Manely Firm - March 2021

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M arch 2021

S eeking E quality for W omen : We Must Cont inue to Fight

I started to see her make the kind of income her talents warranted in previous years. Although she worked just as hard as anyone else, it was only at this time that she could purchase her first house. Women still experience this kind of struggle today. In my line of work, I witness the discrimination of women and its impact on their families and their lives. Professional women have a harder time maintaining custody in front of a judge. Though not true in every case, many judges still look upon successful women — successful in a business context — with disdain, as though they aren’t performing their maternal tasks. Coupled with the constant struggle of climbing the corporate ladder, women in every circumstance fight to support themselves and care for their loved ones. The challenge for our nation is and always has been living up to our credo: “All men are created equal.” It begs the question: Do we mean all people? Certainly, most of us read it as such, but the problem is that the Founding Fathers didn’t necessarily mean it that way. But we always must include women as we move forward and create an equal society. The inequality women still face in our culture must change as we work toward a society that treats all individuals as equals. As a nation, we cannot be whole or healthy until we have corrected this problem. For years, women have fought for equal rights and they have gained them little by little. This year alone, we’ve seen a remarkable step forward as we have elected the first female vice president in our nation’s history. But we can’t stop here. We must continue to push forward to create a fair and equitable society for women and men.

W omen’s History Month is vital to highlight this month. It not only calls for us to remember the great strides women have made toward equal rights, but also what they continue to fight for in the 21st century. Women continue to suffer from inequality; they are still paid less than men (82 cents on the dollar), occupy fewer positions on boards, and are the most likely to work in frontline jobs, including food service, health care, and education. At a young age, I had a firsthand view of the difficulties women faced by watching my mother. My parents divorced when I was 5 years old, and from then on, my mom raised me on her own. In order to take care of us, Mom had to scrap everything she had ever accomplished and find work that would allow her to support her family. She started as a

secretary at a local AM radio station, WBIE. From there she moved on to the first classical radio station in Atlanta, WGKA, as an on-air personality, then to running the Atlanta Arts Festival for several years, and finally to her own television show on WSB-TV and being the first employee of The Weather Channel. “As a nation, we cannot be whole or healthy until we have corrected this problem.”

However, despite her many accomplishments in my youth, it wasn’t until after I graduated high school that

–Michael Manely


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I mprove Y our A ttention S pan

And Transform Your Li fe! Since the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world last year, many things have gotten shorter, like school days and our patience. But perhaps the main thing that’s grown shorter for all of us is our attention spans.

Second, give the Pomodoro method a try. Named after a tomato-shaped timer that its creator used, the Pomodoro method has gained a lot of attention over the years as a brain workout, and it’s a great way to slowly expand your attention span while accomplishing tasks. To get started, think of a small task. Then, set a timer to 25 minutes (or longer, if your attention span will allow). Work on your task for 25 minutes straight. Then, take a five-minute break. After the break, repeat the process. After four rounds, take a break of 15–20 minutes. Congratulations, you’ve used the Pomodoro method, which you can repeat as many times as you want. It’s very handy for getting your tasks finished in a flash, despite any attention span issues! Third, meditate, work out, or adopt new educational interests. Anything that keeps your brain, body, and spirit engaged can help you learn how to focus better. There’s plenty of research that shows the benefits of meditation and exercise to your focus — the trick is exploration. Not every form of meditation, exercise routine, or hobby will work for you, so don’t give up right away! Stay curious and keep exploring. We’re living in a technological age where we can learn almost anything and reach almost anyone at the tap of a button, so we have to learn how to create opportunities for ourselves. We hope these tips help you get started

In 2019, researchers from the Technical University of Denmark reported that our collective attention span is indeed narrowing — and it may be because we’re bombarded with tons of information that we don’t want to “miss out” on, whether we’re scrolling through Facebook or finding new videos on YouTube.

Unfortunately, a poor attention span can affect us in many ways. It may impact our performance at school or work or cause communication difficulties in relationships. It may even result in poor health related to self-neglect and an inability to practice healthy habits.

How do you fix it? Is it even possible to improve your attention span? Yes, you can! But it will take time. Here are a few ways you can get started.

First, accept that you may make yourself a little mentally uncomfortable while expanding your attention span. It simply won’t feel natural to focus on a single task for a longer period of time than normal, but, with a routine, it’ll get more comfortable as time goes on.

M eet K aren P erez A Paralegal Breaking Through Language Barr iers

This March marks the three-year anniversary of Karen Perez. When she first joined us, Karen took a position as receptionist before moving to client care coordinator and junior paralegal. Today, Karen works full time as a paralegal, guiding families toward a better future. Karen admits that her interest in the legal field wasn’t very strong at first. However, as she worked more at our firm, she soon realized she was suited for the work. Throughout her life, Karen has loved working with people and helping them in any way she can, and this career helps her accomplish that. “I love feeling helpful,” Karen says. “And that’s something we certainly do in this office and in this field. I’m very close to my family and hold them close to my heart. Working with people who obviously care for their family as well and are trying to figure out the best path for them is really important to me. It tugs at your heart strings and I want to help them.” Since joining our team, Karen feels like she’s found her calling. “It wasn’t something I saw in my career path, but it happened and I’ve fallen in love with it. I don’t see

myself doing anything different now, especially the work I’m doing now at the Manely Firm.”

