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July 2019 Archives

Be mindful of social media during divorce

When a Georgia couple has made the decision to end their marriage and initiate divorce proceedings, it is natural that they begin putting their old lives behind them and start planning for the future. For many, the split may have been a long time coming and the path arduous. Nonetheless, it is important to stay focused on the picture as the legal process of the divorce progresses through the courts. Without consciously intending to do so, it can be easy to create unnecessary problems and delays by careless comments or posts.

Researchers examine ways to predict eyewitness accuracy

When a crime occurs in Georgia, in some cases, law enforcement will ask a witness to choose a suspect from a lineup. This may be from photos, or it might be a physical lineup. While a number of people have been convicted using eyewitness testimony as the strongest evidence, organizations such as the Innocence Project have cast doubt on its reliability.

Buying a home while owing back child support

Those who are looking to buy a home in Georgia may have trouble doing so if they owe back child support. This is because it represents a debt that a lender will take into account when making a loan decision. Furthermore, failing to pay child support on time could have negative consequences for a person's credit score and history. However, changes to reporting rules may mean that a back child support obligation doesn't appear on an applicant's credit report at all.

What to do to get ready for a child custody case

When parents in Georgia decide to separate or divorce, they need to come to an agreement regarding child custody, which can be quite stressful. This is especially true when ex-spouses do not get along well or have difficulty reaching an understanding about a parenting plan. In these cases, it may be up to the family court to decide how custody is managed. This is also true for people who have already been separated for some time but want to consider a change in the custody schedule. An increasing number of family court judges favor joint custody as it has been shown to lead to overall improved outcomes for children.

When a simple will isn't enough

Some younger adults in Georgia like to keep things simple, even when it comes to estate planning. They often believe a basic will is all they need to determine who gets what after they pass. But when children come into the picture, younger adults are often encouraged to consider exploring their options with trusts.

Poor people trapped with escalating fees and fines

Dealing with the criminal justice system in Georgia can have a serious effect on anyone's life regardless of their financial situation. However, the damage can be particularly pronounced for impoverished people who face escalating debts and punishments as a result of court fees and citations. Across the country, a growing number of states, counties and municipalities are turning to court costs, debt collection and hefty fines to finance their overall budgets. Rather than raising local taxes, these areas are paying for services through potentially excessive fines for a range of minor infractions.

Wedding debt could predict early divorce

Planning and celebrating the perfect wedding could be quite expensive. Many Georgia couples gladly take on debt to pay for it. Unfortunately, spending more than they can afford may be a predictor of divorce. A new study by LendingTree found that nearly half of all couples between the ages of 18 and 53 take on debt to pay for their wedding expenses. Almost half of them contemplated divorce in the first two years of marriage.

Zoning legislation targets commercial party houses

Some Georgia officials are debating how to handle "party houses" and the potential disruptions that they may provoke in residential neighborhoods. The mayor of Atlanta and a member of the Buckhead city council are calling for a revised process for issuing permits to the commercially-rented properties. The calls are coming after a public controversy about a number of events that have taken place at one party mansion on Garmon Road, sparking complaints about noise and crowds from neighbors. The proposed bill would bar the establishment of "party houses" as commercial operations in neighborhoods zoned for residential use.

Traffic and criminal violations affect your CDL qualification

Your Certified Driver’s License (CDL) is your lifeline – the certification that allows you to put food on the table as a commercial driver. While driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), commercial driver’s must obey the rules of the road – some of which can be even more strict than the standard driver. From alcohol to leaving the scene of an accident or other serious traffic offenses, there are many ways for one to lose their CDL qualification.

Trust basics

A trust is just one of the legal documents that Georgia residents should include in their estate plan. It is a legal agreement in which a trustee agrees to receive, safeguard and manage the assets provided by a settlor. The trustee also agrees to handle the assets in a manner that complies with the settlor's instructions and to properly distribute any income and principal from the trust.

Studies examine racial bias in risk assessment tools

After a person in Georgia is taken into custody in relation to a crime, that person may then appear before a judge who decides whether the person should be released or kept in jail until the trial. There have long been concerns that racial bias plays a part in an assumption that black defendants are more likely than white ones to be repeat offenders. In response, some districts nationwide have introduced algorithms that are supposed to help judges make this decision without bias. However, some critics say that because the algorithms themselves are based on a system that is full of bias, they may still result in unfair assessments.

The problems with DIY estate planning

Georgia residents may be tempted to create an estate plan on their own. While it may save time and money today, it may cause problems transferring assets or meeting other goals in the future. In many cases, estate planning errors cannot be remedied without court approval after a person dies. Therefore, beneficiaries may have to spend time and money obtaining what the deceased individual intended for them to have.

Rapper ordered to pay $11,000 per month in child support

Hip-hop music fans in Georgia and around the country likely know Dimitri Roger by his stage name Rich The Kid. The 26-year-old rapper is being sued by his former landlord's attorney for posting her telephone number on social media platforms, and he suffered another legal setback recently when a judge ordered him to pay $11,000 per month in child support to take care of his two children.

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