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Georgia Supreme Court upholds short time period for lump sum alimony and property division payments in divorce case

The Georgia Supreme Court recently upheld a short time frame for payment of lump sum alimony and property division awards in a divorce case. Wier v. Wier, 287 Ga. 443 (2010). In that case, the parties were married for nearly 20 years and, following a jury trial, the wife was awarded $200,000 as lump sum property division to be paid within 15 days, and $600,000 as lump sum alimony to be paid within 90 days. Id. The husband appealed, arguing, among other things, that he was unable to timely make the alimony and property division payments. Id.

The Georgia Supreme Court disagreed with the husband. The Court pointed out “the evidence showed that [husband] owns property valued at more than $1.6 million and his gross monthly income exceeds$16,600.” Id. Under long standing Georgia law, “a party can be required to sell or encumber property in order to pay equitable division and alimony awards.” Id.;Hollandsworth v. Hollandsworth, 242 Ga. 790 (1979). Emphasizing that the husband did not present any evidence of his inability to pay in a timely manner, the Georgia Supreme Court held that he can “sell or encumber his property, or take any other action he deems necessary, to comply with the trial court’s order.” Wier, 287 Ga. at 443.

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