Oftentimes we have clients who were either unrepresented or uninformed at the time they signed a settlement agreement for their divorce. These clients may have subsequent problems collecting alimony, child support, or dividing other types of property after the ink has dried on their final decree.
Our office is able to help our divorce clients on two fronts: we consider foreseeable financial events when we draft our client’s settlement agreements and we help clients enforce prior judgments on contempt grounds.
Protecting Your Rights:
Last month, our law firm attended the Georgia Family Law Institute Seminar. Based on what we learned during the conference, we believe there are numerous changes and updates to the law which will tremendously benefit our clients.
Foremost, is the tax recapture rule. This rule applies if there is an alimony obligation that decreases by $15,000 or terminates within the first three years after payments begin. The payor spouse typically deducts theses payments on his or her income taxes, however, if these payments substantially change, he or she may be responsible for taxes on all of the payments previously deducted.
Additionally, if our client will receive alimony payments over a period of time, we make sure their former spouse is required to have life insurance to cover any unpaid alimony as a part of the settlement agreement.
Finally, an income deduction order for alimony or child support may be requested at the time of a client’s divorce.
Enforcing Your Rights:
Unpaid alimony and child support payments may also be recovered through an income deduction order (see O.C.G.A. § 19-6-32(a.1)). These rules recently changed, and we take them into consideration when strategizing with our clients.
Another option for enforcing child support against a high-income spouse is to request the court order the establishment of a trust in the event the payor spouse does not pay his or her child support in a timely matter.
These strategic decisions have a considerable impact on your case. You can rest at ease with our services as we are diligently mindful of new tactics and changes in the law which affect our clients. If you have specific questions about the above, please contact our Cumming, Georgia law office today. The information provided is for general information purposes only.
Source: Kelley O’Neill-Boswell and Sarah Kjellin, Collection For Your Client Post Divorce, Family Law Institute Program Materials (2012).