Evans Georgia Legal Blog

Health and life insurance coverage concerns during split

When Georgia couples are going through a divorce, they have many issues to negotiate. Often, as a result, concerns about insurance policies are forgotten. However, health and life insurance policies are two types of insurance that should be addressed during the split. Being informed about the way divorce can affect coverage and planning for these changes can make the transition into life post-divorce easier.

Life insurance can be quite important for those who receive spousal support because payments, which usually end when the person paying dies, might continue with the support of life insurance. If alimony is a requirement of a divorce settlement, the spouse receiving support might benefit from owning the policy and paying the premiums to ensure that the policy is kept up to date and that no changes are made. Life insurance policies should also be set before a divorce is final in case the paying spouse is determined to be uninsurable so that appropriate changes to the agreement can be made.

Financial imbalance could make divorce more likely

Over the years, more women in Georgia have developed active, flourishing careers. Many people who enter a marriage expect that both spouses will contribute financially to maintaining the household. However, some studies indicate that couples in which the wife earns more than her husband are one-third more likely to divorce. There are a number of factors that could lead to this outcome. Some are common to all partnerships with a significant financial imbalance while others may have more to do with the social messages that people receive about income and gender. This kind of social pressure can still persist despite significant social changes.

All couples with a financial imbalance may struggle with equitable decision-making within the relationship, leading to divorce being more likely. However, especially within the context of social expectations, men may find it more challenging to be in a secondary position when it comes to making decisions about family finances. This is more common when the wife significantly out-earns the husband. Even when both parties are behaving equitably toward one another, external pressure can still influence the relationship. Men who earn less than their wives may be mocked by others who view their financial relationship as emasculating.

Equitable division of property for stay-at-home parents

When Georgia couples get divorced, they are supposed to divide property equitably. This could mean that the contributions of each spouse will be considered when a court decides how to divide property. It can be difficult to determine these contributions if one partner was a stay-at-home parent.

Stay-at-home parents are more likely to be mothers. Statistics show that 25% of American mothers with kids 18 and under stay at home. About 10% of these moms have a graduate degree or higher. A Pew Research survey found that more people believe that mothers are better caregivers for new infants than fathers. However, this still does not mean that a mother's contributions are equally valued when it comes time to divide property in a divorce.

Why are divorce rates falling for millennials?

Most couples who decide to marry likely don't believe they'll ever divorce. Unfortunately, that is an all-too-real possibility for many people. Though some statistics in the past have claimed that half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce, more recent studies are finding that the divorce rate is falling. Though that sounds promising, experts warn that the reasons for the drop may not be positive.

Researchers say that the lower divorce rate may be due to millennials. This age group is often blamed for the decline of various products and institutions, and it looks as though the divorce rate is also affected. However, whether you're part of this age group or not here in Georgia, there are some valuable lessons in this surprising trend.

Drivers face many distractions behind the wheel

A Root Insurance study revealed that most people in Georgia and throughout the country don't like it when other people engage in distracted driving. However, it also discovered that most people admit to using their smartphones while driving. Group chats, looking at social media and watching videos on a phone were listed at the top three distractions by 99% of respondents. On average, those who participated in the survey said that they spent 91 minutes a week on their phone while driving.

Among the study participants, 47% stated that distracted driving was their main concern while on the road. Furthermore, 89% said that they would give a Lyft or an Uber driver a bad rating for using a phone while driving. According to the study, smartphone use was not the only distraction that drivers dealt with while on the road.

Georgia Supreme Court ruling affects breath tests in DUI cases

A recent ruling from the state's highest court was cited by the Hall County solicitor general when she reduced a man's original DUI charge to reckless driving. She said that the elimination of the breath test option when police officers pull over drivers suspected of intoxication limited the evidence available in the drunk driving case against a former Gainesville police officer.

She said that until the state legislature updates language in the implied consent notice for drunk driving suspects, police officers could only take samples via blood or urine. Without knowledge of the defendant's precise blood alcohol content, she chose to apply a reckless driving charge.

Joint custody becoming more common

While joint physical custody is still not the norm in Georgia, it is becoming increasingly common. In the past, mothers were almost always granted full custody of their children, and the fathers would receive minimal visitation time. That has changed as society's view of parenting roles have likewise changed.

In the past three decades, courts have increasingly moved towards shared custody arrangements. Custody includes legal custody, which is the ability to make important decisions on behalf of children, including education, health care, and religion. It also includes residential custody. Courts prefer giving the parents joint decision-making unless there are obstacles to doing so. There has also been an increase in unequal shared residential custody and equal shared residential custody.

What are common predictors of divorce?

People approaching marriage often get a great deal of advice on how to make their union last. There is no shortage of folks who think they've got it all figured out when it comes to wedded bliss. Generally, they all mean well, though they may not really have a grasp on what makes a great marriage.

For people who are considering divorce, they may wonder if they should have seen it coming. Of course, there is no concrete way to predict if a marriage will end. If you're considering getting a divorce, you might be interested to know that studies reveal some common indicators of whether a marriage will last.

Americans continue to drive while distracted

Despite the fact that people in Georgia and across the country know that it is dangerous to drive while texting or otherwise distracted, almost 80 percent of Americans continue to report that they chat on the phone while driving. In addition, over 30 percent admit that they have narrowly avoided a car accident due to their own distraction. Further, many drivers are expected to remain in touch with their employers even while behind the wheel.

The 2019 Travelers Risk Index surveyed over 2,000 Americans about their driving behavior in order to identify common risks. It found that 44 percent of drivers type texts or emails while behind the wheel, a major distraction as it removes the eyes and mind from the road and hands from the wheel. In addition, 23 percent of respondents admitted to using social media while driving and 15 percent confessed to online shopping behind the wheel. Another 22 percent of respondents said that they recorded videos while driving. Widespread public awareness campaigns have been dedicated to the dangers of distracted driving, and many states have implemented laws forbidding different types of distraction.

Police seize over 3,100 marijuana plants and arrest 16 people

A five-month investigation led by the Gwinnett County Police Department culminated in the issuance of 15 search warrants and the arrest of 16 suspects. Authorities searched homes across three counties in the Atlanta metropolitan area and uncovered an alleged drug trafficking ring that was distributing drugs throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

Searches took place at buildings in Gwinnett, Henry and Clayton counties. Police officers reported finding between 340 and 1,500 marijuana plants at each location along with equipment used to process marijuana. After confiscating over 3,100 marijuana plants, police collected what they described as large amounts of THC oil, THC candy, illegal mushrooms, cocaine, 22 guns and cash in excess of $676,000. Authorities valued the seizures at $35 million.