Manely Firm - August 2019

All family law. All around Georgia. All around the world.

A ugust 2019

S chool S ystems A broad How to Protect Your Chi ld

S chool is an essential aspect of any child’s life. Not only is it a place for kids to learn and grow in their education, but it’s also a place where they can socialize with other youths their age. In divorced households, school can cause strife between parents. After a long summer, everyone has to adjust to new schedules and work together to ensure nothing is overlooked and no one oversteps. This process can become even more complicated if the parents reside in different countries or have a tenuous relationship with each other. School systems around the world are all different in some way. We recently finished another case in Australia that involved the local school schedule. Their school schedule is a lot different than in the U.S.; for instance, students enjoy their summer vacation in December, January, and February instead of June, July, and August. These types of scheduling differences are what parents have to be keenly aware of, not only for themselves but also for the mental well-being of their child. Before a family enters a new country, they must decide how immersed they want their children to become. It’s vital to consider any long-term effects this may have on the family, even if it’s a short-term arrangement. For example, if you decide to visit another country and put your child into a local school and later decide to withdraw them, it could lead to complications. If one parent decided they didn’t want to leave, they wanted to stay, a parent’s decisions regarding the schooling of their child could weaken their

case significantly. By placing your child in school while abroad, you’re giving the impression you were planning on staying in the country for an indefinite period of time. Even if you were to argue that you never intended to stay in that country, your words don’t match your actions. Additionally, it can be argued that the child is accustomed to the new environment they’ve been living in. There is an entire network of school friends, teachers, regimens, and even cultures that the child has been exposed to. Attending a school is far more than loyalty to a mascot; it’s about being embedded into another culture, and, when a child is taken out of that, the experience can do more harm than good. To avoid these difficult or painful situations, be selective in the school the child will attend while in another

country. If a child is coming from the U.S. and will be attending a school in Europe, find a school that closely follows the curriculum and schedule of the school systems in the States. I would also advise that you leave a paper trail to show you were only residing in the country for a set amount of time. These types of precautions are necessary in unstable family environments. communication. Whether you’ll be in the same country or not, work together for a schedule and school you both agree on. –Michael Manely 1 For parents who are eager to avoid any anxieties this school year, keep open channels of

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Y ou ’ re G etting V ery S leepy ... Establishing a Bedtime Routine for the School Year

MAKE IT EASY Though the days may be getting shorter, it’s still relatively light out at night, making it nearly impossible for your kids to doze off when they should. Sleep experts recommend creating a sleeping space that mimics a cave: dark, cool, and quiet. This means sunlight shouldn’t sneak into the room, and the home should be a quiet zone after bedtime. No one wants to sleep while everyone else is having fun, so it’s important that everyone in the home is quiet at bedtime. JUST RELAX This is a rule your family should follow year- round, not just when you want to reestablish a routine. At a certain time each night, begin the nightly wind-down. For example, at 8 p.m. shut off your screens, put on pajamas, and engage in a relaxing activity, like reading a book or doing some yoga. Signaling to your body and your family that it’s time for bed will help your kiddos, and you, fall asleep at an appropriate time.

significantly improve a child’s growth and cognitive function

But getting a restful night’s sleep is easier said than done when kids have had almost complete freedom for three months. Try these tips to get your kids snoozing through August and prepared for school. START EARLY AND GO SLOWLY When practicing this tip, think of the old adage: “It takes 21 days to break a habit.” If your

Between vacations, bonfires, and sporting tournaments, your children’s sleep schedule probably went on break when they did this summer. With school fast approaching, it’s vital to get your kids back on a proper sleep schedule. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, getting enough sleep can

kids have been going to bed late this summer, set a time when they must go to bed, but don’t make it too far off the time they have been regularly hitting the hay. If they shuffle off to bed around 10 p.m., push their bedtime to 9:45 p.m., and then push it back to 9:30 p.m. one week later. Slowly work your way back to an appropriate time, and bedtime will be easier when school starts.

C hronic A nger , Y our H eart , and Y our H ealth

How This Emot ion Is Doing You Harm

Anger is a common emotion. It’s natural, and it’s a part of how you respond to certain circumstances in your environment. It’s how you express extreme displeasure. However, new research suggests chronic anger can be detrimental to your health. Essentially, it comes down to this: If you are stressed, tense, easily irritable, angry, and “snippy” all the time, you may be doing serious harm to your well-being. Studies have already shown a link between anger and the heart. People who showed signs of feeling anger on a regular basis experienced higher rates of heart disease. The first studies on the impact of anger came out in the 1950s and have since been confirmed: Chronic anger physically harms the heart. Why? When you get angry or upset, your brain triggers the release of specific hormones, including cortisol and norepinephrine. These hormones

