Florida Divorce Law 101 (2021 Edition)

Christina O’Brien
Michelle Gervais
Rania Arwani
Dolly Hernandez
Rand Lieber
Christina O’Brien | Henderson Franklin
Michelle Gervais | Blank Rome
Rania Arwani | Arwani Law Firm
Dolly Hernandez | Boyd Richards Parker Colonnelli
Rand Lieber | Splitsville Family Law

On-Demand: October 7, 2021

$245.00 6.6 hour CLE

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Program Summary

Session I – Client Interview. Injunction for Protection. Timesharing and Parental Responsibility - Christina M. O’Brien

Tips for new client meetings, including the important information to give and receive at the first meeting. Different kinds of injunctions for protection in Florida and the advantages and disadvantages to filing one in a divorce case. The parenting statute, 61.13 and the factors to be considered by the court in determining timesharing and parental responsibility. Updated caselaw on all of the subject areas.

Key topics:

  • Client Interview
  • Injunctions for Protection
  • Timesharing and Parental Responsibility

Session II – Prenuptial Agreements - Michelle M. Gervais

Understanding Prenuptial Agreements from what can and cannot be waived, issues to consider and how Prenuptial Agreements can be attacked or set aside. Moreover, attorneys can expect to learn tips for drafting, confidentiality, and non-disclosure agreements to consider along with ideas for speaking with your client as to overall negotiation and strategy.

Key topics:

  • Negotiation
  • Confidentiality as to financials
  • How Prenuptial Agreements can be set aside/attacked
  • Overall strategy

Session III – Filings & Pleadings – Rania Arwani
Lawyers often say that law school trains us to think like lawyers, but not how to practice law. How many lawyers upon graduation from law school know how to file a lawsuit, let alone try a case? In this one-hour session will have the opportunity to learn the basic topics in family law from commencement of an action, to drafting pleadings & motions, and finally to preparing for hearings and trials.

Key topics:

  • Jurisdictions
  • Pleading requirements
  • Preparing for trials

Session IV – Equitable Distribution – Dolly Hernandez
Attorneys will be provided with a general overview of § 61.075, Fla. Stat., including the interplay between how assets are valued, and the distribution of assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage.

Key topics:

  • Overview of § 61.075, Fla. Stat.
  • Enhancement of Non-Marital Assets During the Marriage
  • Valuation of Assets
  • Unequal Distribution

Session V – Legal Ethics – Rand S. Lieber
An introduction to ethical issues and concepts for the beginning family lawyer. Discussion of the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct, the lawyer client relationship, including confidentiality and attorney client privilege, communications with the client, candor towards the court, settlement negotiations and conflict of interest, sexual relationships with clients, termination of relationship with the client, and attorney’s fees issues.

Key topics:

  • Confidentiality
  • Attorney Client privilege/ Relationship with client
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Attorney’s Fees

Date / Time: October 7, 2021

  • 10:00 am – 4:40 pm Eastern
  • 9:00 am – 3:40 pm Central
  • 8:00 am – 2:40 pm Mountain
  • 7:00 am – 1:40 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program "live" in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for "live" CLE credit.

On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are viewable for up to one year.

Closed-captioning available


Christina O’Brien_Henderson Franklin_myLawCLEChristina O’Brien | Henderson Franklin

Christina “Christy” O’Brien concentrates her practice in the areas of Divorce, Marital and Family Law. More specifically, her family law practice includes dissolution of marriage (divorce), custody, paternity, child support, domestic violence injunctions, post-judgment modifications and dependency issues. Christy understands that these types of cases can be highly emotionally charged, especially when there are children involved, and she will develop a parenting plan or marital settlement agreement that is tailored to the needs of each individual family. Throughout her career, Christy has handled and tried both jury and non-jury trials in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit (Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades Counties) and the Twelfth Judicial Circuit (Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto Counties) Florida. She is admitted to practice in all Florida State Courts, as well as the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

In 2020, Naples Illustrated named Christy to their list of “Top Lawyers” for her work in Family Law. Prior to joining Henderson Franklin, Christy had her own practice in Fort Myers where she handled family law and civil cases. Christy resides in Fort Myers with her husband and three sons. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling and boating with her family.



