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Gainesville Georgia Legal Blog

Keeping kids safe and loved after a divorce

Georgia residents don't expect that their marriages are going to fail. However, if a marriage does come to an end, it is important to consider the impact it will have on a child. Children may believe that they were the reason why a marriage fell apart. They may also feel as if their parents are not going to be in their lives anymore since mom and dad likely won't live together anymore.

Parents should explain to their kids that they were not the reason why the divorce happened. This should be done in a tasteful way that doesn't put the child in the middle of a conflict.

Authorities continue limousine crash investigation

Some Georgia residents may have heard about a deadly limousine crash that occurred on Oct. 6 in New York. The limousine did not come to a stop at an intersection, hit a parked vehicle with no passengers in it and went into a ravine. In all, 20 people died in the accident. The limousine company owner was later taken into custody by police who allegedly said he appeared to be trying to flee and had suitcases in his car.

In March, the limousine had been taken in for inspection and cited for two instances of brake failure by the New York State Department of Transportation. In September, it was taken in a second time, and on that inspection, the DOT noted that problems from the earlier inspection were not addressed.

3 tips for a safe motorcycle ride

Riding a motorcycle is fuel efficient, typically cheaper than driving a car and just plain cool. There is nothing quite like cruising down an open stretch of highway with the wind in your face and nothing between you and the beautiful scenery of Georgia. However, these benefits also come with some significant risks. For example, a motorcycle wreck is much more likely to end in the death of the rider than most car wrecks.

While this does not mean that you should give up riding your motorcycle, it does indicate that it would be appropriate to always follow even basic motorcycle safety protocols. Here are some tips to help you stay safe on your next ride.

Estate planning to reduce conflict

Poor estate planning can often lead to unintended consequences for loved ones, including family conflicts. One of the first steps a Georgia estate owner can take in order to make this less likely is choosing the right executor.

Some families descend into conflict because they do not trust the executor, even if it is a family member. In other bad scenarios, the executor will not communicate or follow through on the necessary duties. One way to prevent this is by choosing a professional as an executor. This might be a corporate trustee or a fiduciary depending on the size of the estate. Estate owners should also make sure they have addressed what will happen to sentimental items. These can often cause the biggest fights. To avoid issues, it's wise to talk to family members about what they want.

CVSA puts nearly 12,000 trucks out of service during Roadcheck

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance continues to enforce federal safety guidelines among drivers of trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles. From September 16 to 22, it will be holding Brake Safety Week, a nationwide inspection spree. From June 5 to 7, it conducted another spree called the International Roadcheck. Truckers in Georgia should be aware of the results of this event, which took place across North America and have been released.

67,502 roadside inspections were conducted, 45,400 of which were at the most comprehensive level possible, Level I. Out-of-service orders were issued for a total of 11,897 vehicles and 2,664 drivers, amounting to 21.6 percent of trucks that underwent a Level I inspection and 3.9 percent of drivers inspected at Level I, II or III.

Lessons to be learned from Aretha Franklin's estate issues

Anyone in Georgia not aware of the many potential benefits of being proactive with estate planning can learn a lesson from the Queen of Soul. Soon after Aretha Franklin passed away after losing her battle with pancreatic cancer, it was reported that she left no will or trust in place to help determine what will happen to her estimated $80 million estate. All four of the late singer's sons have since stepped up as interested parties.

One of the reasons why an estate planning attorney often recommends advance planning is to avoid issues like the ones that may affect Franklin's estate for many years. The singer's sons have appointed her niece to act as the personal representative of the estate. Having a trust established would have expedited the distribution of Franklin's assets, eliminated the need for the probate process and kept matters private. The "Respect" singer was said to be fiercely private with her finances, so much so that she would insist on receiving cash payments for performances.

An overview of the child support process

In Georgia and any other state, a noncustodial parent is responsible for helping to raise his or her child. The husband of the baby's mother is presumed to be the child's legal father. If the child's parents aren't married, paternity needs to be established before a person can be ordered to pay child support. In some cases, a father will voluntarily acknowledge his paternity. A DNA test can also be conducted to determine the identity of a child's father.

An individual can move to establish paternity even if the other parent lives in another state or country. This can be done at any point until the child turns 23. If paternity is established, it does not necessarily mean that the child assumes his or her father's last name. However, a father can take legal action to have the child's last name changed to match his own.

Yes, you can still co-parent successfully after a Georgia divorce

Divorce is usually a time of personal upheaval. It affects your social life, your finances and your living situation. There are a variety of fears that are common for women facing divorce, including financial concerns and worry about how it will impact their children. This very serious concern is one you actually have control over.

The more contentious your divorce becomes, the harder it will be on your children emotionally. Ideally, you and your ex will take steps to mitigate the impact of the divorce on your kids. Working together to establish a healthy co-parenting relationship can reduce the strain of divorce on your children and help you focus on the positive changes coming your way.

Study finds student loan debt creating marriage strain

Student loan debts could put a serious strain on the marriages of some Georgia couples. A study by Student Loan Hero found that 13 percent of divorced borrowers said student loans caused the end of their relationship. Over a third said that student loan debt combined with other financial issues played a part. With the cost of college continuing to rise, millennials are taking on more and more debt on their education. The average debt is around $34,000, but some people owe more than $50,000.

Education debt is not the only area where millennials are struggling. Half will not make more than their parents, and more than 40 percent said that they were unable to buy a home because of debt. In another survey, over 40 percent of student loan borrowers said they fought about money with their partners. Almost 20 percent said it was OK to keep financial secrets from a partner, and nearly 25 percent said they had concealed their student loan debt from their partners.

Survey looks at surprises, fears of divorcing women

Some women in Georgia may be unprepared for the financial reality of divorce. According to a survey by the online marketplace Worthy, almost half of all women who were divorced said they had encountered unpleasant financial surprises during their divorce. Women reported their number one fear in a divorce was the difficulty of living on one income followed by the fear of what the divorce would cost.

The latter is also a common surprise for women during divorce. Women have also been surprised to learn the extent of debt in their family finances. This debt may include auto loans, student loans, the mortgage, credit card debt and more. Some women expect alimony to last longer and are surprised that they will have to go back to work outside the home. Others do not expect the high cost of health insurance or assume they can keep the family home when it is not possible.

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