Atlanta Divorce Law Group - October 2019

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Don’t Keep Your Fears Hidden Away in the Dark THE DEFINITION OF GENUINE BRAVERY

October 2019

With Halloween on the horizon, images of ghosts, goblins, vampires, and monsters might be making their way into your dreams. You might be staying up late to watch suspense thrillers, running through corn mazes with your teenage kids, or reimagining your front porch as a Victorian haunted house to frighten trick-or-treaters at the end of the month, but, regardless of how you celebrate this spooky holiday, you’ll notice at the heart of all Halloween festivities is one specific feeling: fear.  Fear plays an interesting role in our lives. While we might regard some of our greatest fears as irrational, fear does cause a real biological reaction in our bodies, and, when those scary feelings stick with us long term, they can cause a lot of psychological turmoil. For example, if you’ve been considering making a huge relationship or marital change in your life, you might experience stress, anxiety, or even body aches every time the thought merely enters your mind. Hidden within this potential separation or divorce are fears of losing custody of your kids, losing your house, or angering your family and friends. What do we often do when these fears enter our minds? We shut them away in the dark, and they grow into this big scary monster we spend the bulk of our lives running away from.  With this monster tucked away, we might momentarily convince ourselves we are safe from all our fears, but it’s only a perceived

state of safety. Your mind tries to lie to you by convincing you that regardless of how dysfunctional your relationship becomes, status quo is safety, and anything outside of that is terrifying. The mind doesn’t like change, so it will do all it can to maintain a current situation and keep the monster hidden in the dark.  What’s worse is we convince ourselves that by not acknowledging this monster, we are being brave when the opposite is actually true. Genuine bravery stems from staring your fears in the face and working through them, and once you’re able to do that, you stop the monster from growing and render it powerless. The best way to approach this process is by imagining your worst-case scenario and considering all the things that would have to happen to reach that point. For example, if your big scary fear in a divorce would mean you’ll no longer get to see your kids, then you need to think about every step that would have to happen in order for you to lose your parental rights. The truth is, barring severe mental illness, substance abuse, or child abuse, it’s almost unheard of for a parent to lose the right to see their children even in the emotionally fraught custody battles. Like anything else in life, it helps to have an expert work through these fears with you by providing rational logic. Nothing quiets self-doubt faster than legitimate evidence and helpful information. If you know that deep down, you are avoiding a great fear, then you need to recognize the longer you keep this fear hidden in the dark, the stronger it becomes. By shining a light on it and addressing it straight on (either on your own or with a counselor, a legal consultant, a financial advisor, etc.), you diminish its power. No matter what you’re afraid of, the team here at ADLG wants you to know you are capable of working through it. Don’t close your eyes or run away when fear comes calling. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and open, and you’ll be just fine. 678-203-9893

–Sara Khaki



3 Co-Parenting Tips to Keep in Mind This Month THE ULTIMATE HALLOWEEN TREAT!

What is the trick to making this Halloween a stress- free and fun celebration as a divorced parent? Treating your little ones to a holiday all about putting them first! You and your former spouse can take several steps to ensure your kids’ Halloween stays just as exciting (if not more exciting) than it was when you were a couple. As you start shopping for the perfect house decorations and costumes, keep the following tips in mind! CONSULT THE PARENTING PLAN Does your parent plan account for Halloween? Even if you and your ex decided to alternate whom your kids spend Halloween with, perhaps you can discuss a schedule rearrangement to ensure they get to see both parents for some good old- fashioned trick-or-treating fun.

in favor of their own happiness and well-being. Even if your situation doesn’t allow for a blended celebration, you can schedule the evening so your kids get to trick-or-treat with both parents in separate neighborhoods. Double the houses? Double the candy! KEEP YOUR CHIN UP If you’re simply unable to work out a plan that allows for the kids to spend the night with both parents, then chances are you’ll have to spend Halloween alone — if not this year, then the next. When this happens, try to avoid letting your kids see your disappointment. They’ll feel guilty for leaving you alone, which can put a real damper on their fun. If you know they’ll be out of the house this Halloween, try to spend the evening with a friend or two, so you’re not alone. Halloween as a single parent doesn’t have to be scary. If you aren’t sure what your custody agreement says about this holiday, need to make changes, or just want a little more support to make this Halloween better than ever, don’t hesitate to let our team know! 

SEPARATE OR BLENDED PARTIES While the idea of walking through the

neighborhood with your former spouse and your new girlfriend/boyfriend might sound awkward (and let’s face it, it probably will be), it sends a wonderful message to your kids. It lets them know their parents can put all issues and concerns aside