Michelle M. Gervais_Blank Rome_myLawCLEMichelle M. Gervais | Blank Rome

Michelle advises high-profile athletes, celebrities, and executives, as well as businesses in the sports, entertainment, and finance industries in complex disputes that involve the intersection of business and family law matters. Known as a “fixer” across several legal disciplines, Michelle handles highly delicate matters protecting her clients from serious financial and reputational harm. For select professional athletes and executives, Michelle helps them handle a variety of family law matters including dissolutions of marriage, domestic violence, paternity, custody, support, and pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, and cohabitation agreements. She also assists her clients and their businesses with other risk management issues affecting their brand, their company, and their professional legacy.

With deep experience in complex commercial litigation, as well as world class client service that goes above and beyond for her clients, Michelle is the lawyer to call when you need a holistic solution to a complex and delicate legal problem.


Rania Arwani_Arwani Law Firm_myLawCLERania Arwani | Arwani Law Firm

Mother, wife, author, family law attorney, business owner, woman rights advocate and philanthropist are one of the few hats that Rania Arwani wears on a daily basis. After gaining her B.B.A. in Finance from Texas, she planned to be a stock market analyst, and after working in that field for a short period of time, she felt that something was missing and that’s not where her passion was. Shortly thereafter she relocated to Florida and attended Barry University School of Law, where her commitment to family law took root. Rania Arwani gained her B.B.A. in Finance at the University of Texas at Arlington. After relocating to Florida, Rania attended Barry University School of Law where her commitment to family law took root. Rania acted as a Research Assistant at Barry University School of Law and a Certified Legal Intern for the Children and Families Clinic.

At the Children’s and Family Clinic, Rania quickly understood and mastered the dual role required of her in her representation of her of minor client. First, she zealously defended and vigorously represented the delinquent children against the allegation of the unlawful behaviors. Second, and when appropriate, she advocated for the delinquent child to receive the care, treatment and the guidance to help them in shaping their future. She has trained with the Florida Center for Child Welfare to handle a variety of family law matters, including domestic violence, substance abuse and sexual abuse of children. Prior to co-founding Arwani Nava Law Firm, Rania was a Certified Legal Intern with the State Attorney’s Office in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Orange County where she gained valuable courtroom experience.

As the manager of the family law division at Arwani Law Firm, Rania is dedicated to protecting the rights of parents and children.

Awards, Books and Talks:

  • Author – Unintentional Hero (2021)
  • United Abolitionist – Modern Day Abolitionist (2020)
  • TEDx Speaker: “Unintentional Hero” (2019)
  • I Am Brave Woman of the year (2018)
  • I Am Brave Conference – Keynote Speaker “Unintentional Hero” (2018)

Rania is also a proud member of:

  • The Florida Bar
  • The Orange County Bar Association
  • The American Bar Association
  • The Family Law Section of the Florida Bar Association
  • The Collaborative Family Law Group of Central Florida
  • United Abolitionists – Board Member
  • Central Florida Family Law Inn of Court
  • Florida Executive Women


Dolly Hernandez_Boyd Richards Parker Colonnelli_myLawCLEDolly Hernandez | Boyd Richards Parker Colonnelli

For the past four years, 2019-2022, Dolly Hernandez was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Family Law.  In addition, in 2021, Dolly was selected by her peers for inclusion to Florida Super Lawyers, including Top 100: Miami list, the South Florida Legal Guide, and Florida Legal Elite.  Dolly is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.


Rand S. Lieber_Splitsville Family Law_myLawCLERand S. Lieber | Splitsville Family Law

For over twenty years Rand Lieber has been a successful trial attorney, first as a prosecutor for six years and then as a family law attorney. At Splitsville Family Law, in Hollywood, Florida, we believe that everyone deserves the best possible representation, especially when they face divorce and other difficult and often highly emotional family law issues. Attorney Rand Lieber draws on more than two decades of experience in this field to offer clients the kind of skilled representation found in much bigger firms but with the personal attention and cost-effective counsel only a small firm can provide. At Splitsville Family Law, we work diligently to bring clients the best possible outcome in their divorce, separation, asset distribution and child support matters.


