Horton v. Horton, S10F0827
*All courts mentioned are at the state level.
- Husband and Wife were divorced pursuant to a Total Judgment and Decree of Divorce entered on June 5, 2009.
- During the trial of the case, the trial court refused to allow Wife to introduce evidence of a Temporary Order that had been entered in the divorce action on February 15, 2007.
- Wife contends that evidence of the Temporary Order should have been admitted at trial to show how much marital property was being depleted during the time period that the temporary order was in force.
- The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that the issue raised by Wife is controlled by McEachern v. McEachern, 260 Ga. 320, 394 S.E.2d 92 (1990), which states, “Evidence of post-separation support payments is not admissible unless the court determines that the evidence should be admitted for impeachment purposes to prevent a party’s perpetrating a fraud upon the court.”
- Here, the parties had agreed to the terms of the Temporary Order, and there was no allegation that evidence of the Temporary Order was necessary for impeachment purposes at trial to prevent Husband from perpetrating fraud upon the court.
- The Supreme Court pointed out that although Wife may have felt the temporary agreement left her at an economic disadvantage with respect to the parties’ division of property, and evidence of the Temporary Order may have been relevant to her claim at trial, “relevant evidence may be excluded if its probative value is outweighed by certain risks.” McEachern, at 322.
- As such, the trial court correctly excluded evidence of the Temporary Order during the parties trial.
- Maxine Hardy for appellant
- Kice H. Stone for appellee
- Robert M. Mock, Jr. for appellee
Marion Superior Court; Judge Frank J. Jordan