Tag Archives: attorney’s 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.

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 Modification of Child Custody

Order granting father’s petition to modify child custody rights awarded to mother in parties’ prior divorce decree, PARTIALLY REVERSED; mother’s claim of error in trial court’s custody award, DISMISSED, as child turned 18 shortly after instant appeal was docketed; trial court ERRED to extent that it required mother to pay child support pursuant to OCGA 19-6-15 (e), with no limit as to age, because financial assistance after child reaches age of majority but is still in secondary school is only required until child reaches age 20; trial court’s award of attorneys’ fees to father, VACATED and case remanded, because original award of attorneys’ fees failed to include statutory basis for award of findings authorized award, and no evidence showed that mother received proper notice or opportunity for hearing.

Francis-Rolle v. Harvey, A11A0357 (05/05/11)

From:  Fulton County Daily Report, May 20, 2011

GA Child Support, Divorce, Settlement Agreement, Civil Contempt, Attorneys’ Fees, Expenses of Litigation

Judgement modifying final divorce REVERSED, as trial court erred in modifying decree in order that each ‘ “party shall pay fifity percent of all reasonable medical expenses not covered by the minor child’s medical insurance’ ” since parties settlement agreement specifically expressed that father was to be responsible and pay for all reaonable and necessary uninsured medical, dental and orthodontic expenses; trial court did not err in refusing to find father in contempt of his obligation under settlement agreement to provide health insurance for child, since trial court did not declare that obligation to provide health insurance did not exist or purport to relieve father of that obligation; trial court erred infailing to find father in contempt for failing to pay child support and to impose sanctions, since father admitted on cross examination that his counsel stipulated to amount of his arrearages and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (“UIFSA”) did not deprive trial court of jurisdiciton over that matter as UIFSA provides that tribunal in Georgia issuing suppport order has continuing jurisdicion with respect to modificaiton of child support orders where, as here, mother and child reside in Georgia and no evidence exists that parties have filed written consents to allow another state’s tribunal to assume continuing exclusive jurisdiction; trial court erred in ruling that father was not in contempt for failing to comply with obligation to refinance 1998 Jeep Cherokee, resulting in mother being liable for 15K in outstnding debt; trial court should address issue on remand that father was in contempt for failing to comply with privision requireing him to pay mother’s divorce attorney $3,750 in attorney’s fees; trial court erred in ruling that father was not in contempt for violating privision in settlement requireing him to maintian life insurance coverage in the amount of 130K; trail court should address on remand mother’s contention that father should be held in contempt for failing to pay $228.60 of child’s uninsured medical expenses; trial court did not err in ruling that father was not in contempt for violating his  obligation to provide medial and dental insurance for child; trial court did not err in finding mother in contempt of decree for severing telephonic communication between father and child; case remanded for futher proceedings reguarding denial of mother’smotion for attorney’s fees under O.C.G.A. § 19-6-2.

Baars v. Freeman, S10A1779

From:  Fulton County Daily Report, April 1, 2011

Judgment increasing mother’s child support obligation, REVERSED, as trial court erred in modifying it without finding substantial change in mother’s income.

Judgment increasing mother’s child support obligation, REVERSED, as trial court erred in modifying it without finding substantial change in mother’s income, since entry of final divorce decree; mother’s monthly income has decreased from $2.1K to $0, due to her decision to become a stay-at-home mother to her child from her new marriage, even if trial court correctly disregarded voluntary reduction in mother’s income, evidence did not show increase in mother’s income in 2 1/2 years since her divorce, and neither party presented evidence of mother’s husband’s income; trial court erred in awarding attorney’s fees to father under OCGA 19-9-3(g) and 19-6-15(K)(5), since father was not prevailing party, in light of fact that evidence did not support increase in child support award; evidnece did not support attorneys’ fee award under any statute, in any event, as father did not provide his attorney’s actual costs or reasonableness of those costs; trial court used correct standard of whether this was material change in condition affecting children’s well being in ruling that evidence supporte denial of mother’s petition for modification of custody; mother failed to show that father’s mother’s home was inadequate for their children, that father’s late shifts at work materially affected children’s welfare, or that allowing their daughter to finish out last six wweeks of her school year at her previous school, after father moved with children to his mother’s home, adversely affected her well-being.

Harris v. Williams, A10A0294 (06/11-2010), 10 FCDR 1918.

From:  Fulton County Daily Report (06/25/2010)

GA trial court DID NOT abuse its discretion in awarding wife $50K in lump sum alimony, since evidence supported trial court’s findings regarding husband’s income level.

Judgment AFFIRMED in parties’ divorce action; trial court DID NOT abuse its discretion in awarding wife $50K in lump sum alimony, since evidence supported trial court’s findings regarding husband’s income level; trial court DID NOT abuse its discretion in determining that home in Tattnall county was wife’s separate property, since husband quitclaimed any interest he had in property to wife prior to their second marriage; trial court DID NOT abuse its discretion in awarding wife her retirement account, given trial court’s diligent separation of parties’ assets and overall asset distribution; trial court DID NOT err in calculating child support; evidence of husband’s adulterous acts during parties’ second marriage revived his prior acts during their first marriage as admissible evidence; trial court DID NOT abuse its discretion in awarding wife attorneys’ fees; husband had reasonable notice that trial court would consider wife’s contempt claims based on unpaid child support at divorce trial.

Wood v. Wood, S07F1474 (01/08/08), 08 FCDR 66

From:  Fulton County Daily Report (01/25/08)

GA trial court is not required to factor children’s private school tuition into its child support calculations.

Judgment AFFIRMED in parties’ divorce case; trial court was not required to factor children’s private school tuition into its child support calculations and was not required to explain its decision in that regard, since it did not deviate from child support obligation table; trial court DID NOT ERR in failing to include dates for payment of modified child support payments in its temporary modification order, since original dates for payments, 15th and 30th day of each month, remained in effect, through final judgment, which changed payment dates to 1st and 15th day of each month; trial court acted within its broad discretion in setting amount and terms of payment of any attorney’s fee awards; trial court acted within its discretion in requiring wife to pay children’s heath insurance premiums through her employer-sponsored heath care plan.

Johnson v. Johnson, S08F1251 (09/22/08), 08 FCDR 2935.

From:  Fulton County Daily Report (10/03/08)