Category Archives: Attorney Fees

Alimony Award After Pension Matures

Alimony Award After Pension MaturesAlimony Award After Pension MaturesIn this divorce action, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the judgment.  The parties settlement agreement awarded the Wife alimony in the amount of $1,250 per month, once her husband’s pension matures.  She complained that the Court made an error when it failed to utilize the time rule formula in determining the parties’ interest in the pension.  However the Court found that the Wife induced the alleged error in urging the trial court to evaluate and distribute the pension as alimony.

The Wife also complained that the Court made an error when it evaluated the alimony payment based on the assumption that the husband ceased participation in the pension plan beginning on August 31, 2009.  However, since the parties introduced evidence evaluating the pension as of that date and neither party took steps to obtain and present updated pension values as of the hearing date the court did not find an error.

Next, the Court found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the parties’ marital assets; and the trial court did not err in ruling that the Wife would be entitled to claim at least one-half of the mortgage interest deduction in any calendar year, after awarding her the marital residence.

Finally, the Georgia Supreme Court found the trial court did not abuse its discretion in requiring Hammond to indemnify her husband and hold him harmless for the debts, which the trial court ordered her to pay, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in awarding Hammond $4,074 in attorneys’ fees.

Alimony Award After Pension Matures – For more information abut his case see Hammond v. Hammond, S11F1978, (02/06/12)

Alimony Award After Pension Matures – If you have questions about an uncontested divorce and/or creating an Alimony award that is in compliance with Georgia law – Contact the Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081 for a FREE phone consultation.

If you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the UNCONTESTED DIVORCE WORKSHEET helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.

 

Child Support Worksheet Calculation

child support worksheet calculationChild Support Worksheet Calculation.  You may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful.  But also how does the court view the child support worksheet calculations?  Here’s a case where there were many issues and the court addressed each one.

First, the Court is required to make a written finding to support its deviation from the presumptive amount of child support for extraordinary educational expenses (there’s a space on the worksheet – you need to use it!) and this is one of the purposes of the Child Support Addendum.

If one party does not work, you should impute a monthly gross income based on a 40-hour workweek at the national minimum wage.  This is also used if the party has no viable way to calculate their income.

The court allows for prorating of the husband’s responsibility for the basic child support obligation before proceeding through the remainder of the steps in calculating his monthly child support obligation;

There is no requirement to enter written findings regarding low income if there is no deviation for such;

A party is not entitled to a specific deviation for the child’s extracurricular expenses if they agreed at trial to pay for these expenses and offered no evidence as to the amount in the settlement agreement.

It is ok to enter into a security agreement and collateral pledge to guarantee the payments required by the divorce decree.

If you have questions about how to make the Georgia Child Support Worksheet Calculation, the Child Support Addendum – or For more information, contact the Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081 for a free consultation.

You may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful.  Also, if you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.

Brogdon v. Brogdon, S11F1975 (02/27/12)

Fulton County Daily Report, March 2, 2012

Custody Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Custody Subject Matter JurisdictionCustody Subject Matter Jurisdiction.  The Court of Appeals reversed the Georgia trial court’s permanent modification of the initial child custody determination made by a Kansas court and the denial of the mother’s motion to set aside the modification, holding that the Georgia court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Although Georgia satisfied the relevant home state requirements of O.C.G.A. § 19-9-61 (a), Kansas never determined that it no longer had exclusive, continuing jurisdiction and no evidence supported the Georgia court’s finding that the mother no longer resided in Kansas. The Court also held that the trial court did not err in denying the mother’s motion for attorneys’ fees pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 19-9-68, as the Georgia court’s improper invocation of subject matter jurisdiction was due to its own error, not the allegedly unjustifiable conduct of the father; mother was not entitled to attorneys’ fees under O.C.G.A. § 19-9-92 either, as that provision applies only to enforcement proceedings.

Custody Subject Matter Jurisdiction.  For more information about this case see:  Delgado v. Combs, A11A1948 (02/29/12).

Fulton County Daily Report, March 9, 2012.

If you have questions about Custody Subject Matter Jurisdiction, a divorce settlement agreement, contempt, or if you considering filing a divorce, please contact the Remboldt Law Firm, LLC at 404-348-4081 for a free phone consultation.

