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December 2019 Archives

The start of a new year is busy for family law issues and divorce

Divorce and other family law issues can happen at any time of year in Georgia and across the U.S. However, research indicates that certain months have a higher chance of people deciding to get a divorce and move on from a marriage. According to legal professionals, January is "Divorce Month," the resulting aftermath of the holiday season.

"Knives Out" film reflects real estate planning challenges

People in Georgia have been enjoying the hit film "Knives Out," featuring well-known stars and a fun mystery plot. At the same time, the film has raised questions for many about estate planning, as the plot of the film revolves around the death of an elderly man who changed his will shortly before. While the film is entirely fictional, some of the concepts raised by the characters involve real issues that can affect estate planning for everyone. In "Knives Out," one dramatic scene involves the dead patriarch's will being read out by an estate attorney; in real life, there is no "reading of the will." Instead, the document is presented to a probate court.

What to do when asked to sign a prenup or cohabitation agreement

It's not unheard of for a Georgia resident to ask a boyfriend or girlfriend to sign a cohabitation agreement before they move into their house or apartment. Some cohabitation agreements say that the partner signing the document will be left with nothing financially should the relationship end in divorce.

Critics say the SOFA Act would harm minority communities

Violent crime rates soared in Georgia and around the country in the 1980s and 1990s because of a new and highly addictive form of cocaine known as crack, and Congress responded by passing tough sentencing laws that led to the mass incarceration of African Americans. The country now faces a new drug menace in the form of powerful opioids that are linked to a nationwide overdose crisis, and Congress is, again, being urged to respond with harsh new laws.

Planning for life after divorce

Ideally, a Georgia resident who is going through a divorce will consult with both an attorney and a financial planner. This may make it easier to determine how assets may be split, how to create a new budget and how to save for retirement. A financial adviser may also be able to help a person learn more about the tax implications of splitting a retirement account or other martial assets.

What does a business contract need to be enforceable?

When you are setting up your business, one of the most important aspects of protecting your business interests is to have solid contracts. These contracts can include everything from buy and sell contracts, purchase orders and work contracts to employee contracts and product warranties. They all are used to set up an agreement between one party and another.

Two-thirds of Americans do not have health care directives

A study performed in 2017 revealed that about two-thirds of Americans are missing an important estate planning document. Georgia residents may be interested in learning about a health care directive and why it is so important that individuals have one.

Is an oral contract a good idea?

In any business, a contract can help protect you or your business. Contracts set up terms and lay out expectations and provisions for everyone involved, holding each party responsible for their end. Depending on your business, you’ll need to assess what type of contract is best for you. And while there are a number of types to choose from, it’s important to know whether or not an oral contract will suffice.

Multiple trusts aren't always worth having

In Georgia and most other states, it is generally not possible to create more than one will at a time. When a second will is created, the first one is usually invalidated. However, it is possible to have more than one trust at a time, but individuals must decide if it is necessary to have multiple trusts. Technically, a trust is simply amended whenever an individual decides to make changes to it.

Estate plans that disinherit spouses or children

Most Georgia residents who put an estate plan into place do so to ensure that their loved ones will be provided for when they pass away, but this is not always the case. Not all family relationships are warm and loving, and there are situations where individuals would prefer to pass their assets to charitable organizations or friends rather than their spouses and children.

Racial disparity in jails and prisons narrows

According to a survey from the Council on Criminal Justice, the racial gap in jails and state prisons in Georgia and across the country has narrowed since 2000. The racial gap among those on parole or on probation has also narrowed since then. In that 2000, black people were 15 times more likely to be in a state prison because of a conviction for a drug crime than white people. However, by 2016, they were only five times more likely to be in a state prison compared to white inmates.

Visitation rights are enforceable

When a Georgia couple with children begins experiencing marital difficulties, it is not unusual to have conversations about staying together for the sake of the kids. Even after divorce, however, the couple will soon realize that divorced parents of children will be tied together forever, most particularly when the kids are minors. No matter what the nature of the relationship between the exes is, one parent cannot deny the other visitation for frivolous or other non-serious reasons.

Steps to take when resolving international child custody disputes

It is easier now more than ever to build relationships with individuals from other countries. This means that international marriages are increasing. With the increasing number of international marriages comes the increase in international child custody disputes. A Georgia resident who is engaged in this type of dispute or fears that their ex-spouse will take their children out of the country needs to understand how child custody statutes and laws work and how they can protect their children.

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