Atlanta Divorce Law Group - July 2020.

HOW TO TALK ABOUT RACISM WITH YOUR KIDS ADALIA ELLIS GIVES TALKING POINTS ON A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION

July 2020

HOW DO I TALK ABOUT RACISM WITH MY KIDS? This is a question many parents have been struggling to answer now. All the hate crime and police brutality against the Black community weigh heavy on our hearts. These are not new things, but this painful reality is something we need to pay attention to. I know many of our clients are parents, and they are trying to figure out a way to explain to their children what they are seeing on the news and on our streets. As parents of young children, our litigation manager, Jeanetta Pyron, and I feel we have a responsibility to address this pressing issue and provide our clients with some resources to tackle this challenging topic. To do this, we reached out to social activist and executive director of Aroha Afro Latin Dance LLC Adalia Ellis. Adalia is also the organizer of Convergence Symposium, which blends the arts with social activism. She is a mastermind of teaching young people, and now adults, how to learn about racial and social interaction. We were blessed to have Adalia join us for a live stream on Facebook and educate us on how to have these conversations with our kids about racism. This month, I would like to share some highlights from that conversation. WHERE DOWE START THE CONVERSATION? “At the end of the day, where you start is with your heart,” Adalia told us. “Where you start is really helping our children understand that, yes, we are one human race, one human family. Regardless of the color of our skin or the texture of our hair, we are all the same … You are learning, yourself, and teaching your children to maneuver the world and see the world through the lens of oneness should include seeing diversity in that oneness. Saying things like, ‘I’m colorblind,’ or ‘I don’t see color,’ is actually dismissive. It doesn’t allow children to embrace that we can all have differences and still be one human family.” HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD NOT BE SCARED ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING? “If you can connect what is happening now to history, it doesn’t feel so random or out of their control,” Adalia explained. “It’s not so scary if you can say, ‘This has been going on for a long time, and I can tell you exactly where it started and exactly why.’ This removes the sense of anxiety. It’s important to educate our children that this is 600 years in the making. It’s not just today. This is really old. That knowledge will help ground them so they can understand what is happening around

them. It will probably still be scary, but at least they can talk to you about it. There’s nothing worse than being scared and not being able to talk to your parents about it.” HOW DO I TALK TO MY KIDS ABOUT POLICE BRUTALITY WITHOUT SCARING THEM AWAY FROM GOING TO THE POLICE WHEN THEY NEED TO? “That was a hard conversation … People make choices. Some police officers have made the choice not to use their badge for good, but not all police officers are like this. If you are in danger, you go to the uniform … This conversation is slightly different for Black children, which is what makes it really hard for Black parents. The way this conversation would be different is if the police begin to change what they are doing. At the end of the day, that’s what needs to happen. There needs to be a fundamental change in the atmosphere the police are in. We can prepare our children as much as we want, but there has to be something on the other side of that that proves us wrong … “This is a good opportunity for children to understand the repercussions of choices. You can say to them, ‘This cop chose to treat this person, this Black person, this way, and look at what happened. Not only did this man die, but two children are without their father. They don’t have their dad around anymore. And there are so many people who are hurt and angry about this that they are walking in the streets asking for change. And there are people who don’t want change who are joining them and destroying property.’ It can be that matter of fact. You can always bring it back to choices.” I am so grateful to Adalia for taking the time to speak with us. This was such a powerful conversation, and we can barely scratch the surface here. One very important thing Adalia addresses is the fact that these conversations will be very different for parents of white children compared to parents with children who will be viewed as adults when they are just 12 years old. I highly recommend checking out the whole conversation for yourself. Find it at Facebook.com/pg/ atlantadivorcelawgroup/videos . So many of us want to make an impact, want to make a change. We can start by getting this right with our children.

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–Sara Khaki

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Get Empowered With Our Free Resources TALKING ABOUT DIVORCE AND ADOPTION

Our complimentary divorce support groups and seminars are going online! Register for these upcoming webinars to gain knowledge, resources, and emotional support that can help you feel empowered while you go through major life changes. HOW TO PREPARE FOR LIFE AFTER DIVORCE (SUPPORT GROUP) When: Saturday, July 18; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register: AtlantaDivorceLawGroup.com/july-18- 2020-support-group The divorce process completely upends your everyday life, and life doesn’t instantly return to “normal” once the divorce is finalized. Even when filing for divorce is the best option for you, it takes time to become accustomed to the new routines that come with life after divorce. There are going to be some growing pains in this new chapter of your life. Licensed marriage and family therapist Kathleen Shack, M.S., will

be hosting this month’s support group to help you navigate your journey to a Happily Ever After Divorce. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ADOPTION (COMPLIMENTARY WEBINAR) When: Tuesday, July 21, Time TBD Register: AtlantaDivorceLawGroup.com/ seminars/what-you-need-to-know-about- adoption Opening your home to a child through adoption is a wonderful decision that comes with a lot of hard work. If you are considering adoption, then make sure you join us for this free online seminar. We will discuss the various adoption options, what to expect during the process, and the financial considerations of adopting. We will also discuss adoption and strategies for helping your family adjust to a new normal.