Attorney Fees in Divorce Case

scalesAttorney Fees in Divorce Case – As a family law attorney a common question asked by my clients is can I get my attorney fees paid by the other party in a divorce?  The answer is sometimes, but I never suggest my client expect that the attorney fees in divorce case are paid by the other party.  Your attorney will have several statues of which may help you obtain attorney fees they are:

O.C.G.A § 19-6-2 applies only to cases involving alimony, divorce and alimony, or contempt of Court arising out of alimony or divorce and alimony cases, which have issues, such as those of property division, child custody and child visitation.    Generally speaking, if attorney fees are requested in a contempt action, a finding of contempt must be authorized to receive a property award of attorney’s fees.

O.C.G.A § 19-6-19 applies only to alimony modification actions and provides that an award of attorney’s fees may be available to the prevailing party “as the interest of justice may require”.

O.C.G.A § 19-6-22 applies in cases where the a person who is defending against alimony an alimony modification action.

O.C.G.A § 19-9-3(g) applies to cases where child custody is the issue, and may be used by the court to award fees and expenses for experts and a guardian ad litem as well as other costs (in addition to attorney fees).

O.C.G.A § 9-15-14.  applies to cases where a party was “substantially frivolous, substantially groundless, or substantially vexation, or was brought for purpose of “delay or harassment”.

If you have questions about attorney fees in divorce cases, you should discuss your particular concerns early in your case with your lawyer.  A lawyer will discuss your objectives and concerns to see if an award of attorney fees is a realistic goal and makes sense for you.

Attorney Fees in Divorce Case – For information about attorney fees – contact the Remboldt Law Firm for a free consultation at 404-348-4081.

Attorney’s Fees Reduced from Alimony Payment

shutterstock_282421103Attorney’s Fees Reduced from Alimony Payment.  On Cross-Contempts Court Impermissibly Orders Payment Of Awarded Attorney’s Fees Reduced from Alimony Payment

Here are the facts of the case.  The Husband was awarded attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation (including costs associated with testimony of co-parenting counselor).  The Court impermissibly allowed the Husband to reduce his alimony payments by a specified monthly amount until the attorney’s fees and expenses were paid in full. However, the court of appeals held that this was not allowed.  The Court found that “after decree of alimony has become absolute, there is no authority given under the law by which a trial court may abrogate or modify the obligation imposed by the decree, unless such a right has been reserved by consent of the parties in the final decree itself, or an action is brought as provided under [statutory law].”  Therefore the Husband should not have been able to reduce his alimony payments by any amount until the attorney’s fees and expenses had been paid.

For more information about attorney’s fees reduced from alimony payment see the Georgia case Bowerman v. Bowerman, 314 Ga. App. 487 (March 1, 2012).

If you have questions about a attorney’s fees reduced from alimony payment or if you are considering filing a divorce or have questions about your divorce matter, please contact the Remboldt Law Firm, LLC at 404-348-4081 for a free phone consultation.

Contempt attorney fees and expenses for family therapist.

Divorce TopicsContempt Attorney Fees and Expenses for Family Therapist: In this contempt action following entry of Dr. Scott Bowerman and Melissa Bowerman’s divorce and custody decree and subsequent related orders, the Court of Appeals reversed the grant of $5.8K in attorneys’ fees and expenses to Dr. Bowerman and the award of $3.4K in reimbursement for Dr. Bowerman’s payments to Susan Boyan, a licensed marriage and family therapist, holding that the trial court grievously erred in making such an award, since it ordered that Dr. Bowerman ‘ “[m]ay deduct the total amount, $9,200.00 from the payment of periodic alimony [$10,000 per month] at the rate of $1,500.00 per month,” ’ since, ‘ “after a decree for permanent alimony has become absolute, there is no authority given under the law by which a trial court is empowered to abrogate or modify the obligation imposed by the decree, unless such a right has been reserved by consent of the parties in the final decree itself, or an action is brought as provided under” ’ OCGA § § 19-6-18 through 19-6-25.

However, the Court rejected Melissa Bowerman’s contention that the trial court erred in finding her in contempt ‘ “by failing to articulate which specific provision of any prior order” ’ she had violated, since the trial court’s various orders incorporated the terms of the parties’ agreements, which included very specific, all-encompassing requirements, including express language of commands directed at both parties. The Court also held that the lack of a transcript prevented the trial court from reviewing Melissa Bowerman’s second and sixth enumerations of error and prevented Melissa Bowerman from showing harm from any alleged error in the trial court’s modification of summer visitation. Next, the record belied Melissa Bowerman’s contention that the trial court made any modification to the order granting equal rights to the parties, unless they are unable to agree regarding healthcare. Finally, the trial court’s order requiring Dr. Bowerman and his daughter to enter into counseling did not alter legal custody, and the Court declined to consider the daughter’s affidavit, since she did not testify at the contempt hearing, denying her father the right to cross-examine her.

