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Gainesville Georgia Legal Blog

How to approach co-parenting when children are under 3 years old

Children have different needs at different ages, and this is especially true when it comes to divorce, separation and co-parenting. Many parents seem to think that younger children are able to cope with divorce better because they are unable to understand the changes in family dynamics. However, this is not necessarily the case. Young infants can notice tension in the home, and it can lead them to become increasingly stressed and display signs of separation anxiety.

If you are a parent of a child under the age of 3 and you are trying to co-parent successfully, it's important that you understand how best to approach this. By understanding more about the psychology of young children, it is likely that you will be able to gain some key insights.

Why honesty is critical before getting married

Those who live, work or own a business in Georgia may not think that a prenuptial agreement is for them. However, it is not just the rich that benefit from a custom agreement negotiated and executed before a wedding. During the divorce process, individuals are required to give detailed information about their income, expenses and assets. This information is also disclosed during the process of creating a prenuptial agreement.

Couples can save themselves a lot of time and hassle by being open and honest with each other before getting married. Another benefit to making financial disclosures before a wedding is that they take place when each side is calm and rational. Ultimately, it becomes easier to assign labels to debts and assets in a fair and reasonable manner. Once the divorce process starts, couples may feel tempted to argue over everything regardless of how petty they are being.

About financial durable powers of attorney

Georgia residents can use a power of attorney to give a trusted person or entity the authority to make financial decisions on their behalf should become unexpectedly incapacitated. If there is no power of attorney in place, their family will have to involve the courts, which can be costly, time-consuming and burdensome during a time at which they are likely to be emotionally strained.

No matter their age, all adults should complete a power of attorney. This also applies to people who are married, as there are plenty of financial transactions that can only be completed with signatures from both spouses. If there are assets that are in the name of just one spouse and there is no power of attorney in place, the other spouse will not be able to access those assets in order to handle the costs associated with the medical condition of the spouse.

Distracted driving causes more accidents than drugs, alcohol

Distracted driving is becoming a major factor in motor vehicle accidents in Georgia and across the country. According to data from the National Safety Council, an estimated 9 people die every day and 100 are injured because of accidents that were caused by distracted driving. Cellphones, voice commands, dashboard touchscreens and other in-vehicle technologies can easily distract drivers.

Experts say that distracted driving is becoming more of a factor in car accidents than drugs or alcohol. Distracted driving is especially a concern when it comes to commercial drivers. In 2016, almost 180 accidents in Georgia involved a large commercial vehicle. Though hands-free technology can help keep commercial drivers focused on the road, it still requires drivers to look away from the road briefly. Even small periods of distracted driving can cause accidents that may lead to personal injury and death.

Gathering financial documentation in a divorce

People in Georgia need to take steps to protect their investments and other finances if they are getting a divorce. In order to do this, they need to have complete documentation of those finances, including assets, debts, income and expenses.

They will need a number of documents to prepare, including tax returns, credit card statements and bank statements. Tax returns can be used to verify income. People who own shares in a business should get information about that as well, including whether any personal expenses were paid by the business. Along with the financial statements, online tools are available that can help pull information from accounts. People should be as thorough and as accurate as possible in identifying all expenses and projecting them into the future since this will be important in negotiating property division.

Helping a loved one adapt to life with a disability

Car accidents can cause devastating injuries, and many car accident victims sadly will never fully heal. It's common for those involved in car accidents to have life-long disabilities that prevent them from being able to do certain things with independence.

Suffering due to a sudden disability can be very difficult to cope with, especially for those who enjoy living life independently and actively. If you have a loved one who has recently become disabled due to a serious car accident in Gainesville, you may be wondering what support you can offer them to help them to adapt to their new life. The following are some tips to help you be better equipped to do this.

Benefiary decisions can have planning and tax consequences

It sometimes seems like a minor point to name the beneficiary when people in Georgia are setting up their individual retirement accounts. While individuals may not think it's important in the moment, failing to name a beneficiary or naming the wrong one is one of the biggest estate planning mistakes a person can make. The reason is that the family of the IRA owner can go through unnecessary stress or face unnecessary costs when there are beneficiary mistakes.

When the owner of an IRA dies without designating a beneficiary, the assets in the IRA are immediately transferred into the person's estate. In cases where a beneficiary has been properly designated, however, the IRA assets pass outside of probate. Most of the time, people list their spouses as designated beneficiaries on retirement accounts. Indeed, this is required for 401(k)s unless the spouse has made an explicit waiver in writing. With IRAs, it's up to the owner to make the designation. Setting the spouse as the beneficiary often makes the most sense because the spouse's tax obligations will be stretched out for a long period.

Property division involving stay-at-home parents

Divorcing couples in Georgia must make some important decisions regarding the division of marital property. While some states require an equal distribution of joint assets, most states only require that assets are divided fairly. When one partner stays home to take care of children and the other works, it may be harder to decide what this fair distribution would look like.

Around a quarter of mothers stay at home to take care of the children and household. On the other hand, only 7% of fathers do the same. Of the stay-at-home mothers, about 10% are highly educated and have at least a master's degree.

Weather Channel faces wrongful death suit over 2017 car crash

Georgia residents who tune in to the Weather Channel may know that the two stars of the show "Storm Wranglers" died while pursuing a tornado in Texas in March of 2017. The duo had been speeding and apparently ignored a stop sign. That was when they collided with a jeep, killing both the 25-year-old driver of the other vehicle and themselves.

The Weather Channel live streams these tornado chases on its Facebook page. The chase that led up to the fatal crash was recorded as well, abruptly ending at the moment of the collision.

Fear of family conflict prompts people to delay estate planning

Procrastination often results when people in Georgia think about end-of-life planning. Concerns about how family members will react to final wishes about the distribution of an estate also encourage the temptation to delay writing wills or setting up trusts. A survey of 130 financial advisers found that 77 percent of them considered the navigation of family dynamics to be the hardest part about estate planning.

Two-thirds of advisers had to start conversations about estate issues with their clients. Survey results showed that 25 percent of the advisers' clients only raised the subject of estate planning after a life-changing experience. A national manager of trust administration said that many clients fear that talking to family members about final wishes could sow conflict. Children might dislike unequal estate distributions even if their parents disbursed assets in a fair manner from their perspective. People also worry that their estate decisions could alter relationships after people learn how much or how little they will receive.

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