Category Archives: Divorce

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.

 

Temporary Divorce Hearing Georgia

Temporary Divorce Hearing GeorgiaTemporary Divorce Hearing Georgia – A temporary hearing in a divorce is very different from an ordinary civil proceeding and different rules apply. Here are some of the differences.

1. Purpose: The purpose of a temporary hearing is to establish initial financial support, for example, temporary child support, alimony, attorney fees. No other issues of the case are relevant in a temporary hearing. For more information see O.C.G.A. 19-6-3.

2. Witness Testimony: During a temporary hearing each party and only one other witness per party may present oral testimony. However, other witnesses may testify via deposition or affidavit. For more information see Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.5(A).

3. Affidavits: Witness affidavits must be served upon the opposing party or counsel no less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the hearing. For more information see Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.5(A).

4. Hearsay: The rules of evidence are only loosely applied during temporary hearings, for example the court may admit hearsay testimony. For more information see Gray v. Gray, 226 Ga. 767,768, 117 S.E.2d 575 (1970).

5. Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit.  The party seeking support must submit a DRFA within (15) days of the hearing and the other party must service theirs within (5) days of the hearing.  See Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.2.

6.  Child Support Worksheet.  If there are minor children involved in your divorce, both parties must present a child support worksheet.  Here is a link to the Georgia Child Support Worksheet.  The party requesting the worksheet must present it to the other party no later than (15) days prior to the hearing.  See Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.2.

7.  Minor Children.  Generally speaking minor children are not permitted to testify orally at the temporary hearing.  See Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.5 (B).

To prepare for a Temporary Hearing it is best to keep focused on the Judge and what he or she will need to make a decision in your favor at the Temporary Hearing.  Remember, the Judge isn’t interested in details of the divorce, only the those matters related to initial financial support, such as temporary child support, alimony, attorney fees.

For information about a Temporary Divorce Hearing Georgia, contact the Remboldt Law Firm for a free consultation at 404-348-4081.

You may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.

Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit Form

Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit FormDomestic Relations Financial Affidavit Form – In Georgia the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavits (DRFA’s) are required in all cases involving child support as stated in the Uniform Superior Court Rule 24.2.  All DRFAs must be submitted signed and under oath (notarized).  Most counties have a pre-printed version of the DRFA form on the Superior Court Circuit’s web page.  Some items to note:

  1. A party requesting a hearing must serve and file their DRFA at least 15 days prior to any hearing involving support.
  2. A party entering into court ordered mediation must serve the DRFA within 10 days prior to the mediation.
  3. A DRFA is not required to be filed or served in cases filed with completed settlement agreement.

Here’s some things to consider:

  1. Entries are for the expenses during a month.  If pay an expense weekly, multiply the expense by 4.33.
  2. Parties are often impeached (or shown to be untruthful) for inaccurate DRFA entries in an effort to reduce their credibility before the judge or jury.  Whenever possible, entries should be substantiated with financial records and/or receipts – if you must estimate, you should not on the form that it is an estimate.
  3. Assets should be disclosed even if valued at zero dollars to avoid the possible motion for new trial or motion to set aside based upon hidden assets.    For example, stock options may have a zero value as of the date of filing the divorce, but could mature into great value in the future.

Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit Form:  For more information about the Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit Form, contact the Remboldt Law Firmat 404-348-4081 for a free consultation.

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

Can I add a company to divorce proceeding?

Division of PropertyCan I add a company to divorce proceeding? Yes, in fact a company was added to a divorce proceedings in the past. A trial court has authorization to add a company to divorce proceedings in order to ensure party was afforded complete relief in equitable distribution of assets. Here’s the case:

A Wife and Husband were married in 1981. In 1988, the Husband and his two brothers formed a general partnership called SJV #1. Wife filed her divorce action in 2007. Pursuant to a Standing Order for the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit, “all parties in each divorce or domestic relations case are enjoined and restrained from selling, encumbering, contracting to sell, or otherwise disposing of … any of the property belonging to the parties” unless such a transaction is conducted in the ordinary course of business”.

In 2008, Husband and his brothers formed SJV #2, a company in which Husband held a one-third interest. In 2008 SJV #1 transferred to SJV#2 real property valued between $3.2 and $4.6 million. Wife filed a motion to add SJV#2 as a party to the pending divorce proceedings. the trial court found the SJV#2 should be added to the proceedings “not [as] an indispensable party, but [as] a party needed for a full and complete adjudication.

The Georgia Supreme Court held that the trial court was authorized to add SJV#2 as a party in order to ensure that Wife might be afforded complete relief in the case.

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 affirmed judgment in divorce case, holding that the trial court properly found that inherited funds were marital property.