One of the most meaningful aspects of her work here is assisting our Spanish-speaking clientele. Karen is fluent in Spanish and has been a large help at the firm, as more Spanish-speaking individuals have reached out to us over the years. Being a Spanish-speaking paralegal helped bridge that language barrier between our clients and our team. With a fluent Spanish-speaking attorney, it has made communication smoother, allowing our clients to fully understand our process in a language they understand. As Karen describes, “It’s made our work even more special.” Her love of working with Spanish-speaking individuals affects her life outside of the firm as well. Karen has a degree in nonprofit management and volunteers her time with nonprofits. She volunteers for the Galeo organization, which works to help keep the Latin community up to date with the latest policies. Additionally, for the past six years, Karen has volunteered at Make a Wish Foundation, working with Latino families to help plan their wishes.

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T he H ague C onvention

“T he great thing in this world is not so much where we stand , as in what direction we are moving .” —O liver W endell H olmes S r .

Visi tat ion Rights: Member and Nonmember Countr ies The Hague Conference on Private International Law, or the HCCH, is an organization responsible for making matters of family law easier to manage between different countries. They do this by ensuring each nation follows the same international rules. Through what is known as the Hague Conventions, the HCCH negotiates treaties to bring international law and rules together. Our firm works with these rules on a regular basis. Cases that involve parents moving to a different country require us to negotiate settlement agreements, child visitation, or custody between the two parties. For countries that are part of the Hague Convention, this process is slightly easier. However, we also work with nations that are not part of the Convention, which makes things a little more complex. All courts in member nations are required to analyze a detailed system provided by the Hague Convention. This determines where a child belongs and where they can visit. Problems arise with nonmember nations because they do not have any agreements between our two nations regarding how to handle this issue. Therefore, if a child wound up in a nonmember country, we would have no guarantees the country would follow the particular standards we require.

A sparagus and S moked M ozzarella P izzettes

Inspired by

So, how do we manage situations like these?

The first step is learning as much as possible about the country and why they are not part of the Hague Convention. Japan is a prime example. For years, the country was not a member because of their view on custody. After a divorce, one parent would take the child and the other would be completely excluded. It’s crucial to know details like this because it helps us understand the significance of what could happen to a visiting child. Once we’ve understood the reason behind the choice, we then create a strong concessions for the removing or visiting party. These concessions make it more likely that the nonmember country will agree the U.S. is the child’s permanent residence and they have no intention of keeping the child in that country. In the event a parent tries to keep the child, the concession can be used as evidence against them. Though, understandably, risks are involved, there are ways for children to visit these countries safely. If you have any questions about the process involved in visitation to a nonmember Hague Convention nation, contact the Manely Law Firm today.

I ngredients

1 lb prepared whole-wheat pizza dough, divided into 6 equal portions 12 oz asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese

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1/3 cup scallions, thinly sliced 2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves, torn

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1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

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1/4 tsp salt

Zest of 1 orange

D irections


Remove both trays from the oven, sprinkle cheese over the dough, then top with asparagus and scallions. Return pizzettes to oven and bake until the crusts’ edges are golden, about 8–10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with walnuts, mint, and orange zest before serving


Preheat oven to 500 F and ensure there are two racks in your oven. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, stretch each piece of dough into a 7-by-3-inch oval and arrange evenly on the pan. On a second baking sheet, toss asparagus with oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Place dough on top rack and asparagus on bottom and bake for 3 minutes.







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211 Roswell St. NE Marietta, GA 30060 (866) 687-8561


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Seeking Equality for Women: We Must Continue to Fight

How to Improve Your Attention Span! Shining the Spotlight on Karen P.! Child Visitation to Nonmember Nations Asparagus & Smoked Mozzarella Pizzettes

3 Irish Travel Destinations for Your Bucket List

3 I rish T ravel D estinations for Y our B ucket L ist Don’t Miss These Historic Spots!

IRELAND’S SPOOKIEST CASTLE – COOLDERRY, COUNTY OFFALY If you’re a fan of thrillers and true crime podcasts, you won’t want to leave Ireland without visiting Leap Castle. This 16th-century haunt was built by the fierce O’Bannon clan, who famously ordered two brothers to throw themselves off a rocky cliff as a test of strength. The survivor was named clan chief, and later Leap Castle

Traveling to Ireland might not be an option for you right now, but like a leprechaun hoarding gold, you can still fill up your bucket list with all of the pubs, rolling hills, and lucky sites you’d love to see. This month when you’re planning your trip to Dublin, Galway, or Cork, add these spots to your itinerary.

was built on that very site — beginning its long and bloody history. Read more about its haunted priest’s house, murder hole room, and bloody chapel at and meet the many ghosts that haunt its halls. A FAMOUS SMUGGLERS’ SHORTCUT – NEWCASTLE, COUNTY DOWN Get ready to tie up your hiking boots! This roughly 2-mile hike, called Hare’s Gap, is one of the most famous and beautiful routes in Ireland. When you climb through this pass in the Mourne Mountains, you’ll be rewarded with views of glacial cliffs, boulder fields, and ancient-looking stone walls. Legend has it that the pass was part of the Brandy Pad smuggling route, used to ferry goods like soap, leather, spices, and coffee.

THE OLDEST BAR IN THE WORLD – ATHLONE, COUNTY WESTMEATH When Sean’s Bar closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire country of Ireland groaned. The pub is famous for its Irish whiskey, music, and history, which stretches back to 900 A.D., far enough to earn it the title of “Oldest Bar in the World.” As of this writing, Sean’s is slated to reopen when it’s safe again, and considering it has already survived the bubonic plague and the Spanish flu, odds are good that it will make it through this, too! Soon, you’ll be able to raise a glass in the same rooms where the noblemen of nearby Athlone Castle shared drinks in the 12th century. Find more historical tidbits at

Safe travels, and ádh mór (good luck)!

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