We are dedicated to continuing to provide valuable information to our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for these webinars today to gain this information from the comfort and safety of your home.

WITH A FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT ROOM MAKE YOUR GAME NIGHTS EXTRA SPECIAL

Families around the world are finding new ways to spend time with each other, and their homes are changing accordingly. Whether your family members are video gamers, movie enthusiasts, or board game fans, everyone can benefit from having a dedicated entertainment room. Here are some tips for putting one together. USE YOUR SPACE WISELY. Consider the advantages and challenges of your available space. You don’t want small spaces to feel cramped, and you don’t want large spaces to feel empty. If your room is small, then design the space to serve multiple purposes, like installing a bar with a TV on the opposite wall. If your room is large, then why not have two or more TVs to let visitors play multiple games or watch different shows? A projector can also be used to maximize

a room’s space. It allows you and your guests to utilize an entire wall without requiring much physical space. SET UP SURROUND SOUND. Whether you’re using your entertainment room for movies, music, video games, or all of the above, investing in high-quality speakers will pay off instantly. You can set them up around the room for clearer, more immersive sound for movies and games, and by spacing out each speaker, you can eliminate cord clutter and tangle. SOUNDPROOF YOUR SPACE. Trying to impress your guests with great sound doesn’t mean that your entire neighborhood has to hear what you’re watching! Soundproofing not only helps shield your neighbors from action game explosions and booming movie scores, but it also improves the sound quality in the room. Thick curtains and carpets, wall-mounted foam panels, or freestanding acoustic panels work for basic soundproofing, but if you plan to utilize your space every day and night, then consider hiring a contractor to help estimate materials and cost for a more sophisticated soundproof space. HAVE GREAT LIGHTING. There’s nothing more inviting than a well-lit space, and this also applies to your entertainment room. Whether you’re playing a board game or putting together puzzles with the whole family, mood lighting can make the experience feel even more cozy and special. Try experimenting with different, stylish lamps or overhead fixtures to light up your space.

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BE YOUR BEST SELF WITH THE HELP OF OTHERS HOW TO IMPLEMENT A VIRTUAL WELLNESS CHALLENGE

A lot of people struggle to keep up with a regular wellness routine because they lack accountability to hold them to it. Whether it’s exercise, meditation, or healthy eating, if you go through the process alone, it’s that much harder to will yourself to see it through. But at a time when isolation is still

hours of sleep at night, eating 1 cup of leafy greens with every meal, or meditating for 15 minutes every day are all great examples. Whatever

it is, the target should be clear and reasonable in order to encourage maximum participation and low burnout. STAY ACCOUNTABLE

one of the best ways to stay healthy, how can you involve others in your wellness plan? The answer is simple: Create a virtual wellness challenge! UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS A wellness challenge cultivates healthy competition among participants that keeps them motivated to stick with their wellness regimens. Challenges can be fully customized depending on the goals and abilities of those participating, and when the challenge is carried out virtually, participants have more freedom and flexibility in their routines without missing out on any of the social interaction that makes it fun. GET STARTED

Treat the challenge like you would a weekly book club. Set a time every week to meet via a video call to share wins and setbacks, discuss necessary changes to the challenge, plan for the next week’s challenge, and offer encouragement. If you really want to up the inspiration, determine a prize to be awarded to the person who actively participates the most. Just be sure you have a tangible way to record and share those results, like video evidence of the activity.

A wellness challenge shared among friends and family is a great way to work on your physical or mental well-being and stay connected with loved ones when you aren’t able to visit them in person. That kind of consistent personal connection can be wellness in and of itself.

Every challenge should have a quantifiable goal depending on the theme. Challenges like working out for 30 minutes a day, getting seven

When Will the Courts Reopen?

HERE’S WHAT OUR Clients Are Saying!

