Manely Firm - June 2020

Al l fami ly law. Al l around Georgia. Al l around the wor ld.

J une 2020

H onoring N ational L oving D ay The Lovings Win for Civi l Rights

On June 12,1967, the United States Supreme Court declared that all laws that banned interracial marriage were unconstitutional. This decision was Loving v. Virginia, in which Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, were arrested when they arrived home after their wedding. They fought back against the law that prevented them from living and building a family together and, in the end, won. Their victory changed the lives of millions of Americans across the country and still impacts millions of people to this day. This event took place in my lifetime — a surprising reminder that it wasn’t too long ago that people like the Lovings had to fight so hard for the most basic rights, like being able to marry the person you love. It seems that some things never change. When I was growing up in the ‘60s, my mom worked as the director of an arts festival in downtown Atlanta. Her job brought me into contact with cultural experiences I otherwise wouldn’t have been exposed to in my small suburb in Cobb County. For one, I had the great honor of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because I studied acting with his children. Living in a small town in that time meant things didn’t change as quickly as they may have in bigger cities. I can remember segregated drinking fountains, restrooms, and even restaurants in a county just north of King’s home. The pictures you see in the history books were part of my experience as a child. I remember one moment in particular: I was walking with some of my friends at a shopping center and ahead of us were two high school kids, a white girl and a

you think before the Obergefell decision will be overturned in this present climate? How much farther behind, then, will be Loving? Too many people would gleefully revert back to that degree of power-mad cruelty. The people who fight against interracial and same-sex relationships are saying, “My way is the right way. Your way is the wrong way.” This pattern repeats in most civil rights and family law cases. When someone approaches a family law case from the paradigm of believing that they raised their child a certain way and that anyone who wants to raise their child differently is wrong, they are leading with ego and hubris. That type of thinking doesn’t just extend to interracial families, either, but also to same-sex families. That type of thinking extends across the spectrum. We have represented Native Americans in their struggle to regain their children after a very rigid Georgia Division of Family and Children Services officer found their lifestyle to be unacceptable and un-American to their Puritan expectations. (Now there’s some irony.) The impact of Loving v. Virginia on American civil rights set a course for other lovers. This continues to be an essential piece of what we do in family law. This remains a cause that we believe in. We are hyperaware of the continuing civil rights struggle. That battle isn’t going away, and neither are we.

black boy. They were just walking and talking, not even holding hands, when a car full of white boys pulled up and beat the ever-living crap out of the guy. They took him apart right in front of us little kids for no reason except that he was black and had the audacity to walk with a white girl. That incident is etched into my memory as if it happened just a short while ago. For me, that memory stands out vividly and reminds me daily just how unjust, inhumane, and absurd our society was in that time and, unfortunately, how those same injustices continue to this day. Racism, though prevalent, may not always be as open and notorious, and the victory of the Loving case certainly allowed many couples to form their families in ways they want. But it would be foolish to say, “Well, that was then, and this is now.” We need look no further than Brunswick to understand how much hasn’t changed. If we wait only a decade and witness the continued politization of the Supreme Court, we could well see restrictions on interracial marriage again. Just how long do

Happy Loving Day!

–Michael Manely 1

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B olster Y our C hild ’ s L iteracy W ith N ewsela

Hands-Off Learning for Busy Parents

If you are looking for easy-to-implement strategies to improve your child’s literacy at home, check out Newsela. Newsela is a content platform that partners with sources like The Washington Post, Smithsonian. com, and The Economist to provide content that is relevant to the moment on a broad variety of topics. Unlike a newspaper or magazine article, though, the content on Newsela is aligned with Common Core educational standards, meaning that time spent practicing skills with Newsela’s learning exercises will help your child start the next school year ahead. Articles come with questions and multiple-choice answers already written, and kids can choose from over 20 different genres, including current events, sports, and even science.

adjustable, so your child can practice reading texts that push them without being frustrating or too difficult. Newsela includes a functionality that allows parents or teachers to manually set a Lexile level — a text difficulty level the reflects your child’s reading ability — but if left unadjusted, Newsela will gather data about how your child performs on assessments to automatically set texts to the appropriate difficulty. Newsela collects data on how your child performs on the standards identified in each assessment, so spending some time looking at that data can help you understand their strengths and weaknesses and fill in any gaps in their learning. Whether you adjust text difficulty or Newsela does, learning about your child’s Lexile can be an excellent way to better understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses, which is essential if you are going to help bolster their literacy.

The platform publishes 10 new articles every day, and the level of reading and assessment difficulty is

S potlight on S helia M anely Offer ing Support , Encouragement , and Understanding

