Family Law

DivorceFort Myers, Florida Family Law Attorney

It’s been said: a divorce is harder than grieving the death of a loved one.  This is not surprising given the loss of your hopes and dreams; and the loss of someone you once chose as a lifetime companion.   Often times the loss is accompanied by deceit, dishonesty, and financial insecurity.   At a time like this you need reliable information and strong support to move towards a different future.

The main issues in a divorce in Florida are:  Parenting (if there are minor children), dividing assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage, and  family support:  both spousal and child support, if the facts warrant it.    There are only two ways to finalize a divorce – either you reach an agreement with your spouse on all the issues in a divorce or a Judge will determine the outcome of each issue.


If you were never married to the other parent of your child and your romantic relationship fails the laws surrounding parental rights and responsibilities for your off-spring are complex.  You should explore your rights, and your child’s rights.    Determining custody,  a time-sharing schedule and child support issues may require legal action.  Jayne Webb-Martin can help you better understand your paternity issues and guide you through any legal action you may have to take.

Post Judgment Matters

Many times, after you have been through the process once, either you or your ex-spouse or co-parent may have reason to seek a change to the Final Judgment of divorce or paternity.  Maybe the amount of child support needs adjusting; maybe the time sharing schedule for the children needs to be changed; or maybe there needs to be an adjustment to alimony, either up or down.  Jayne Webb-Martin can help you with these issues and she can also help you collect on unpaid support.


Do you need legal advice about a potential adoption?  Do you want to adopt a step-child?  Do you need a referral to an adoption agency?  Contact Jayne Webb-Martin to see how she can help you navigate the complexities of adoption.

Which Process?

Uncontested/Pro Se Negotiation.  It is possible to get through the divorce process amicably and without lawyers.  Unfortunately this easy approach won’t work for every situation.  It is wise to consult with an attorney to see if your situation is or could be “uncontested.” It may be that even if you have not agreed on all the issues,  you have the capacity to do so.  This is what is referred to as “pro se” negotiation, meaning the two of you can work it out.  Jayne Webb-Martin is available to “coach” you through the process so you are able to negotiate for yourself.   This is one of the least expensive ways to get a divorce or resolve your other family law issue.

Litigation.   Sometimes litigation or going to court is essential.     When emotion is high; when assets or children are at risk; when a spouse is completely unreasonable, then you must seek the power and control of the court system.  There certainly are cases where one needs Judges who will make and enforce decisions about children and important family assets.  But, the litigation process can be very foreign.  The law is complex and your divorce is not likely just like your neighbors or co-workers.  Contact Jayne Webb-Martin if you have been served with court papers, as a timely formal response is essential.  If you have not been served, it is still wise to understand  the process and likely outcomes of going to court.

Mediation.   Jayne Webb-Martin is available to mediate your family law matter but it is important to note that mediating and representing you as your lawyer are mutually exclusive.  She cannot do both.  Mediation is a totally neutral process where both parties are assisted to identify an outcome that is mutually agreeable.   Jayne can mediate your matter with or without you having lawyers.  Please see the sample contract to mediate for further details on this efficient and effective way to reach an agreement without going to court.

Collaboration.  If a divorce or other family law matter is inevitable using collaborative practice holds the most promise to find the best solutions while minimizing the damage.  In a collaborative divorce each party hires an attorney  trained in Collaborative Practice and those attorneys sign a binding written contract with the parties that they will settle the case out of court.  A settlement is identified through a series of four way meetings.  The process is totally confidential and meetings are set at everyone’s convenience.  Often, the group will use financial experts or mental health professionals as team members to insure a win-win outlook on each issue.  Jayne Webb-Martin is trained in the Collaborative method.  Consult with her to see if a collaborative divorce is right for you.