Evans Georgia Legal Blog

How to claim children on taxes after divorce

Georgia parents who get a divorce may run into some conflict when tax time arrives if they have not agreed on who will claim the child as a dependent on their taxes. If both parents claim their child, the IRS accepts the claim on the first return received.

In a dispute, parents must go through a lengthy process to get a resolution. Usually, the parent who has the child at home most often has the right to claim the child as a dependent. However, in some cases, parents may share custody, and the child may spend roughly an equal amount of time with each of them. The IRS would then look at the adjusted gross income for each parent and grant the right to the parent who has the higher income. The reason for this is that the agency assumes a parent who earns more is also contributing to the child's support more.

Social media accounts provide evidence in divorce disputes

Many people in Georgia enjoy social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. However, spouses should understand that these online entities have proven to be a fertile source of evidence in divorce cases. For the most part, content placed on social media is available to everyone in the world. When disputes arise between divorcing spouses about child custody, assets, income or character, courts could accept evidence collected legally from social media platforms.

Pictures or written statements posted online could support goals like contradicting someone's oral testimony, revealing infidelity or identifying hidden assets that might influence court decisions about alimony or child support. With most people engaging in online activity, social media posts have become a common form of evidence in divorce negotiations and litigation. According to a service that collects information from social media accounts, 81 percent of attorneys find evidence in social media accounts that gets used in court. Facebook provides two-thirds of the evidence derived from social media for divorce cases.

New Georgia Supreme Court ruling may affect DUI defense

Many people from all walks of life enjoy alcohol. Laws around the nation dictate that drivers are only allowed to have a certain level of blood alcohol content to legally operate a vehicle. For most drivers operating regular passenger vehicles, that level is .08 percent. It can be difficult to determine what your alcohol level is after consumption – though you may feel perfectly capable of driving, your BAC level may put you over the legal limit.

However, a recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling could change the management of DUI offenses. The ruling says that a component of the state law that covers DUIs violates the Georgia Constitution. There is a protection in the constitution that says people have a right against self-incrimination. This means that if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, that fact cannot be used against you at trial. Law enforcement is now admitting that they will have to change procedures around DUI cases.

How a business owner may protect against a divorce

One concern for a person in Georgia who is going through a divorce might be protecting a business. If there is a pre- or postnuptial agreement in place, this might be easier, but if the business owner has planned well and kept good records, even without an agreement, the process may proceed relatively smoothly.

For example, a company's organizing documents can say that the company must not be transferred in case of divorce. They might establish that the spouse will be paid a cash award in case of divorce. Funding sources, cash transactions and business expenses should be recorded and kept separate from personal finances. If the spouse works for the company, compensation should be at market rates. Failing to do so could give the spouse grounds to make a more substantial claim for the business. Business owners who pay themselves a salary under market rate may still be required to pay spousal support that is calculated based on a market rate salary.

U.S. car crash deaths hit 40,000 again

Georgia motorists may have heard that U.S. traffic fatalities exceeded 40,000 again in 2018, according to a report by the National Safety Council. However, overall motor vehicle crash deaths dropped slightly across the country.

The report states that more than 40,000 people were killed in car crashes in 2018, making it the third year in a row that traffic deaths have topped that number. However, the total represents a 1 percent decrease from the 40,231 deaths reported in 2017. In Georgia, car accident deaths fell by 2 percent last year. As for injuries, approximately 4.5 million Americans were seriously hurt in car accidents in 2018, which is an uptick of 1 percent over the previous year.

Chance the Rapper heads to court

Not long ago, Chance the Rapper headed to family court with his partner Kirsten Corley. The parents want to change the terms of child support for their daughter Kensli. The couple had Kensli during a relationship that lasted from 2013 to 2016. Though the two separated, they are back together now and planning to marry. In legal documents that have become public, the couple also expressed their desire to change the nature of the decision-making process that dictates various aspects of Kensli's life. The next hearing in this matter is scheduled for mid-February.

As in all child support and child custody cases, there is a chance that Chance's legal action could lead to a protracted court battle. Whether they take place in Georgia or elsewhere, these court battles can cause deep personal distress.

Age, infidelity and a hostile family can all be divorce factors

Married Georgia residents or those considering getting married should review the top reasons why people get divorced. Knowing what might lead your marriage to the divorce route might also provide clues about what to avoid and what to work on. While some of the reasons are not surprising, such as financial issues, others might be more unexpected.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are some common causes of divorce. Religion and lack of premarital education are factors involved in many divorces. Likewise, heath issues and substance abuse can also become problems for married couples. Getting married too young often means that a marriage might be doomed. Domestic violence can also be the deciding factor when a spouse chooses to seek a divorce. If family is not on board with the relationship, the marriage might also suffer. Finally, the most common causes for the end of a marriage are infidelity, disagreements and fighting and lack of commitment.

How to pay for college after a divorce

As many citizens of Georgia know, going through a divorce can put a financial strain on any family, especially if the family has plans for the future education of their children. This is nowhere more apparent than when a divorce interferes with a parents' plan to send their children to college.

Currently, a private, non-profit, four-year college costs around $46,950, including tuition, fees, room and board. The same degree would cost around $20,770 at a public, four-year, in-state school. What makes matters worse is that these costs have been going up every year by 3 percent.

What is Georgia's Super Speeder Law?

Life gets pretty hectic for most people. Between work, kids and other obligations, the modern world nearly demands that we get from place to place as fast as possible. Sometimes, that means that you might push that gas pedal just a bit more than usual. Speeding isn't so bad, right?

Unfortunately, speeding is not just a huge source of accidents – it can make car crashes even worse, with more severe injuries and more extensive property damage. Georgia lawmakers decided to implement legislation to cut down on the amount of speeding drivers on the road. They called it Georgia's Super Speeder Law. What is it and what does it mean for you if you are facing that kind of charge?

Failing the nystagmus test could result in DUI arrest

Law enforcement officers in Georgia devote considerable time to monitoring traffic and arresting people suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol. When police officers initiate traffic stops, they might ask drivers to submit to a field sobriety test that could include the nystagmus test. During this test, an officer will attempt to judge the bouncing and jerking of the subject's eyes while tracking a pen or pen light that the officer moves back and forth 12 to 15 inches in front of the driver's face.

The nystagmus test evaluates involuntary eye movements. The recent consumption of alcohol reduces people's ability to control eye movements smoothly. An officer should have a clear view of the subject's face during the test. Pronounced bouncing or jerking of eyes could give an officer cause to arrest someone on suspicion of drunk driving. Police officers also employ the one-leg-stand and walk-and-turn tests to detect signs of intoxication.