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May 2019 Archives

Racial attitudes toward police differ sharply

Black and white Americans in Georgia and across the country have very different experiences with and perceptions of the criminal justice system, as explored in a survey by the Pew Research Center. While a majority of both black and white adults agree that black people are mistreated in the system and subjected to discrimination, their own experiences are sharply different and their understanding of the importance of the issue often varies greatly. While 87% of black respondents said that in general, blacks are treated less fairly in the justice system at all levels, 61% of whites said the same.

Co-parenting advice for navigating the teenage years

Divorced parents in Georgia might feel like the pressure to communicate and coordinate activities for their children eases with the arrival of the teenage years. Growing independence among the children, especially if they are driving, could cause parents to drift into ineffective parenting behaviors like relying on teens to relay messages to the other co-parent. They might also assume that the other parent knows what their kids are doing.

More than 300 properties impacted by eminent domain

One of the most common reasons the government uses eminent domain is to improve and expand transportation "for the greater good." President Eisenhower's National Highway System that connects the country would not have worked without eminent domain. And most people take highways for granted as an easy way of travel.

Excessive property tax assessments could be open to challenge

Owners of both residential or commercial real estate in Georgia have a strong interest in making sure that their property tax bills represent a fair assessment. Your tax bill could be inflated for a number of reasons. A simple clerical error at a taxing agency could cost you thousands of dollars. Other issues that might skew your assessment toward a higher value include an out-of-date market analysis or improper calculations by a taxing authority.

Zoning laws restrict land use

Landowners in Georgia are restricted regarding what they can do with their land by zoning laws. If the zoning of a particular piece of land is not consistent with the uses the landowner wants to put it to, he or she might apply for a change of zoning. Rules and regulations vary by jurisdiction, but there is usually an application and fee, and then there could be a hearing during which the landowner sets forth the request and the reasons behind it.

Insurance needs could change after a divorce

Georgia residents who are married may be on the same health or life insurance policies. However, when they split, one spouse may find that he or she no longer has health insurance. Therefore, it will be necessary to either take part in the COBRA program or buy a policy through the Affordable Care Act. Those who choose to participate in COBRA will pay both their share and the employer's share of the plan premium.

Lying to oneself in order to postpone estate planning

Georgia residents are good at procrastinating when it comes to estate planning. After all, planning for one's death isn't the most pleasant thing to do. Some people dread it so much that they tell themselves lies in order to postpone the process. For instance, someone might convince him or herself that planning for his or her death will cause it to happen. Although everyone will die at some point, it isn't necessarily because they executed a will.

How serious is shoplifting?

Shoplifting is one of the more common types of theft across the country. Many people may have thought about pocketing a small item from a store from time to time. It may not seem like a big deal to steal something worth less than ten dollars.

Tips for choosing a trustee

Some people in Georgia who are creating an estate plan might want to consider using a trust. A trust can offer a number of benefits, including protecting assets in case of a divorce or against creditors. Shares from a family business can be placed in a trust where they can provide income to beneficiaries without giving them voting rights. Instead, the trustee has voting rights, and this can prevent beneficiaries from voting only in their own self-interest.

Marital earning disparities can lead to challenges

Despite the fact that many Georgia couples are dual earners, with both partners committed to advancing their careers, some reports indicate that relationships where the husband earns less than the wife may be more likely to run into problems. Around 38 percent of wives across the country earn a higher salary than their husbands, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Interestingly, research also indicates that these couples are likely to underestimate the wife's earnings and overestimate the husband's when answering surveys.

Breath-testing equipment could be influenced by low-carb diets

Diets that are extremely low in carbohydrates have become an extremely popular weight loss option in Georgia and around the country in recent years. They work by forcing the body to deplete its glucose stores so that energy is provided by burning fat directly. This metabolic condition is known as ketosis, and some experts say that it can influence breath test results. The claim has been made because the liver produces acetone when it burns fat and isopropyl alcohol is a byproduct of this process.

The obligations custodial parents have to others

Those who serve as custodial parents in Georgia or any other state must ensure that they are putting their child's needs first. Typically, this means creating a parenting plan that allows the noncustodial parent to have a relationship with their son or daughter. If necessary, a judge will create a visitation schedule that is convenient for all parties. A custodial parent should notify the other parent if changes to a plan need to be made.

Supreme Court hears arguments on extra penalties for felons

People with criminal records in Georgia and across the country can face additional penalties for a range of other actions. For example, people who were formerly convicted of a felony offense would face additional penalties for carrying a weapon. These penalties can also apply in other circumstances; in the firearms example, people who were in the country illegally could also face additional penalties for possessing a firearm. There are questions, however, about what the accused person is required to know about his or her status.

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