Legal Question in Family Law in Georgia

Alimony Defense Rights

Hello..Can you tell me what type of personal assets are not considered (frozen) when an x-spouse attempts to collect on an alimoney judgement. As an example, my home, retirement account(CODA), auto, etc. I assume could not be part of the assets to surrender. I have paid alimony for 1.5 yrs and plan on moving to another state (N.C). Thanks

Asked on 4/12/04, 11:06 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Charles W. Field Charles W. Field, Attorney at Law
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Re: Alimony Defense Rights

Generally, any property you own is subject to being attached. You should consult with a local attorney who can review the whole situation, as well as review your divorce papers ASAP.

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4/12/04, 11:52 am
Phillip A. Strickland Law Offices
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Re: Alimony Defense Rights

Your ex-wife would be allowed to levy (seize/sale or lien) on any property that you own an undivided interest in, real property or personal property. Unless the property is exempt from levy. There is a general $5,000.00 exemption, O.C.G.A. Sec. 44-13-1, or a more generous exemption allowed in bankruptcy, O.C.G.A. Sec. 44-13-100. Section 44-13-100 also generally exempts

(2) The debtor's right to receive:

(A) A social security benefit, unemployment compensation, or a local public assistance benefit;

(B) A veteran's benefit;

(C) A disability, illness, or unemployment benefit;

(D) Alimony, support, or separate maintenance, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor;

(E) A payment under a pension, annuity, or similar plan or contract on account of illness, disability, death, age, or length of service, to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; and

(F) A payment from an individual retirement account within the meaning of Title 26 U.S.C. Section 408 to the extent reasonably necessary for the support of the debtor and any dependent of the debtor; "

You cannot, however, discharge a debt of alimony in bankruptcy. Also GA forces a bankrupt debtor to use the state exemptions, instead of making an election between the state or the federal exemptions, whichever might be better for your situation. I am not aware if North Carolina allows this election.

Also to collect an alimony judgment she would be able to garnish 50% your wages, compared to the typical rate of 25%. She could also have you incarcerated for contempt.

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4/12/04, 3:31 pm

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