Donald S. Horace is a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and a highly sought after Guardian ad Litem with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.
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Lastly, congratulations to my Atlanta Braves, the 2021 World Series Champions! Also, congratulations to the Georgia Bulldogs, the 2022 National Champions.
Recent Articles and Georgia Case Law
In Angst vs. Augustine, A20A1477, the Parties entered into a Settlement Agreement that addressed alimony payments. Under the Parties' Settlement Agreement, the Husband agreed to pay the Wife a specific monthly sum of alimony for ten years, to begin on August 1, 2017 and cease after 120 months of payment. Another provision in the Settlement Agreement stated that the Parties agreed not to waive all future rights to seek a statutory modification of alimony. The Georgia Court of Appeals reiterated in its opinion that an alimony obligation is considered lump sum if it states the exact number and the amount of the payments without limitations, conditions or statements of intent. In contrast, an obligation is considered periodic alimony where the total amount of obligation is contingent and cannot be determined at present. Only periodic alimony is subject to modification and lump sum alimony is not modifiable. Also see O.C.G.A. Section 19-6-19.
Recently, the Georgia Court of Appeals stated that the Juvenile Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over juvenile matters of dependency and permanent minor guardianship. The Superior Courts have exclusive jurisdiction to hear custody matters. A Superior Court may transfer custody matters to Juvenile Court, under O.C.G.A. Section 15-11-15(A), in which case the Juvenile Court has concurrent jurisdiction of the custody matter. A Juvenile Court does not have authority to award permanent custody without a transfer order from the Superior Court. See Kasper et. al. v. Judy Martin, et. al., A20A0244.