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December 2015 Archives


A whole new year is just a few days away. When you reflect back on this past year, you can't help but think about what you don't want to duplicate in the coming one.

Mele Kalikimaka and Other Holiday Traditions

As we anticipate potential record highs on Christmas Day (80+ degrees in Savannah!??!), you may be singing the Hawaiian Christmas Carol "Mele Kalikimaka" around your unlit fireplace instead of "I'm Dreaming of A White Christmas" in front of a roaring yule log. Funny how quickly a tradition can be turned on its head for reasons beyond our control.

When Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer: Georgia Estate Planning Lawyer Style

The novelty Christmas song, " Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," was written by Randy Brooks and originally recorded by the husband-and-wife duo of Elmo and Patsy in 1979. According to the song, the family matriarch gets intoxicated from imbibing too much eggnog. Then, having forgotten to take her medication and ignoring warnings from her family, staggers outside into a snowstorm. On her way, she is trampled by Santa Claus and his reindeer. At the next day's Christmas gathering: "all the family's dressed in black" while the widower acts as if nothing's happened, drinks beer, watches football and plays "cards with cousin Mel."The song ends as a cautionary tale that Santa, "a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves," is unfit to carry a driver's license, and that the listener should beware. In short, Santa is a menace to society.

Tis The Season for Custody and Visitation

It's the holiday season and my inbox is especially full. I certainly don't mind work and I wouldn't complain about a full inbox. I like staying busy and I enjoy helping my clients, but my heaii sometimes breaks for the families I serve, even more so around the holidays.

When Pets are People Too

Divorces are really hard. That decision is the proverbial stone in a pond: the ripple effects are felt by many others, not just you. Your kids, in-laws, friends, maybe even your co-workers will feel the sting, and it can be a long and emotionally exhausting process. But this isn't an experience reserved for the young. Interestingly, a lot more people are divorcing later in life, as well. They're called "silver splitters". They may not have kids in the home anymore, so issues of child support and visitation aren't a consideration, right?

Family Law: Blessed Are The Grief Makers?

Over and over again at the national and state family law conferences to which we are invited to attend and present, there is an ongoing conversation about changes to the practice of law, and in particular, the changes to the practice of family law. Several years ago, that was marked with developing limited scope representation. A common theme these days is the lawyer's role as problem-solver or peace-maker.

Judges: Discretion Gone Wild

Judges get to make decisions. Oftentimes those decisions have some discretion to them such as, who is telling the truth. However, discretion never goes so far as to decide to ignore the law. Tonight's post is two cases studies of when judges decided that they had the discretion to blow off the law in favor of what they wanted to do.

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The Manely Firm, P.C.
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