Jerome C. Williams, Jr., Attorney at Law
Your St. Petersburg Family Law & General Practice Attorney

​​St. Petersburg, FL 33716
(727) 280-6921
We offer low cost Case Strategy Sessions and Flat Fee pricing! 

ST PETERSBURG, FL DIVORCE ATTORNEY

Alimony (Spousal Support 

Dealing with a divorce can be upsetting, intimidating and frightening.  However, with the right attorney, you can accomplish most, if not all of your goals, set out initially upon filing, or responding to the initial pleadings.  Divorces in Florida usually center around the following sub-areas: Equitable Distribution , Alimony , Child Support , and Time-Sharing/Parental Responsibility .  


Alimony, also known as spousal support gives one party the opporotunity to receive financial assistance (not involving the parties' children) once the marriage is dissolved.  A simple two prong test, to determine if alimony is appropriate, is: 1) to determine whether the moving party has a need; and 2) determine whether the non-moving party has the ability to pay.  A court has broad discretion in answering this question, as well as determining the amount of alimony to award.  Moreover, there are time-frames set out for marriages of a certain length.  They are the following: Short-Term Marriage (Any marriage less than 7 years); Moderate-Term Marriage (Any marriage from 7-17 years); and Long-Term Marriage (Any marriage over 17 years).  This is another factor that a judge will take into account when determining how much alimony to award the requesting party, and what type of award would be appropriate.  There are currently 6 types of alimony available:

1) Permanent Periodic Alimony : This is an amount of money required to be paid regularly until the judgment is modified (generally awareded in moderate & long-term marriages).

2) Durational Alimony ;

3) Bridge-The-Gap-Alimony ;

4) Rehabilitative Alimony ;

5) Temporary Alimony ;

6) Lump Sum Alimony .

Equitable Distribution 

Equitable distrobution of the parties' marital assets is the first order of business in any dissolution of marriage case.  The procedure to be followed by courts when distributing property in dissolution of marriage cases is found in F.S. 61.075 .  Initially, the court must classify all assets and liabilities owned by the parties, either jointly or inidvidually, as either "marital" or "non-marital." Once this classification is complete, the court must distribute to each spouse that spouse's nonmarital assets and liabilities.  Thereafter, marital assets and liabilities must be disbtributed in accordance with various factors, some of which are found in the statute.  So the next question would be, what is a marital asset?  The answer to this question, in answered in F.S. 61.075(6)(a).  However, a simpler definition of this word, would be: "Anything acuquired during the marriage, that was not inherited via gift, inheritance, or bequest."  In addition, please note that "non-marital" property can be converted to "marital" property if it's the parties intentions, or even if it's done accidentally.  A party wishing to overcome the presumption of marital property, must prove that the asset is non-marital.  The test for determining whether assets are marital is not how they are titled, but whether they were acquired legally and benefically during the marriage by one or both of the parties.