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May 2011 Archives

If you’re delinquent on child support, you can not only face criminal charges and be subjected to high fines, but in DeKalb County you can also lose your license plate. That’s right. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that deadbeat parents in the county, who are more than 60 days delinquent on child support payments, can now have their car tags revoked.

Under a new initiative by the DeKalb County District Attorney and County Tax Commissioner, deadbeat parents will receive a letter that notifies them of their delinquent child support payment status and a warning that they’re about to lose their car tags if they don’t pay up. As District Attorney Robert James put it, “Parents who will not support their children don’t deserve to drive.”

Mom Alaina Giordano ther Loses Child Custody Case Due to Cancer

North Carolina mother Alaina Giordano, who has stage 4 breast cancer, was recently denied primary custody of her two children in part because of the uncertainty of her illness. The case raises the question of whether cancer or other illnesses should affect child custody decisions.

The judge in this case ruled that Giordano and the father Kane Snyder will share custody of their two children, as stated through ABC News, but that Giordano will have to move to Chicago (where Snyder resides) if she wants to see her kids on a regular basis. If Giordano does not move to Chicago, the time she spends with her children will be limited to just holiday and weekend visitation.

More Demand For Cohabitation Agreements

Most people are probably aware that the act of signing a prenuptial agreement is becoming much more common among soon-to-be-married couples in Atlanta and across the country. However, did you know that there has also been an increase among people asking for cohabitation agreements as well?

ABC News reports that there are now more than 12 million unmarried couples live under the same roof. Yet when living together, many couples want to protect their assets and legally define what property belongs to them. Hence, many couples are now contacting family law attorneys to request a cohabitation agreement.

U.S. Census Data Indicates Decline in Divorce Rate

In 1996, the United States Census Bureau showed that 50 percent of all marriages ended in divorce, but more recent numbers show that the country's divorce rate is now leveling out after decades of increase. According to the Associated Press, 2009 data from the Census Bureau showed that only 46 percent of more recently married couples have failed to reach their 25th wedding anniversary.

What exactly has contributed to the decline in divorce? There are a number of factors that the census report attributes to the decrease in U.S. divorces, including the increase in non-married couples cohabiting as well as the rising median age of when people decide to get married. Perhaps people are becoming a bit more responsible before making such a long-term commitment by waiting a longer period of time before they decide to walk down the aisle together.

Learn About Adoption in Atlanta Through Adoption Discovery

Are you interested in adopting a child, but unsure of what type of adoption is best for you? If so, you're certainly not alone. If you're thinking about adoption, there's a non-profit organization in Atlanta that holds classes to educate prospective adoptive parents in the area on the adoption process. Through these classes by Adoption Discovery, people can learn about the facts and myths associated with adoption.

FOX News reports that the organization Adoption Discovery offers a seven-week course that provides information about the cost of adoption along with the various types of adoption available to those in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. The best part of the course is that it's free of charge.

Father Accused of Interference With Child Custody

Georgia authorities are now searching for two young girls that were found to be missing from the foster care system earlier this month. According to CBS Atlanta, the two girls are ages 1 and 3 and were on an unsupervised visit with their biological father in Cartersville before they went missing.

This is a case in which the father Ahmad Makahleh has been accused of breaking the law by not returning his own children back to foster care. Makahleh was reportedly supposed to give up custody of his two children on May 16. A warrant has since been issued for Makahleh's arrest for interference with child custody.

Jermaine Dupri Sued For Unpaid Child Support

Grammy-winning producer Jermaine Dupri may have once been among the top earners in the hip-hop industry, but The Washington Post now reports that the music producer is now facing some financial trouble. In the midst of all the producer's personal financial crises, Dupri is being sued over missed child support payments.

Based on results from a paternity test, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Margaret Dorsey ordered Dupri last March to pay $2,500 a month in child support along with an additional one-time payment of $7,500 to Atlanta mother Sarai Jones. Ms. Jones has stated that she hopes to work with Dupri to co-parent their baby girl.

Paul McCartney Says No to Prenup

Former Beatle Paul McCartney is now engaged to Nancy Shevell and will soon be walking down the aisle for the third time. You might think that after two marriages and losing £24 million to the most recent ex-wife Heather Mills, that the rock star would want to draft a prenuptial agreement before the wedding. Nope. The Daily Mail reports that McCartney has refused to ask his new fiancée for prenup.

Let's just hope that McCartney years from now won't regret his decision not to safeguard his £495 million fortune. McCartney and Shevell have reportedly been dating for four years and are "ecstatic" about getting married.

May is National Foster Care Month

There are currently more than 400,000 children in the United States living in foster care, which means that there's an urgent need for more adoptive parents in all parts of the country. The month of May is National Foster Care Month -- a time to shed light on the neglected children and teens who are in need of support from new families.

May is also a good time to recognize the efforts of foster families, social workers, community organizations, and others that are working to improve the lives of the youth in foster care. reports that there are 30,000 young adults that leave the foster care system each year without lifelong families. These teens often have difficulties finding employment in such tough economic times. The children who age out of the foster care system are also at a greater risk of poverty, homelessness, and incarceration.

Several U.S. states have laws that make it difficult or even impossible for same-sex couples to adopt a child. However, The Huffington Post reports that there's now a bill going through the House that could ban such discrimination at the federal level.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act, proposed by Rep. Pete Stark of California, would "ban discrimination in adoption or foster care placement based on the sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity of the potential parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child." The bill is in response to the thousands of children that age out of the foster care system each year because they're unable to find adoptive parents.

Can Facebook be Responsible For a Failed Marriage?

If you're having some problems with your marriage, then perhaps it's best to stay away from Facebook or other social networking websites. While Facebook might not directly cause divorce, attorneys say that the website could play a role when it comes to a break up.

MSNBC goes as far as saying that Facebook is a "marriage killer" because of its potential to cause drama. Social networking in general can be seen as an easy way for spouses to reconnect with lost loves from a person's past. Or perhaps social networking websites can cause jealousy if a person finds a partner exchanging words or photographs with somebody else.