are responsible for triggering the “fight or flight” response. When these hormones enter the bloodstream, your heart rate increases and arteries constrict. This helps to more effectively pump blood to the arms and legs for a fight or a flight. The problem is that when a person is constantly angry or upset, these hormones course through the body more frequently, stressing the arteries and internal organs. As a person ages, this stress can become more damaging. One study that appeared in the Psychology and Aging Journal looked into this phenomenon. Researchers found that there is a link between frequently experiencing anger and increased inflammation and chronic illness for people ages 80 and older. This equated to more instances of heart disease and dementia. The study also looked at other emotions, including sadness, which has also been linked to heart and other inflammatory disease. Through a number of tests involving 200 participants ages 59–93, the researchers concluded anger was far more detrimental to a person’s health than sadness. Ultimately, if you regularly experience rage and frustration, properly dealing with your anger is one of the best things you can do for your health. Every person’s situation is different, and it comes down to getting to the bottom of what makes you angry so you can work through it, whether you work through it alone or with a mental health professional. Take the steps to prioritize your mental and physical health, and your efforts will pay off tenfold in the long run.


And the Problems Therein M ilitary D ivorce Military divorce is a subject we encounter quite often at The Manely Law Firm. Often, problems occur when military personnel travel abroad to other countries. Our team ensures those who serve our country are taken care of and their rights are not ignored while they are abroad. A few issues come up with nearly every divorce involving a servicemember. The first is calculating their income. The major issue with this particular aspect is that servicemembers receive a housing allowance dependent on the cost of living for where they are stationed. This means their income changes depending on where they live. And if they have a child support obligation based on housing allowance, that can inflate, too. If their housing allowance decreases due to a change in duty station, the amount of child support remains the same. Currently, there are laws that set housing allowance with a base allowance, which removes the need for boost adjustments. This means that a servicemember can get stationed somewhere else without worrying about inflated child support. The other big component is where federal military law and the court process of the state intersect. The Manely Law Firm handles many cases with the Army due to two bases near our Savannah office. In the Army, there’s a regulation that requires servicemembers to financially support their spouse and dependents, if any, while they’re out of the country. This goes into practice immediately and stays in place until a civil court order is placed regarding support. However, this can create problems, as the serving member cannot appear in court. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is a law that ensures any civil case is postponed until the servicemember is back in the country. When you’re faced with these difficulties, call our offices to speak with our attorneys today. Our experience in family law and our international family background can help you in this time of need.

R oasted C orn S alsa

Inspired by Bon Appétit magazine

I ngredients

2 medium ears of corn, shucked

1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt, to taste

D irections


Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices.



4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine.


Top with lime juice and season with salt.


Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.


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


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How to Protect Your Child in Schools Abroad

Get Your Kids Back on a Sleep Schedule

Anger May Be Harming Your Heart

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Helping Those Who Serve

A Biking Adventure

Hopping on your bicycle for a family bike ride through the neighborhood is a great activity for beautiful summer weather, but nothing spoils a fun day of riding more than a flat tire or dislodged chain. That’s why it’s important to keep up with bike maintenance, even if you typically stay close to home. By following these four tips, you and your family can enjoy a smooth ride all summer long. GIVE YOUR BIKE A ONCE-OVER. The best way to avoid any problems with your bike while riding is to inspect it thoroughly before you head out. Check each component and make sure everything is in working order. If you notice your handlebars are loose or your brake pads are worn, you’ll be able to make adjustments or repairs before hopping on. FILL YOUR TIRES PROPERLY. Proper bike tire pressure can seem ambiguous; many people just inflate the tires until they seem plump enough to ride on. But a bike tire will typically have the recommended air pressure in psi (pound-force per square inch) stamped into the side of the tire. For example,

your tire might say MIN. 85–MAX. 135 PSI. This may seem like a broad range, but it all depends on what you’re looking for: A higher psi will increase speed, while a lower psi will give you a smoother ride. KEEP IT CLEAN. Cleaning your bike regularly is essential in preventing premature wear and tear. When cleaning the body of the bike, use a damp rag with window cleaner or diluted dish soap to wipe it down, and take extra care not to get any of it on the chain. If the chain is dry to the touch, remove any debris that may be caught in it with a small brush or old toothbrush before applying a good bicycle chain lube. INVOLVE YOUR KIDS. Encouraging your kids to maintain their own bikes will help them understand the importance of taking care of their possessions. Teach them to inspect their bike, clean and lubricate their chains, and regularly check their tire pressure. This summer, set yourself up for cycling success and make bike maintenance a priority.

R ide I nto the S unset 4 Tips to Maintain Your Bicycle


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