Advocating for Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

  1. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders Generally
    Prenatal alcohol exposure can cause life altering neurodevelopmental disabilities, referred to in the aggregate as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD). “FASD” is an umbrella term, not a diagnosis. The identifiable conditions associated with prenatal alcohol exposure under the FASD umbrella are Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD).
  2. FAS Diagnosis
    An FAS diagnosis connotes impairments in three ...
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Seeking to Annul a Marriage? Here Are Some Facts You Should Know

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

Historically, divorce law in the United States was fault-based. Dissolving a marriage meant that one spouse would have to demonstrate to the tribunal that the other spouse was “guilty” of some act that the legislature had determined was sufficient to allow the marriage to be dissolved, such as an act of cruelty, adultery, or desertion. Marriages did not end on impulse or because it was the most expedient way to resolve conflict. ...

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What You Need to Know About Filing for Divorce in Georgia

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

There are three kinds of “jurisdiction” that are at issue in divorce. Jurisdiction over the type of legal action is referred to as “subject matter jurisdiction.” In Georgia, the Superior Courts have jurisdiction over the dissolution of marriages. “Personal jurisdiction” refers to the Court’s authority to exercise authority over the parties to the case and to bind them by their judgments, and “venue” refers to the county and state in which the divorce ...

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Both Parents Have a Duty to Support Children Born Out of Wedlock

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

A biological father has a duty to pay child support for his illegitimate child even in the absence of a judicial determination of paternity. A judicial determination is simply a procedural prerequisite to the enforcement of the biological father’s existing duty. The biological father’s duty to support his child begins when the child is born.

Under the Georgia Code, a “duty of support” includes any duty of support imposed or imposable by law ...

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Answers to The Ten Most Common Questions Concerning Child Custody

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

  1. Is there a presumption in favor of a Mother or Father having custody?
    No. Under Georgia law, in all cases in which the custody of a child is at issue between the child’s parents, there is no prima-facie right to custody of the child in the father or mother – no presumption in favor of either parent.
  2. Is there a presumption in favor of a particular kind of custody for either parent?
    No. ...
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The Child Protection and Public Safety Act: Streamlining the Georgia Juvenile Code

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

Originally introduced during the 2009 Georgia General Assembly as Senate Bill 292, The Child Protection and Public Safety Act (“the Act”), after further scrutiny and alteration, was introduced during the 2011 Georgia General Assembly by Senator Bill Hamrick (as SB 127) and by Representative Wendell Willard (as HB 641).

The Act is meant to modernize, reorganize, and streamline a 40-year-old Juvenile Code, the body of law that regulates the manner in which the ...

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Contested Custody Cases: Protecting Your Children From An Addict Parent

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

  1. Retain Competent Counsel
    Research. Ask Questions. Call your State Bar. You want a family law attorney who understands the issues surrounding physical and legal custody – someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing intimate details of your life, someone responsive, communicative, capable, thorough, insightful, a straight shooter – someone who can assist you in reaching a sound and amicable resolution to the custody and parenting time issues in your case and, if it becomes ...
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The Ugly Truth about Foster Care

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

To Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, simplicity was the hallmark of modern architecture, hence the aphorism for which he is credited, “Less is more.” When it comes to children in foster care, less is most definitely more – if “less” connotes fewer abused and neglected children, fewer petitions for deprivation, fewer children for whom permanency is an issue, and fewer tax dollars necessary to fund child protection (aka “deprivation” or “dependency”) proceedings. The reality, ...

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Property Division in Divorce: An Evolving Jursiprudential Rainbow

Written by Rachel Aliza Elovitz

In Georgia, property division in divorce is subject to certain rules – traditional principles out of which the Georgia Supreme Court has carved multiple exceptions.

Property division, first and foremost, must be “equitable.” Equity seeks to do that which is fair, and what is fair is not necessarily equal – not in Georgia. In community property states, the presumption may be that a 50/50 split is fair. In Georgia, the Court is charged ...

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