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Froehlich v. Froehlich

Supreme Court of Georgia

July 13, 2015

FROEHLICH
v.
FROEHLICH

Domestic relations. Effingham Superior Court. Before Judge Woodrum.

Dozier & Hillis, Dennis G. Dozier, Sr., Bethany M. Hillis, for appellant.

Johnson, Kraeuter & Dunn, Jonathan V. Dunn, for appellee.

OPINION

Page 535

Nahmias, Justice.

Tigh Froehlich (Husband) appeals the trial court's order holding him in contempt of the parties' divorce decree and a later order approving a modified parenting plan. Husband challenges four of the court's five findings of willful violations of the prior court orders. He also contends that the court impermissibly modified the divorce decree in the contempt proceeding by ordering him to transfer to Deirdre Froehlich (Wife) half of his accumulated Marriott hotel loyalty program points, which the decree awarded to her; requiring him to make an accounting of the points prior to the transfer; and obligating him to provide an annual accounting of the points he [297 Ga. 552] accumulates in the future before transferring Wife's share of the points to her. Finally, Husband claims that in light of these alleged errors, the trial court erred in awarding Wife $7,468.33 in attorney fees. We affirm.

1. The parties married in 1996 and were divorced on December 5, 2011. They have two minor children. As relevant here, the divorce decree, which incorporated the parties' separation agreement, gave them joint legal custody of the children, designated Wife as the primary physical custodian, and established a visitation schedule; required Husband to maintain health insurance for the children and to supply Wife with health insurance cards for them; said that major decisions regarding the children would be made jointly by the parties, but specified that " [a]ll disagreements shall result in the primary custodial parent [i.e., Wife] making the decision" ; and stated that both parties would " execute all documents, perform all acts, and do all things necessary to transfer any of the

Page 536

assets, or to effectuate any of the provisions and conditions set forth herein, if any are necessary."

The divorce decree required Husband, a Gulfstream Aerospace flight engineer who travels out-of-state or abroad for work for roughly half of each year, to " transfer or otherwise make available for use by [Wife] ... one half of the Marriot[t] points accumulated, (currently 540,419), so long as they are accumulated." Wife also received " sole title and exclusive possession" of the marital home. On December 15, 2011, the parties signed a post-marital agreement that allowed Husband to temporarily store his tools and miscellaneous items in a shed adjacent to the marital residence but required him to notify Wife in advance when he wanted to access his things, except in unusual circumstances and after attempting proper notice.

On June 26, 2013, the trial court entered a modified parenting plan order incorporating the parties' agreement to a modified plan. In addition to a new visitation provision addressing Husband's uncertain work schedule, the order continued joint legal custody, which the order explained

contemplates that the parties will consult with each other concerning matters affecting the health, education and welfare of the minor children, including, but not limited to[,] choice of schools and education, summer camps, daycare, medical and dental treatment, treatment and/or counseling for emotional and behavioral problems and religious training.

The order said that Wife would remain the primary physical custodian and again specified that she would be the " tiebreaker" in the event of any disagreements between the parties.

[297 Ga. 553] On January 14, 2014, Wife filed a motion for contempt, which she amended twice. The trial court held a three-day evidentiary hearing on May 28-30, 2014, at which both parties testified and introduced documentary evidence. On June 5, 2014, the court entered an order finding that Husband willfully violated the divorce decree by not furnishing Wife with health insurance cards for the children; entering the marital residence without Wife's permission; and failing to transfer or otherwise make available for use by Wife one-half of all his accumulated Marriott points by placing unnecessary and restrictive conditions not contained in the divorce decree on her use and enjoyment of the points. The court also found that Husband willfully violated the modified parenting plan order by refusing to confer and consult with Wife concerning all major ...


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