Decorate Your House With Your Own Creations! FALL FAMILY FUN

The leaves are turning, the weather is changing, and the holidays are right around the corner, which means it’s time to bring out the fall decor! To make this season especially memorable for your family, create your own decorations with these fun ideas below. PINE CONE PAINTING Go on a family walk through the park to pick up a few fallen pine cones or take a quick trip to the store to buy a bag. Once everyone has their own hand-picked pine cone, grab a paintbrush and a few colors and have at it! For extra flair, add some fixings like glitter, beads, sequins, string, and more. LEAF PAINTING Take a trip outside with the kids to pick out some large, unbroken leaves, then head back inside and get creative! You can pull out the construction paper and paint trees, using handprints and “arm prints” as the trunks and

branches. Paint the leaves you found to spruce up your trees or use them as decorations on their own. You can also use them for leaf printing or leaf pressing. FUN FINGER FOOD When you’ve got multiple friends and family members coming over and you need snacks, edible decorations are the way to go. You can get a little creative and make elaborate treats, or you can opt for delicious and easy-to-make finger foods with your kids. A good starting treat for your family is a batch of pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats. Add orange food coloring to the mix and get your kids to shape the treats like pumpkins before using a few pretzel sticks to make sturdy stems. THANKSGIVING CRAFTS Thanksgiving is only a month away, and your possibilities for holiday-themed crafts are endless with just a few supplies like paper,

scissors, markers, and string. You can make turkey placemats, tissue paper trees, pumpkin garlands, paper pumpkins, or leaf mobiles to hang from the ceiling. Compile a list of ideas and have your kids pick out which craft they want to do first, then get to work together to create as many decorations as you want to display for Turkey Day. With these engaging craft ideas, the whole family will be eager to make their own decorations and show them off for months to come!


HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN  Halloween Celebrations in Sleepy Hollow

In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.  This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big Halloween party during the month of October.  Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky

celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins.  Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive! But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand-new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins. If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!


HERE’S WHAT OUR Clients Are Saying!

IAG Forensics & Valuation Can Answer the Hard Financial Questions

Did you know that our legal team is constantly working to add to our ever-growing list of helpful resource partners in the Atlanta community to offer aid to our clients no matter their situation? This month, we wanted to spotlight IAG Forensics and Valuation, a CPA firm specializing in forensic accounting, fraud investigation, and litigation

“The entire crew at Atlanta Divorce Law Group went above and beyond all of my legal expectations. In addition to being knowledgeable in the field of divorce, child custody, mediation, and all things law, they were true friends during the entire process. Their legal team and associates are polite, professional, and personable, and they helped a single mom of two and school teacher figure out this new world with bravery and optimism. “Thank you specifically to my lawyer Ashley and the rest of the Atlanta Divorce Law Group for being there for one of the most trying times of my life. My kids and I are truly thankful to you!” –Laurel G.

support for individuals. Their team understands that litigation between family members or former spouses can be very personal, painful, and expensive. They aim to reduce their clients’ stress by being accessible virtually 24 hours per day, providing care and compassionate service in an efficient and cost-effective manner. If you anticipate you’ll need assistance calculating separate and marital interests, tracing assets, creating a marital balance sheet, or determining child support, IAG Forensics & Valuation can be of great help to you! Give their office a call at 770-565-3098 to set up an appointment!

3 678-203-9893


3510 Old Milton Parkway Alpharetta, GA 30005

Inside This Issue

1 2 2 3 3 4

What Are You Afraid Of?

3 Co-Parenting Tips to Keep in Mind This Halloween

Fall Crafts for the Whole Family

The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow 

Here’s What Our Clients Are Saying!

ADLG’s ‘Big Little Lies’ Series: Season 1, Episode 6 Recap

ADLG’s ‘Big Little Lies’ Series: Season 1, Episode 6 Recap

Family Law Theme: Custody

In preparation for the release of the much awaited second season of the hit TV series “Big Little Lies,” which launched this last June, the ADLG team launched a new blog series to extrapolate the plethora of family themes addressed throughout the first season. Below is a condensed recap of the sixth blog and episode “Burning Love.” This episode — the one right before the series’ finale — presents the audience with several themes related to family law. Today, Atlanta Divorce Law Group is focusing on custody . From episode one, we have watched Madeline struggle in her relationship with ex-husband Nathan, especially when it comes to custody and

co-parenting of their teenage daughter Abigail. Custody is also an issue for Celeste, who is confronting the very real potential of a custody battle if she decides to take the twins and leave Perry for good. In this episode, she receives some very blunt advice from her therapist about separation and custody. When couples divorce, they must make many important decisions and resolve critical matters. Few issues may bear greater significance than the subject of child custody. It can also become an emotional and contentious issue between parting spouses. Under Georgia law, a court may award sole custody to one former spouse or joint custody to both ex-partners.

In addition, custody can be categorized as physical custody (where the child lives) and legal custody (enables parents to make important life decisions such as education, medical treatment, religion, and travel). In making decisions about child custody, Georgia courts consider the child’s personal views as well as other factors, including ability to provide primary care, financial and employment stability, the home environment, any criminal records, parents’ mental health, and any drug or alcohol abuse. In addition to custody, the other family law issues in this sixth episode include domestic violence (Celeste), forced isolation (Celeste), rape (Jane), therapy (Celeste), and maintaining or managing passion in a marriage (Celeste, Madeline). For a full discussion on blended families, domestic violence, therapy, and infidelity, you can read our previous episode recaps. To read about the family law themes explored in this episode and others, or to see foreshadowing of themes present in “Burning Love,” be sure to go to


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