For more information about the facts of this case, see:  Bowerman v. Bowerman, A11A1895 (03/01/12)

Fulton County Daily Report, March 16, 2012

If you have questions about a divorce settlement agreement, contempt, or if you considering filing a divorce, please contact the Remboldt Law Firm, LLC at 404-348-4081 for a free phone consultation.

GA Supreme Court partially reversed the order retroactively extinguishing alimony obligation.

The Supreme Court partially reversed the order retroactively extinguishing William Branham’s alimony obligation to his former wife Jenny Nicholson f/k/a Branham, holding that the trial court’s order vitiated the finality of the judgment obtained as to each past due installment and was therefore clearly contrary to the rule set forth in Hendrix v. Stone, 261 Ga. 874 (1992). However, the Court affirmed that portion of the order providing that each party would be responsible for his or her own attorneys’ fees, holding that Nicholson waived her right to challenge the order under O.C.G.A. § 19-6-19 (b), where she acquiesced in the trial court’s ruling, never requested attorneys’ fees and failed to provide any evidence supporting a claim for attorneys’ fees.

Branham v. Branham, S11A1896 (01/09/12)

Fulton County Daily Report, January 13, 2012

GA grant of $2.5K in attorneys’ fees to mother, vacated, as trial court’s order failed to specify any basis for award.

Judgment of father’s petition for legitimation and visitation, partially vacated; absent transcript, record presumably supported trial court’s findings that custody and visitation decision was in child’s best interest, and evidence presumably supported trial court’s findings regarding child support; grant of $2.5K in attorneys’ fees to mother, vacated, and case remanded, as trial court’s order failed to specify any basis for award.

Charlot v. Goldwire, A11A0684 (07/01/11)

Fulton County Daily Report, July 22, 2011

 

Wife in Contempt of Temporary Order

Trial court’s final judgment of divorce and order holding wife in contempt of temporary order, AFFIRMED;  evidence of parties’ assets as well trial court’s statement that it did not find wife’s testimony credible showed that trial court did not abuse its discretion in dividing marital property; trial court did not err in failing to award wife attorneys’ fees because record showed that trial court properly considered relative financial positions of parties; wife’s argument that trial court erred at conclusion of trial in ordering her to pay $76K balance on line of credit she took out on parties’ marital residence because she had no notice that such order would be issued, REJECTED, as trial court informed parties that it was considering such order, and line of credit was significant part of trial; wife’s argument that trial court could not issue such order because order prohibiting-her from taking out line of credit in first place was part of former divorce action which was subsequently dismissed, also rejected; even if trial court erred by referring to prior order, trial court had discretion to issue current order because it heard evidence that wife had been dissipating significant marital asset without notice to husband; trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding, despite her testimony to contrary, that wife had ability to pay remaining $8K of the 76K ordered by trial court and holding her in contempt for failure to do so; trial court did not err in denying wife’s motion for findings of fact and conclusion of law because wife moved for findings of fact after entry of judgment, and case was not so complex as to make appellate review impossible without specific findings.

Hunter v. Hunter, S10F1792 (03/25/11).

Fulton County Daily Report (April 8, 2011)

GA Father Fails To Show Court Made Deviation.

Award of attorneys’ fees to mother, VACATED, and case remanded, but order establishing child custody, visitation and support, AFFIRMED; trial court did not err in failing to make findings of fact regarding alleged deviation based on zero income of mother because father failed to show that trial court made deviation that required findings of fact; trial court’s determination that mother had no monthly gross income and its decision to omit from Schedule D father’s cost of health insurance premiums, assumed correct, because father failed to include transcript of hearing in record on appeal, and father made no assertion that he was aggrieved by fact that Schedule D failed to set forth any amount for insurance premiums; trial court did not err in failing to make findings of fact with respect to adjustment for mother’s work related child care costs because evidence did not show that adjustment was deviation; finally, as mother conceded, trial court erred by failing to make findings of fact sufficient to support its award of attorney’s fees.

Kennedy v. Kennedy, A11A0427 (05/16/2011).

From:  Fulton County Daily Report (06/3/2011)