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment in the parties’ divorce case, holding that the trial court properly found that the two accounts which the husband established with inherited funds were marital property, since the accounts were transformed to marital property when the husband gave the wife an ownership interest in the property by establishing the accounts in both spouses’ names. Next, the trial court correctly found that the inherited real property was marital property, as the husband directed that the property be deeded to himself and his wife as tenants in common upon inheriting the property. Further, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to give the husband all of the couple’s interest in an apartment complex, notwithstanding the husband’s initiation of a separate legal action to enforce his interest in the property and his payment of legal fees arising therefrom, where the interests in the apartment complex were bought during the marriage with marital funds, and the wife acquired a separate and distinct interest with the purchase of the property. Finally, the trial judge did not erroneously or improperly state, after the conclusion of the wife’s case-in-chief but before the husband’s presentation of evidence, that he didn’t see why it shouldn’t be decided 50-50 . . . I’ve not heard all the evidence . . . I know you haven’t had [Husband] on direct examination. But I’ve got a very good feel from this case. The record established that the judge made these statements only after the husband testified extensively as an adverse witness and the husband’s counsel thoroughly questioned the wife on cross-examination; the trial judge was only indicating the conclusion he believed the evidence supported thus far; and the prohibition against judicial comment was meant to apply to comments made in front of a jury, not comments made during a bench trial.

Shaw v. Shaw, S11F1586 (01/09/2012)

Fulton County Daily Report, January 13, 2012

GA Rights of parties after divorce is granted are based not on settlement agreement, but on judgment itself.

Trial court’s grant of summary judgment to plaintiff’s former wife and her lawyer, affirmed, on claim alleging that defendants fraudulently induced plaintiff to sign unfair settlement agreement, and that lawyer breached his fiduciary duty, since plaintiff could not sue in tort for fraud or breach of fiduciary duty without first having final divorce decree set aside; rights of parties after divorce is granted are based not settlement agreement, but on judgment itself.

Jordan v. Jordan, A11A1207 (11/15/11)

Fulton County Daily Report, December 9, 2011

GA trial court erred in finding that wife’s trade account was marital property subject to equitable division.

Judgment partially reversed in parties’ divorce case, as trial court erred in finding that wife’s trade account was marital property subject to equitable division; evidence showed that wife brought account to marriage, no marital funds were placed into account and account’s value rose or fell with market, so approximately $74K left in account at end of marriage was wife’s separate property; trial court did not err in applying source of funds rule to husband’s office property and not to $210K that wife withdrew from her trade account during marriage and placed in parties’ joint account for real estate investment, since husband’s office property was relatively static asset, which could be more easily valued, and no evidence established total amount of non-marital and marital components of joint account; trial court did not err in crediting husband’s uncontradicted testimony that he contributed $20K in premarital funds to his office; wife would not complain about trial court’s valuation of husband’s non-marital interest in office or unencumbered land adjacent to marital home after she agreed to use of county tax records to determine value of parties’ various real estate properties.

Highsmith v. Highsmith, S11F1052 (09/12/11)

Fulton County Daily Report, September 23, 2011

 

GA Settlement agreement was not incorporated in her divorce decree.

Trial court’s determination in this action in equity that petitioner failed to exercise reasonable diligence in pursuing her equitable claim, affirmed; petitioner stated that alleged settlement agreement was supposed to have been incorporated in her divorce decree, but she failed to take any action to remedy that omission for 12 years, she took no action for five years after alleged pension payments became due but were not paid, she failed to act when payments she alleged were made under agreement were reduced in amount and paid only sporadically and she waited additional two years after alleged pension payments stopped altogether to bring this action seeking equitable relief in form of constructive trust.

Davis v. Davis, A10A2195 (07/06/11)

Fulton County Daily Report, July 22, 2011

 

GA Nunc pro tunc order, affirmed, in divorce case.

Nunc pro tunc order, affirmed, in divorce case, as trial court properly used such order to cause written judgment of divorce to relate back to date of original divorce hearing and ruling; on June 1, 2000, trial court issued final divorce decree, however decree was not filed with clerk until August 1, 2002 and meanwhile parties remarried on June 25, 2000; wife again filed for divorce on June 29, 2010, and at that time, parties learned that final decree in first divorce had not been filed until 2002; wife sought to amend 2000 judgment, husband sought to dismiss 2010 petition for divorce, and trial court amended order in 2000 case by entering order nunc pro tunc to ensure that it reflected true judgment rendered—that parties were to be divorced on June 1, 2000.

Maples v. Maples, S11F0919 (07/11/11)

Fulton County Daily Report, July 22, 2011

Father submitted himself to trial court’s personal jurisdcition of Dekalb County, GA

Judgment denying father’s motion to vacate judgment of divorce AFFIRMED, and judgment modifying father’s custody order, AFFIRMED; father’s contention that divorce court lacked jurisdiction based on residency of his children, whom he alleged resided in Ethiopia when divorce was filed and when divorce decreee was issued in 2006, was moot, since trial court entered 2010 custody modificaiton and parenting plan order, it was uncontested that children and their mother resided in Dekalb county then and father submitted himself to trial court’s personal jurisdcition when he filed his cusotdy modificaiton pleading and he appeared for hearing on same; father’s contention that trial court erred in failing to make jurisdictional findings regarding children’s home state in body of 2010 custody modificaiton and parenting plan on basis that Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiciton Act generally requires such findings, rejected, since there is no such authority where, as here, trial court did not decline jurisdiciton on basis of being inconvenient forum or stay matter because of another custody action in foreign jurisdiciton.

Wondium v. Getachew, S11A0647 (05/16/2011)