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Georgia Family Law Case Update – Contempt, Modification, Child Support, Health Care, and Attorney’s Fees

The Georgia Supreme Court issued an order today in Pineres v. George, S08A0773, which has several implications for Georgia law. First, it held that a trial judge has no authority in a contempt proceeding to modify the obligations imposed by a divorce decree. Second, the Georgia Supreme Court held that medical expenses constitute a form a child support.

Of note in this case, the modification being sought was in regards to the psychological expenses for the minor child and there had previously been a petition for modification of child support made less than two years ago. Because Georgia law prohibits a modification of child support less than two years after an order on a previous modification petition by the same spouse, it upheld an awarded of frivolous litigation fees under O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14 against the spouse that was now seeking to modify the amount of medical expenses that they had to pay.

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