were used by one spouse to deceive the other into entering the marriage;
- One of the spouses was under duress;
- One of the spouses was a minor and did not have the consent of his or her parent or guardian;
- Impotency of one of the spouses without the other's knowledge; or
- One or both of the spouses entered into the marriage as a joke.
Annulment proceedings can be difficult and having an experienced family law attorney on your side is necessary. Contact Winig Law today to schedule a consultation with a qualified family law attorney who will help you navigate this complex matter.
West Palm Beach Property Division Attorney
One of the most disputed areas of a divorce proceeding is the division of property. This decides what effects and finances both parties are entitled to following a divorce. Sometimes amicable division of property is possible, but that is not always the case. If problems arise when divvying up belongings between spouses, it may be necessary to hire a family law lawyer to help you settle the dispute.
The division of property does not only apply to personal belongings and real property, but also finances, including debts and financial assets. Marital debts accrued during the marriage, such as credit cards and loans, must be assigned as someone’s responsibility as well, usually the person who earns the greatest amount of money. The courts generally assign property owned prior to a marriage to the individual who bought it.
What is or is not a “marital asset” and how that asset is valued is extremely important and can be very complicated. If you feel that your situation warrants hiring a family lawyer, contact Winig Law. We are experienced in all areas of divorce law, and can help in your divorce from start to finish.
What is equitable distribution?
Equitable distribution is the fair and just distribution of the parties’ marital assets and debts in a dissolution of marriage proceeding. The Court’s distribution is not automatically split between the parties equally. In order for the Court to make a fair distribution to both parties, a number of factors must be carefully taken into account.
Relevant factors which justify an unequal distribution:
Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.075(1), the following factors must be carefully considered when determining equitable distribution:
- “The contribution to the marriage by each spouse, including contributions to the care and education of the children and services as homemaker.
- The economic circumstances of the parties.
- The duration of the marriage.
- Any interruption of personal careers or educational opportunities of either party.
- The contribution of one spouse to the personal career or educational opportunity of the other spouse.
- The desirability of retaining any asset, including an interest in a business, corporation, or professional practice, intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party.
- The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition, enhancement, and production of income or the improvement of, or the incurring of liabilities to, both the marital assets and the non-marital assets of the parties.
- The desirability of retaining the marital home as a residence for any dependent child of the marriage, or any other party, when it would be equitable to do so, it is in the best interest of the child or that party, and it is financially feasible for the parties to maintain the residence until the child is emancipated or until exclusive possession is otherwise terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction. In making this determination, the court shall first determine if it would be in the best interest of the dependent child to remain in the marital home; and, if not, whether other equities would be served by giving any other party exclusive use and possession of the marital home.
- The intentional dissipation, waste, depletion, or destruction of marital assets after the filing of the petition or within 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
- Any other factors necessary to do equity and justice between the parties”.