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August 2011 Archives

Grandparents Rights: Grandparent Custody Rights Bigger Deal Now

The baby boomer generation likes to work. And no surprise, they are working into retirement age.

Family experts working with the American Association of Retired Persons started calling grandparents helping raise children the "family safety net" reports the Associated Press.

The revelation of increased grandparent help in raising children comes from U.S. Census data. Currently about 6 million children, nearly 8 percent of all children, are living with grandparents identified as head of household. That number is nearly twice what it was in 2000. Perhaps because people are living longer, there are 62.8 million grandparents in the United States right now, which is the most ever.

Can Your License Be Suspended Due to Child Support Arrears?

The legendary Houston Rockets center, Ralph Sampson, was recently arrested in Georgia for a suspended license. This is not news because the man was 7 foot 4 inches and inspired the game of an entire generation of big men.

This is news beacuse the arrest prompted Ralph Sampson to release a statement saying that his license was not suspended due to child support arrears, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Instead, Ralph Sampson had a spokeswoman clarify that his suspension was due to the non-payment of a $35 reinstatement fee.

Putting aside the question of whether or not the police goofed in their report, the bigger question in the Ralph Sampson story is this:

Can your license really be suspended if you have child support arrears?

Atlanta Church Offering New Kind of Divorce Counseling

The aftermath of divorce doesn't just affect finances and children. There are also emotional and psychological issues that need to get resolved. One local church is hoping to provide counseling to divorced individuals in Atlanta in order to with their unresolved issues, reports Alpharetta-Milton Patch.

Held at Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, the program is called Divorcecare. It is a 13-week seminar designed to help people rebuild their lives. The aim is to give people a way of dealing with their isolation and stress.

Lisa Wu Divorce: More Drama For The Real Housewives of Atlanta

One of the earliest cast members from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Lisa Wu Hartwell, is considering divorce from her husband Ed Hartwell, reports Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Appearing during The Real Housewives of Atlanta's 2008 and 2009 seasons, Lisa Wu famously quit in 2010, because the storylines became too personal for her. Also, she said she wanted to pursue an acting career. She later went onto star in a play called "Stripped" where she plays a former NFL player's wife who is mulling divorce. No doubt the title of the play was sexier than something like "Lisa Wu Divorce."

John "Prenup" Mellencamp Finalizes Divorce from Elaine Irwin

Any cougars in Atlanta will find the original Cougar single, come 2012.

John "Cougar" Mellencamp, who has been planning to release a musical co-written with horror-king Stephen King in Atlanta in 2012, recently finalized his divorce to model Elaine Irwin, reports Associated Press.

The musical, entitled Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, will play at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. It has been called "a musical for men" by Esquire.

New Hire Reporting: GA Employers Help Collect Child Support

Child support is always in the news. Such as when Terrell Owens gets sued for arrears. Or, a sheriff in Alabama uses Iron Bowl tickets to lure deadbeat parents.

Still, many Georgia employers don't realize that they also have a role to play in child support collection.

The Georgia New Hire Reporting Program requires employers to report newly hired and re-hired employees in Georgia.

Atlanta Domestic Disturbance Turns Deadly in Front of Police

A domestic violence case turned deadly when an Atlanta man shot himself, and was simultaneously shot by the police in the buttocks and the leg, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The incident occurred when a man whose name has not been disclosed attacked a woman he knew with a gun. After breaking the window he was confronted by the police and ran off. A few second later there were a total of three gunshots. Neighbors that overheard the gunshots find the episode suspicious.

Terrell Owens Sued for Child Support in Atlanta

Terrell Owens, the well known and well traveled wide receiver formerly with the 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills, and the Bengals, and currently recovering from an ACL, has fallen behind on his child support, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Terrell Owens, otherwise known as "T.O." is well known for his various stunts: exercising in front of the media in his driveway in Philadelphia, crying for Tony Romo in Dallas, and making appearances on various TV shows including Desperate Housewives.

What Georgia Parents Must Know to Protect Kids Online

The commercials put out by the major media and computer companies all tout the benefits that the Internet can bring to children — from learning to read on an iPad, to playing educational games on websites, to learning Spanish from Dora and Diego. However, the downsides of the Internet are many. Previously on this blog we discussed cyberbullying, when kids threaten and harass each other with an intent to shame.

However, cyberbullying is not even the half of it. The Internet has a number of harmful things that children must be protected from. And it is important for parents to know these statistics to protect kids online:

Free Iron Bowl Tickets! Deadbeat Parents in Alabama Lured By Cops

Southeastern Conference (SEC) football has a special allure all across the South. And one of the featured spectacles of the best college football league evah, is the Iron Bowl, the yearly grudge match between the University of Alabama and Auburn University.

In recent years, as both teams have been national contenders, the Iron Bowl has taken on even greater significance than the "holy war" that it has been declared historically.

One sherif's department in Lee County, Alabama, which borders Georgia, and is only about an hour drive out from metro-Atlanta, has decided to use the power of Iron Bowl tickets to track down "deadbeat parents" and lure them in, reports Opelika-Auburn News.

Who Might Get Non-Parental Custody of Maureen Allaben's Children?

Jury selection is about to begin in the murder of Maureen Allaben, reports CBS Atlanta.

Maureen Allaben was a DeKalb area food stylist and decorator working for the Mo'nique comedy show on BET. Allaben was allegedly killed by her 47-year-old husband, Dennis Allaben, who then drove around with her body.

Even more gruesomely, while Maureen Allaben's body was still in the car, Dennis allegedly drove the couple's two children to a relative's home.

During the trial, a question that people will be thinking about is: what happens to Maureen Allaben's children if Dennis Allaben is convicted? Their mother will be deceased and their father would be in jail.

Georgia Adoption Story: Will and Cheryl Stark Are Adoption Heroes

Although many people talk about adoption, very few actually go through with it.

That is why, when there is a couple out there that adopts six kids, and each kid is afflicted with a dire long-term illness, the adoptive parents should be given recognition and praise. A moving story by NBC 11 reports on Will and Cheryl Stark, who began adopting children twenty years ago, and took in six children, despite a great number of challenges.

The biggest challenge that Will and Cheryl Stark faced was the fact that each of the kids they adopted is considered special needs. The children have health issues ranging from Down Syndrome, to Maple Syrup Urine Disease, to Cerebral Palsy, and Cri de Chat. One of the children has two of the aforementioned illnesses at once.

What Parents Should Know About Georgia Cyberbullying Laws

From Lord of the Flies to Disney’s Chicken Little, as a society we’ve always known about how cruel children can be with each other, whether through taunting or teasing or worse.

The problem of childhood bullying evolved after the advent of the internet, when children started logging on online to socialize. And taunting and teasing moved online as well. Now Health Day News reports that 52 percent of parents are concerned about “cyberbullying.”

According to FindLaw, “cyber bullies” are people who use the Internet, or other forms of media, to tease, harass, embarrass, intimidate or humiliate kids online. A stark example was reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, about a student that created a web page which suggested that another student had a sexually transmitted disease.