Court properly ordered husband to pay car payments on minor child’s vehicle as it was marital debt, not child support

Partridge v. Partridge, S15F0039

Supreme Court of Georgia, Civil Case (6/1/2015, 6/9/2015)

The trial court properly ordered husband to pay the car payments on the minor child’s vehicle as part of its final decree in the parties’ divorce, since husband and wife were joint obligors on the indebtedness owed on the car and it was therefore marital debt.

The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s final judgment in James Partridge and Bridget Partridge’s divorce, holding that the trial court properly ordered James to pay Bridget alimony. James argued that Bridget affirmatively waived any right to collect alimony in light of her testimony at the final hearing that she did not want alimony. However, the statements James cited did not represent the totality of Bridget’s testimony regarding alimony, and to the extent her testimony could be viewed as conflicting, such conflicts were for the trial court to resolve. The Court also found that the trial court properly ordered James to pay the car payments on James and Bridget’s minor child’s vehicle. He argued that the payments constituted an improper deviation from the amount of child support that he was legally required to pay. However, his characterization of the car payments as “child support” was misplaced. James and Bridget were joint obligors on the indebtedness owed on the car and that marital debt could be properly addressed by the trial court through its equitable division of the parties’ marital property.

As published by The Daily Report, 190 Pryor St. Atlanta, GA 30303 on 6/9/15.