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Columbus Family Law Blog

Don???t get caught up in a child support scam

Parents in Ohio who are expected to contribute to the financial care and upkeep of their children should be aware of a recently uncovered scam. Two individuals have been arrested for their involvement in an operation aimed at stealing money from parents, and ultimately, from the children that were intended to benefit from child support payments. The story serves as a cautionary tale for all parents who make or receive child support.

The two men opened multiple businesses that promised to aid parents in the collection of unpaid child support. When a custodial parent contacted the businesses, they were urged to provide a great deal of information about the other parent. The men then began contacting the non-custodial parent to attempt to collect the outstanding child support payments. Some individuals received threats that they could lose their job, have their driving provilege revoked or even go to jail if they did not pay.

Don't let your divorce go to the dogs

Many Ohio residents are extremely attached to their pets, so much so that a significant portion of their time, attention and disposable income is dedicated to pet care and affection. When those individuals marry, they often go to great lengths to ensure that their animals will be accepted and cared for by the new spouse. However, many fail to consider how their beloved pet will factor into a divorce, if and when the marriage comes to an end.

Attorneys assert that including pets within prenuptial agreements is a trend that is on the rise. More and more couples are beginning to think about which party would get "custody" of a pet in the event of a divorce. For those in Ohio who are truly dedicated to their animals, this may be no more unusual than documenting which party has the right to retain the family silver or grandmother's china.

Kids and divorce: How they really feel

When Ohio parents are considering divorce, the impact that this decision will have on their children is one of the most pressing concerns. It is undeniable that the end of a marriage will bring a sea change to the lives of one's kids, but that impact does is not always a negative one. In many cases, children experience positive outcomes when their parents choose to divorce.

For example, many parents go through years of struggle before deciding to go their separate ways. Even when parents make an effort to conceal their marital problems from their kids, the reality is that children are aware of discord within the family. For those who argue and fight openly, the stress level for kids is even greater. Often, children are relieved when divorce allows both Mom and Dad to live happier lives as single parents.

Forensic accountant can help in an Ohio divorce

Love can be a complex idea with various nuances, which can make the meaning of marriage dependent upon each couple as well. However, legally speaking in Ohio, much of a divorce is simply about the division of marital assets and debts. Although sometimes this can turn out to be a simple task, many times this can be tricky even during an amicable divorce. It can be even more challenging for couples with complex financial assets or in the case of suspected fraud by one of the spouses.

Although most of the straightforward types of assets, such as vehicles, real estate, credit card debts and bank accounts are more easily divided, there are other types of financially complex assets which may not be as straightforward. Some of these more complex financial assets may include stock options, restricted stocks and deferred compensation. Other types of complex assets may include closely held businesses, complex partnership agreements and professional practices.

Do I qualify for an uncontested divorce in Ohio?

When Ohio couples make the decision to divorce, they typically do not do so lightly. Whatever the reason, they have to make choices about how they will divide property, assets or child care. Some couples are able to make these agreements fairly easily and with minimal conflict. These couples might consider filing for an uncontested divorce, which has potential advantages. There are certain guidelines to qualify for this type of divorce, and couples may need assistance in determining if it is an option for them.

Couples who do not have major disagreements on the specifics of their divorce are typically best-suited to file for an uncontested divorce. They agree on how they will both handle property and asset separation, and they either have no children or concur on how they will care for them. Typically, the divorce is still filed for by one spouse, but the process is much smoother, needing less documentation and paperwork. As long as the other spouse is in agreement or makes no effort to oppose, an uncontested divorce can proceed.

Child custody: pursuing what is best for all parties

Determining child custody is one of the hardest aspects of a divorce. Even the most amicable of divorces can become tense and complicated when a couple begins to discuss child custody arrangements. One of the most important things for Ohio couples to remember is that there are ways to pursue what is best for all parties.

When going through a divorce, parents can work together to draft a parenting plan. It is best when these plans are established with the qualified assistance of an experienced legal representative. Your lawyer can help you compromise and come to an agreement that is the most beneficial for both the parents and the children, including details that are specific for the individual situation.

Collaborative divorce can be good for business

When an Ohio couple owns a business together, the end of their marriage can be far more complicated than the norm. Dividing a business is, well, a tricky business. The process can drag on for a considerable amount of time, especially if the divorce is contentious in nature. For those business owners who can work together to resolve both the end of their marriage and the division of their company, collaboration can be an excellent divorce option.

In collaboration, both spouses enter into the process with a firm commitment to work out the details of their divorce on their own, outside of a courtroom. From that point forward, the parties work together with the assistance of their respective attorneys to reach a fair division of assets. When it comes to dividing a business, a collaborative approach puts the focus on maintaining the highest possible value of the company throughout the process.

Divorce can bring unexpected reactions

As Ohio spouses prepare to file for divorce, it can be difficult to anticipate how their partners might react to the end of the marriage. People sometimes handle the news of divorce far different from expected, even when the marriage has been in trouble for many years. While no one can accurately predict how their partner may respond, it can be helpful to give some consideration to some of the more common practices that can occur during a difficult divorce.

One tactic that many spouses take when they want to delay or complicate a divorce is to refuse to settle. Even after lengthy negotiations seem to have resolved many issues, a spouse who wants to make the process more difficult can simply refuse to settle. This can come as a surprise to partners who thought that the end of the marriage would proceed forward smoothly. It can also make a divorce far more stressful and expensive for all involved.

Transgender divorce allowed to move forward

Ohio readers may recall media coverage of a transgender man who successfully gave birth to three children. At the time, he was married to a woman, and after it was determined that she would be unable to conceive, the couple decided to expand their family by using donated sperm, and having the transgendered husband carry the children to term. Eventually, the couple decided to seek a divorce, but found that the laws in their state of residence would not permit them to reach a legal end to their union.

After filing for divorce, the court ruled that no such relief would be granted, due to the fact that the couple’s current state of residence does not recognize same-sex marriage. In looking at the gender identity of the husband, it was found that he could not be considered a man because he was able to give birth. This is despite the fact that he has sought multiple paths of establishing himself as male.

Creative Solutions for complicated child visitation situations

Divorce can be hard. It is often hardest on children, and Ohio parents know that they may have to seek creative solutions to solve custody or visitation issues. Parenting after a divorce can be complicated because all parties have been emotionally and mentally impacted by the process. This complication can be compounded when one parent moves or remarries, or if a child has specific or special needs.

Fortunately, parents have somewhere to turn when their needs dictate a unique parenting plan. Our clients have benefitted from our years of experience in navigating complex divorces. When a custody dispute requires a creative solution, our years of experience help us work with families to draft an agreement that is suitable to all parties.

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Paul R. Panico

Attorney at Law
2929 Kenny Road, Suite 160
Columbus, OH 43221

Phone: 614-429-1945
Toll-Free: 866-505-0110
Fax: 614-326-3031

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