In 2003, The Manely Firm had three employees: Michael Manely, Shelia Manely, and a secretary. Since then, Michael and Shelia have worked side by side for over 15 years, aiming to provide the best services throughout Georgia. Shelia, who has always been interested in law, finds her work tremendously fulfilling. However, it did take her a while to find her true calling in family law. Shelia received her undergraduate degree in paralegal studies, but as she prepared to pursue a career in law and enter law school, a bad experience brought her up short. “I went to work as an intern in one of the largest firms in Kentucky. The culture there was so caustic that it caused me to return to school and get my master’s in public administration to pursue a different career path. Had I interned at a firm similar to The Manely Firm, I would have gone onto law school,” she reflects. In fact, Shelia didn’t return to the law field until she married Michael, 17 years ago. “It was shortly after we had our son. At the time, I was traveling the country, and Michael was working at the firm. We quickly realized that someone needed to raise the baby,” she laughs. “I couldn’t be traveling around the country just as Michael

couldn’t constantly be in court. So, I made the decision to leave my career and join Michael at the firm as his business manager.” Shelia continues, “It was a combination of the desire Michael and I both had to put our shoulders to the same harness and pull in the same direction — to have more control over our personal lives so we could be a stronger family. I also saw that Michael serves his clients the way I would like to see clients served. The confidence I had in him as an attorney, plus his work ethic and philosophy of serving family, made me comfortable to make the decision to join him at the firm.” Family law works all over the world, and that’s something that Shelia feels most connected to. “Our firm is a family- focused firm, and the culture we maintain intentionally is very supportive and collaborative. And it’s part of my duty to make it so,” Shelia adds. “As a blended family ourselves, we understand what it means to go through divorce and come together as a family. We lived that process, and together with our own experience and the lessons we learned in our own lives, we deliver that understanding and compassion in our services to our clients.”

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T he I mportance of an E state P lan It’s been said that if you talk to someone about their plans for their property, home, and other assets after they pass, they won’t have one. And odds are if you ask anyone about their written medical wishes, they will respond with a blank stare. This is because people often have one of two mindsets: They think they’re invincible, or they’re in denial. However, because of the recent pandemic, people across the country are realizing just how essential it is to have these plans in place, not only for themselves but also for their family and assets. You too can put these plans in place with an estate plan. An estate plan is more than just a will or a trust; it’s a combination of important documents. Usually, it will include a will, revocable or living trust, financial powers of attorney, Georgia advance directive for health care, and/or HIPAA release forms. With these documents, you can determine which family members will receive your assets and designate someone to handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. One of the most important questions you should ask yourself is this: “What do I want a doctor to know and do if I am incapable of communicating with them?” The idea of not having the ability to talk for yourself is a frightening aspect for anyone, and it can be even harder for family members. Without knowing what you would have wanted, all they can do is assume. But with an estate plan, you can give direction to both doctors and family members, taking that weight off their shoulders. Additionally, an estate plan gives you the power to distribute your property however you want. When you haven’t listed at least one beneficiary for your property, it means that the distribution of your assets will be controlled by state law or federal law, depending on your retirement plan. Setting up an estate plan gives you control over where your money, home, belongings, and other assets go without the complication of the law. Whether in the face of a pandemic or life in general, it’s never too early to get an estate plan in place. Now is the time to reach out to The Manely Firm, P.C. to speak with our estate planning team and create your own. For more information check out our Estate Planning page at

“Develop success from fai lures. Discouragement and fai lure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” –Dale Carnegie

F ig C aprese S alad

Inspired by

I ngredients

8 oz buffalo mozzarella or fresh mozzarella

Flaked sea salt, to taste

Coarse ground black pepper, to taste

8 oz ripe fresh figs, quartered lengthwise

Olive oil, to taste

Handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped

D irections

1. Tear mozzarella into bite-size pieces. Arrange on a platter. 2. Place quartered figs, flesh up, around mozzarella. 3. Sprinkle basil leaves over top. 4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 5. Drizzle with olive oil.


Cal l For a Consul tat ion: ( 866) 687-8561

211 Roswel l St . NE Mar ietta, GA 30060 (866) 687-8561 l fami


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Love Trumps Al l

Bolster Your Chi ld’s Literacy With Newsela Shel ia’s Rekindl ing of Passion

Don’t Put Off This Task Any Longer

Have the Olympics Ever Been Postponed Before?

T imes the O lympics W ere C anceled And the Postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games

In late March, amid the global spread of COVID-19, the International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games. They were slated to take place in Tokyo, Japan, this summer, but they will now happen in the summer of 2021. While this is an unprecedented decision, it’s not the first time that major global events have affected the Olympic Games or which countries participated. Since the inception of the modern Olympic Games in 1896, they have been outright canceled three times — 1916, 1940, and 1944. The first cancellation of the Olympic Games happened during World War I. The German Empire was supposed to host the games in Berlin, but by the time 1916 rolled around, Europe was deep in the trenches of WWI. Many nations had sent their athletes to fight in the war, so the games were canceled. World War II caused the next two cancellations. The 1940 Olympics were initially scheduled to be held in Tokyo. It would have been the first time the games were hosted by a non-Western country, but Japan forfeited the right

to host when they invaded China in 1937. The games were then rebooked for Helsinki, Finland, but after Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939 and started WWII, those games were scrapped as well. Since the fighting hadn’t ceased by the time the games were supposed to happen in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, in 1944, the Olympics were canceled again. Though the Olympics have happened on schedule since the end of WWII, the United States has not always participated. In 1980, when the U.S. boycotted the Olympics that were held in Moscow, Russia, in protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, 64 other nations followed suit. However, those games still went on as planned and 80 countries participated. The fact that major global conflicts are the only other events that have been catastrophic enough to affect the Olympics might be distressing and elevate anxiety about our current global health crisis. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the Olympics have only been postponed this time, not canceled. We’ll still get to cheer on our favorite Olympians next year.

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