  • University of Miami School of Law – JD (1995)
  • The University of Texas at Dallas – BS (1988)


  • FL – Member in Good Standing (1995 – Present)


  • Peer Review Rated – Martindale-Hubbell (2017)

Work Experience:

  • Attorney – Splitsville Family Law (2017 – Present)
  • Attorney – Sachs Sax Caplan (2015 – 2017)
  • Attorney – Valdespino & Associates (2005 – 2015)
  • Attorney – Rand S. Lieber, P.A. (2004 – 2004)
  • Attorney – Kutner & Associates (2001 – 2003)
  • Assistant State Attorney – State Attorney’s Office (1995 – 2001)


Session I – Client Interview. Injunction for Protection. Timesharing and Parental Responsibility | 10:00am – 11:40am
1. Client Interviews/New Client Meetings | 10:00am – 10:30am

a. What information and documents do you need before the meeting?
b. Information to relay to the new client:

i. Process
ii. Law related to their case
iii. What to expect generally

2. Injunctions for Protection in Florida | 10:30am – 11:00am

a. Describe the process and what to expect
b. Different Types and the Standards for Each

i. Domestic Violence
ii. Repeat Violence
iii. Dating Violence
iv. Stalking/Cyber-Stalking
v. Sexual Violence

c. Injunction Hearings

Break | 11:00am – 11:10 am

3. Timesharing and Parental Responsibility | 11:00am – 11:40 am

a. Florida Statute Section 61.13
b. Difference Between Timesharing and Parental Responsibility
c. Factors Considered by the Court
d. What to Present in a Timesharing/Parental Responsibility Trial

Session II – Prenuptial Agreements | 11:40 am – 12:50pm
1. Negotiation | 11:40 am – 11:55am
2. Confidentiality as to financials| 11:55am – 12:10pm

Break | 12:10pm – 12:20pm

3. How Prenuptial Agreements can be set aside/attacked | 12:20pm – 12:35pm
4. Overall strategy | 12:35pm – 12:50pm

Session III – Filings and Pleadings | 12:50pm – 2:20pm
1. Jurisdiction | 12:50pm – 12:58pm
2. Service of Process | 12:58pm – 1:06pm
3. Venue | 1:06pm – 1:20pm

Break |1:20pm – 1:50pm

4. Pleading Requirements | 1:50pm – 1:56pm
5. Rules of Procedure | 1:56pm – 2:02pm
6. Drafting Motions | 2:02pm – 2:10pm
7. Preparing for Hearings and Trials | 2:10pm – 2:20pm

Session IV – Equitable Distribution | 2:20pm – 3:30pm
1. Defining marital assets and liabilities | 2:20pm – 2:35pm
2. Defining nonmarital assets and liabilities | 2:35pm – 2:50pm

Break | 2:50pm -3:00pm

3. Valuation of assets, including closely held companies | 3:00pm – 3:15pm
4. Procedure for fashioning equitable distribution and basis for unequal distribution | 3:15pm – 3:30 pm

Session V – Legal Ethics | 3:30pm 4:40pm
1. Resources Available to Attorneys Seeking Guidance on Ethics and Professional Conduct | 3:30pm 3:50pm

a. Rules Regulating the Florida Bar: Rules of Professional Conduct
b. Bounds of Advocacy
c. Florida Bar Ethics Hotline
d. Florida Rules of Professional Conduct (FRPC) vs. Bounds of Advocacy

2. Client-Lawyer Relationship | 3:50pm – 4:00pm

a. Confidentiality
b. Attorney-Client Privilege

i. Scope
ii. Impact of Presence of a Third Party

c. Communication with Client

i. Rule 4-3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal
ii. Client’s Willingness to Lie

Break | 4:00pm – 4:10pm

3. Client-Lawyer Relationship | 4:10pm – 4:20pm

a. Client’s Rejection of Reasonable Settlement Offer
b. Client’s Unilateral Negotiations with Opposing Party
c. Conflicts of Interest

i. Prospective Clients
ii. Representing Both Sides
iii. Former Clients

d. Sexual Relationships with Clients
e. Limited Representation
f. Termination of Relationship with Client

i. FRPC 4-1.16: Declining or Terminating Representation
ii. Mandatory vs. Permissive Withdrawal

4. Attorney’s Fees | 4:20pm – 4:40pm

a. Retainer Agreement
b. Nonrefundable Retainer
c. Reasonable Fees