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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102145
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Can a divorce settlement (in Georgia) allow for the alimony

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Can a divorce settlement (in Georgia) allow for the alimony paying spouse to reduce the alimony payment to the alimony receiving spouse by the amount of the Social Security COLA each year when the COLA is put into effect?
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

The answer is yes. However, it gets a little tricky.

COLA Clause
If you have a cost of living adjustment clause in the decree itself, then it is followed per the decree and the rise/lowering of the alimony is based on the formula in the clause. Then, there is no contest, as the matter is generally objective and the payments mirror the formula's output.

So yes, if a COLA clause exists, it is legal and is upheld by the Courts.

No COLA Clause
If there is no COLA clause, then the party does not automatically raise or lower their payments unless they informally agree.

However, either party may still petition the court to modify the payment amount based on "substantial and material change of circumstances." Shapiro v. Lipman, 377 SE 2d 673 - Ga: Supreme Court 1989. This would mean a loss of employment, lower pay, or the other party moving in with someone, remarrying, etc.

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