About the Attorney

Trusted Divorce And Family Lawyer
In St. Petersburg, FL

Garth R. Goodman

After earning both my B.A. and my J.D. from Stetson University, my legal career has been dedicated to helping individuals and families navigate challenging legal issues like divorce and child custody matters. After 28 years of seeking justice for those in Florida who need it the most, I continue to focus on divorce law because I know firsthand what it’s like for a family to experience divorce. For help with child custody, parenting plans, or post-judgment modification and enforcement, schedule a free consultation. I’m here to make a difference.

I understand firsthand the toll a divorce might take on a family. Let’s work through your legal issue together.
– Garth R. Goodman

Divorce & Child
Custody Attorney
in St. Petersburg,
Florida

Let’s get started on your case.

Call Us: (727)895-5858

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About Us

Trusted Divorce and
Family Lawyer in
St. Petersburg, FL

If you or your spouse decided to file for divorce, you know how overwhelming the process can feel. The toll that divorce can take—both emotionally and financially—is significant. Whether you recently decided to separate or you are seeking a post-judgment modification, please know that you are not alone. You don’t have to navigate the legal system on your own.

Since 1997, my firm—Garth R Goodman, PA—has been helping individuals who seek guidance in divorce, including child custody, parenting plans, and distribution of assets. If you live in St. Petersburg, Largo, Seminole, Gulfport, or Kenneth City, Florida, reach out to me to begin the next stage of your life.

Testimonials

What Our Clients Say

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I keep paying alimony to my former wife now that she
is living with someone else?

In a Florida post-judgment divorce proceeding, alimony may modified assuming the parties did not agree to make it non-modifiable in writing. The general rule in a Florida post-judgment divorce proceeding is, when the former spouse who is receiving alimony remarries, then his/ her right to receive alimony may be terminated. Likewise, in Florida, when the former spouse who is receiving alimony starts living with someone in a “supportive relationship” (as if married), then his/ her right to receive alimony may be decreased or terminated altogether. The burden would be on you to prove that your Ex is in a supportive relationship, for example, has your Ex made major purchases with the other person? Do they have joint bank accounts and/ or lines of credit? These are just a few of the types of questions to be asked.

2. I am panicking. I just inherited $250,000 from my Father’s estate. Is my spouse
entitled to any of it because we are married?

The simple answer is “no”. The Court would not award your spouse any of the inheritance as if it were a marital asset. You received the $250,000 from a “non-interspousal” source. However, if you put the $250,000 inheritance into a joint account with your spouse or if you co-mingled marital monies with the inheritance, then you may have converted the inheritance into a marital asset.

3. I owned my house before I married. Is the house mine or do I have to sell it
and give my spouse ½ of the value?

If you owned the House before you married, then it may be your “non-marital” asset and your spouse would not get ½ of the equity. However, a non-marital asset can become marital. For example, if you put your spouse’s name on the deed during the marriage as a joint owner, then you may have “gifted” the house to both you and her, jointly. If the house has remained in your name, but the value of the home increased, then your spouse may be entitled to ½ of the principal reduction and appreciation in value. In this event, if other marital assets exist, you can give your spouse your ½ share of those to offset your spouse’s ½ share of the appreciation in value.

4. I can’t keep paying alimony. I just lost my job and I am now living off of my
savings. I need to get rid of my alimony obligation.

In Florida, alimony may be modified up or down. You would need to prove that a “substantial change(s) in circumstance” has arisen that requires your alimony to be modified (down). A substantial change of circumstance is defined in a Florida post-judgment Divorce proceeding as something that is: (1) material and significant; (2) that is involuntary; (3) that is permanent; and (4) was unanticipated. By example, if you are approaching retirement age and have used your best faith efforts to find other employment, but you cannot find any position earning what you previously earned, then you may be entitled to a downward modification. I would anticipate that your Ex will seek to “impute” income to you and argue that your unemployment is voluntary. Your Ex would have this burden to prove you are voluntarily under- or unemployed.

5. My spouse has a 401k retirement account. Am I entitled to ½ of my
spouse’s 401k?

Retirement plans such as a 401k, 403b, or IRA, can be partially or totally marital. If your spouse worked during the marriage and invested into a 401k during this time, then that portion earned during the marriage plus any interest on it is marital. You would be entitled to ½ of that portion. However, any portion earned before the marriage plus interest on that portion would be non-marital.

Recent Blog

Florida Divorce – Alimony

In a Florida Divorce proceeding, one’s entitlement to alimony is based on his/ her “need” and the other spouse’s “ability” to contribute to the support of the spouse in need. In order to determine a spouse’s need for alimony, Florida Divorce law requires that we consider income or earning potential…