On March 14, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia issued an emergency order to address the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. This order effectively froze most court proceedings. At the time of writing, the emergency order has been extended through July 14. At this time, many legal deadlines and administrative actions that have been suspended since March will be reimposed. Prior to July 14, each court will have the option to open for in-person proceedings, provided they comply with public health

“By far the most professional, caring, and thorough group of women! After a mind-numbing search for an attorney who was a good fit, Ashley Pepitone was and is the girl you want in your corner! She fought for me, gave expert advice, and made me feel like I mattered. She tells it like it is and has helped me in more ways she will know other than my divorce. The relationship you have with your attorney is an important one, and finding the right person to trust can be frustrating. But from the very beginning, they took me under their wing and started on my case. This team of amazing people has made an ugly divorce a lot smoother than I could have ever hoped for. I put my faith and trust in this firm, and I have not been disappointed. ADLG is where it’s at!”

guidelines. Each court must provide a copy of the guidelines to the Administrative Office of the Courts so that lawyers and the public will have access to them. We anticipate that most courts will continue with online sessions as they can but will also begin having in-person hearings on a case-by-case basis.

–Katie W.

If you have any questions about how the emergency order or the court reopening may impact your ongoing divorce, call us now at 678-203-9893.

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Fun Facts About the Month of July WHAT DO JULIUS CAESAR AND BUFFALO WINGS HAVE IN COMMON?

Most Americans associate July with Independence Day and everything the holiday entails, including traditional barbecue cuisine, fireworks, and summer vacations. However, in addition to the Fourth of July, this midsummer month has a rich history and offers fun opportunities for everyone to celebrate. ‘WHAT’S IN A NAME?’ You’ve likely heard of Julius Caesar, the famous Roman dictator and general known for changing the Roman Empire’s political structure, innovating war tactics, and eventually dying after a legendary assassination. But did you know that July, Caesar’s birth month, wasn’t always called that? It was initially named Quintilis , which means “fifth” in Latin, because it was the fifth month of the ancient Roman calendar. Shortly after Caesar’s death, the month of Quintilis was renamed July in his honor. Of course, Caesar’s legacy didn’t end there. Before he died, he implemented the Julian calendar, which he based off of the Egyptian solar calendar, and it remained in place for over 1,500 years until the Gregorian calendar was introduced in the 16th century. RED, WHITE, AND WHO? Similar to the Declaration of Independence for the U.S., Canada’s Constitution Act of 1867, signed on July 1 of

that year, marks the birth of Canada. The following year, Charles Monck, the 4th Viscount Monck and Canada’s first governor-general, signed a proclamation requesting that everyone in Canada celebrate their country’s independence on July 1. However, it wasn’t until 100 years later that the date officially became Canada Day. Most celebrations include fireworks and red and white attire, much like how Americans celebrate the Fourth of July. GOT WINGS? While chicken wings are a staple of Southern dining, they actually originated in upstate New York. In 1964, Teressa Bellissimo, co-owner of the Anchor Bar, started cooking leftover wings dipped in hot sauce for her son and his friends. After receiving enthusiastic feedback, Bellissimo put them on the menu. Over the next few years, the recipe’s popularity spread, and in 1977, former Buffalo mayor Stan Makowski declared July 29 to be National Chicken Wing Day. The reputation of the famous Buffalo wings continued to spread nationwide, and in the early ‘90s, wings became an international hit when McDonald’s, KFC, and Domino’s Pizza began selling them in the variety of flavors we know and love today.

EMBRACE NEW TRADITIONS CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS AS A SINGLE PARENT

The holidays are a time for fun and celebration, but they can also be extra stressful on single parents. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Passover have a major emphasis on spending time with the whole family. Even holidays like the Fourth of July, which tend to have lower expectations, can be difficult on single parents who want to make sure their kids have positive memories of childhood holidays.

Some single parents feel pressured to maintain a sense of normalcy for their kids, especially around the holidays. This can lead some parents to try and reenact the traditions their family had before the divorce. Such attempts can be impossible and even painful. Don’t focus on what you did last year. Take the Fourth of July, for example. If you always go to your parents’ house for an afternoon barbecue, then by all

means, enjoy that tradition. But if you have moved in the last year and no longer live in a house on the parade route, don’t feel like you have to make that same parade part of your Fourth of July celebration each year. New activities can easily become beloved traditions for you and your kids. Does your local fire station host a pancake breakfast on the Fourth of July? Is there a group that gets together to go trick-or-treating in your neighborhood on Halloween? Have you ever thought about going to a movie after dinner on Thanksgiving? If you need help planning your holiday activities, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends and family members. The people who helped support you through your divorce are likely the same people who want to support you in your life after divorce. Above all else, don’t put pressure on yourself to make the holidays instantly perfect. Just focus on enjoying the time you have with your kids. That’s what these holidays are really about.

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