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January 2011 Archives

Should State Provide Lawyers For Deadbeat Parents?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia is one of just a few U.S states that does not provide lawyers to indigent parents facing contempt hearings for failure to pay child support. As a result, hundreds of "deadbeat parents" are sentenced to serve time in jail, simply because they cannot afford to support their children.

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider this issue in March, where a ruling could change the way Georgia courts handle child-support contempt cases. The Supreme Court court case involves a South Carolina man who was jailed for a year for failing to pay child support. Like Georgia, South Carolina also does not provide lawyers for indigent child support payers who are in court for failure to pay child support.

How to Get a Marriage License in Atlanta

If you're looking to get married in the state of Georgia, you must first obtain an authorized marriage license from the state. The Fulton County Probate Court reports that if one or both spouses-to-be are residents of the state of Georgia, the marriage license application can be filed in any county of the state. However, if neither person is a resident of Georgia, the couple must apply for a Georgia marriage license in the county where the ceremony will be held.

What are the legal requirements for getting married in Atlanta? In order to get a marriage license in Fulton County, both the bride and groom must be at least 18 years of age. They must both appear in person when applying for the marriage license and must show proper identification (driver's license, passport, or birth certificate).

January is Most Popular Time of Year to File For Divorce

Did you know that more people file for divorce in January than any other month? YourTango.com reports that this trend occurs around the country, with many people following up on their New Year’s resolution to start a new life separate from their spouse. Family law attorneys especially see a large number of January divorces in families with children.

Perhaps the month of January is also a popular time to divorce because the December holidays can be a time where emotions run high, leaving people to become angry or unhappy with their marriage. Just after the holiday season, many people might feel that divorce is their best option.

Child Support Modification in Georgia

If you're a parent and would like to change the amount of child support that you receive, or perhaps pay, then it's possible to request child support modification in Georgia family court. The Fulton County superior court website states that parents are usually able to petition the court for modification as long as it has been at least two years since a judge signed an order for child support.

Section 19-6-15 of the Georgia Code states that the amount of child support a non-custodial parent pays is determined by the obligor's gross income. Non-custodial parents in Georgia will generally pay 17 to 23 percent of their gross income in child support if they're paying to support just one child. This percentage increases based on the number of children that are included in the child support order.

Seth Rogen Says No to a Prenuptial Agreement

In modern times, more couples are saying "I do" to prenuptial agreements before their wedding day. However, actor Seth Rogen seems to still be somewhat of a traditionalist and announced on Howard Stern's radio show that he and his fiancee Lauren Miller will not be signing prenup before getting married.

E! Online reported that Rogen has stated that his business manager has encouraged him to get a prenuptial agreement so that his multi-million dollar fortune can be protected. Yet the actor responded to criticisms on the Howard Stern show by saying, "Marriage can be expensive and if I lose millions then it'll be the best millions I've spent."

Regina Thompson Arrested in Child Support Scam

A Moultrie woman was arrested and charged with theft by deception after she convinced her ex-boyfriend to pay her money in child support when no such child existed. The Albany Herald reported that the suspect in this alleged child support scam was Regina Thompson, who used the child of a friend to convince Joseph Golden that the child was his.

While there was no legal agreement that required Golden to pay child support, the man reportedly gave Thompson $1,600 in five payments to go to the daughter that he thought was his. The scam unraveled when Golden tried to secure visitation rights to the girl in court, which led Thompson to deny that there was a child when she took the stand.

The Countries With the Highest Rates of Divorce

Many people believe that couples in the United States divorce more than anybody else in the world. However, The Huffington Post recently reported that this isn’t true; Russia actually takes the prize for the country with the highest divorce rate. Data from United Nations indicated that Russia has a divorce rate of five divorces per 1,000 people. The United States was ranked as the country with the fifth highest divorce rate in the world, where the rate is at 3.4 divorces per every 1,000 people.

Decreasing Divorce Through Georgia Healthy Marriage Initiative

The state's Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) has the goal of reducing the public and private burden of raising financially abandoned children to adulthood. One way that DCSS plans to meet this goal is through the education about the importance of healthy relationships between couples. This is why the state department launched the Georgia Healthy Marriage Initiative in 2005 with the Georgia Family Council.

DCSS reported that the Georgia Healthy Marriage Initiative helped build and sustain healthy marriages across the state of Georgia in six separate communities, including the Macon, Thomasville, Norcross, Lithonia, Columbus, and Pittsburgh. The specific goals of the program are to increase the number of marriages by 10 percent in the state, decrease divorces by 10 percent, decrease the number of new child support cases by 10 percent, and reduce the number of out of wedlock pregnancies by 10 percent.

Deion Sanders Divorce From Pilar Gets Deiondra Drama

Former NFL and MLB star and current sports analyst, Deion "Prime Time" Sanders is getting divorced from his wife Pilar Biggers-Sanders, reports AOL SportingNews. They had been married since 1999. In a comment to TMZ he wrote:

"Pilar and I have decided to end our marriage and move on to the next phase of our individual lives with mutual respect. We are friends and our top priority has and will continue to be the well-being of our children."

Atlanta's Omar "Slim" White Engaged to Vivica A. Fox

The Atlanta event promoter Omar "Slim" White popped the big question to actress Vivica A. Fox and the two are now happily engaged. According to Wager Run News, the promoter proposed to his year-long girlfriend in South Beach, Florida with an 8 carat diamond ring, the day after Christmas. It seems that many celebrity couples are planning for a wedding at this time of year.

More and more celebrity couples are also considering a prenuptial agreement before getting married, due to the high divorce rate among Hollywood couples. Pop star Hillary Duff got married with a prenuptial agreement last year to NHL hero Mike Comrie and singer Jessica Simpson announced that she will sign a prenuptial agreement upon her recent engagement to NFL player Eric Johnson.

Teen Birth Rates Decline in U.S

U.S health officials released figures for 2009 a couple weeks ago that measured the rate of teen births among girls ages 15 to 19. According to the Associated Press, the data showed that teen births in the U.S are at the lowest level that they have been at in almost 70 years, with a rate of 39 births per 1,000 girls. Yet this rate is still fairly high when comparing it to the teen birth rate of European nations.

For example, in the United Kingdom, the teen birth rate is only 24 per 1,000 girls. In France, the rate is at 7 per 1,000 and in Netherlands, the rate is close to 4 per 1,000. Our neighbor Canada has a teen birth rate of under 13 per 1,000 girls.