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Columbus Family Law Blog

Don't let emotions influence divorce decision-making

When going through a difficult divorce, it is easy to get swept up in the emotional turmoil surrounding the matter. Many Ohio spouses find themselves reacting in ways that are surprising, even to themselves. Divorce can be a tumultuous process, but it is also a time during which a number of important financial decisions must be made. Savvy spouses work hard to avoid allowing their emotional response to the divorce have a negative impact on the bottom line.

One common reaction to a particularly emotionally fraught divorce is for one partner to use the legal process as a means of exacting revenge on the other spouse. The urge to "make them pay" is not one that many people are particularly proud of, but it is a reality for many couples. The angry spouse can go to great lengths to make the divorce as difficult and contentious as possible.

Divorce is not always what one expects it to be

Virtually everyone who has never gone through a divorce holds a set of preconceived notions about how the process will go, and what life will be like both during and after the matter is made final. Reality, however, rarely conforms to these ideas, and most people find that their divorce is far different from what they expected. In many cases, the realities of life after divorce are better than what either spouse imagined.

One way that divorce is often a surprise is in the lack of animosity between partners. Many Ohio spouses feel that they have to reach a point of hating their partner before divorce is the best path forward. In reality, a marriage can fail to function in a number of ways that do not lead to hatred between spouses. Once it is clear that the union is not meeting one's needs on a basic level, the choice to move forward with divorce is often the best available course of action.

Understand the basics of an uncontested divorce

An uncontested divorce may be an option for an Ohio couple willing to work together on certain issues. With legal guidance, a couple can settle difficult issues such as child custody, spousal support and property division. An uncontested divorce can be a faster process and may have a less severe financial impact than a contested divorce. Additionally, a couple can avoid stressful litigation and lengthy court battles with this type of family law proceeding. 

Our team of family law attorneys can help you and your spouse work through a series of issues that must resolved during the divorce process. We have experience negotiating and navigating complex situations and can help you arrive at a beneficial resolution to disagreements and conflicts. We understand that a divorce is difficult, no matter how amicable it may seem, and we will work to protect your long-term interests after an Ohio divorce is resolved. 

Can a divorce that is already in process be stopped?

Some Ohio couples may have second thoughts after filing for a divorce. It is only natural for many to wonder whether they should spend some more time trying to resolve their issues before proceeding with a divorce. However, the possibility of stopping a divorce depends on what the person who filed the original petition for divorce wants and how far proceedings have advanced. Similar to the requirements for filing for a divorce, the withdrawal of a divorce petition has legal requirements.

An application to withdraw a divorce petition has to be filed by the spouse who originally petitioned for the divorce. If the other spouse wants to stop proceedings, he or she will have to discuss the possibility of reconciliation with the petitioner. If the spouse who filed the petition for divorce is unwilling to stop the process, there is nothing the other party can do.

Sleep loss during divorce can be a serious issue

In the midst of a serious life event, it is not uncommon for individuals to experience difficulty in getting a good night's sleep. Divorce is a prime example, and an undertaking that can place serious barriers in the way of adequate rest. Everyone in Ohio understands the short-term ramifications of a poor night's sleep, but recent research suggests that long-term sleep problems can have devastating effects on one's health and well-being.

The research was conducted at a major university, where the team examined data concerning sleep patterns before, during and after divorce. The findings suggest that persistent sleep disruptions can lead to elevated blood pressure. This, in turn, can bring on a wide range of health issues.

Are divorce statistics valuable to society as a whole?

When reading about the issue of divorce, many in Ohio are unaware of how divorce statistics are obtained. While both the beginning and the end of a marriage are matters of public record, not every state reports divorce statistics. In fact, an estimated 20 percent of the American population is excluded from this type of reporting. Those gaps are filled in the form of data collected by the United States Census Bureau. Some, however, suggest that the census should no longer ask respondents about marriage or divorce.

The questions that cover these topics have been categorized by the Census Bureau as "low benefit and low cost." The Office of Management Budget is considering whether to eliminate the questions from the upcoming 2016 census. Those who want to continue asking Americans to disclose their marital status argue that the data has a strong public benefit, and should remain a part of the American Community Survey.

New Year's brings a spike in divorce filings

For Ohio divorce attorneys, the first few weeks of the year are a busy time. Many spouses have been considering divorce for quite some time, and were waiting to get through the holidays before taking action to end their marriage. This leads to a yearly spike in divorce filings as the year gets under way. It seems that moving beyond a broken union ranks at the top of the resolution list of many spouses.

In some cases, an individual has known for a long time that a divorce was on the horizon, but want to avoid putting their children and extended family through that experience during the holidays. In such cases, a new year offers the chance to begin the process of moving from married to single, in the knowledge that the transition could be well underway by the time the holidays roll around again. Many find it the ideal time to make a significant life change.

What young spouses can learn during divorce

For many young people, falling in love is a powerful blow, one that can leave them with little capacity for logic or reason. It is easy to become so besotted with a new love that spending the rest of one's life with that person feels like not only the right thing to do, but the only conceivable choice. For many, this initial infatuation will fade, and it will become painfully clear that happily-every-after is not in the cards. In such cases, many Ohio residents will find themselves considering divorce before their 30th birthday.

Admitting that a relationship is not going to go the distance is hard, no matter what age a spouse may be. For those who move toward divorce in their 20s, it is important to understand that there are good outcomes that will come from going through this process at such an early age. Very few spouses want to see their marriage end, but moving through the process will make both parties stronger than they were when they entered the union. If nothing else, moving beyond an untenable marriage will clearly define what an individual is willing to accept, and what falls outside of that range.

Ohio couples with children can make healthy divorce decisions

It's commonplace for couples with children to worry that, if they divorce, they will damage their kids for a lifetime. Though divorce is a significant change for everyone, including minors, divorce doesn't have to result in emotional scarring. In fact, men and women in Ohio who choose to end their marriages can take precautions along the way to help their sons and daughters healthily deal with the process.

For instance, if partners find themselves in an unhappy union, there is little doubt that their children feel the tension on an everyday basis. Psychologists suggest that those daily stressors can actually be more harmful in the long run to the psyche of the kids than a divorce would be. Rather than remaining in a marriage that is essentially falling apart just because they have offspring, the couple may want to seek a divorce. Of course, the divorce proceedings may seem an initial shock to the children; this is where open, direct communication comes into play.

NFL wife violates visitation agreement, receives jail time

After a contentious child custody battle, many Ohio parents find it difficult to come to terms with their new parental roles. This is especially true in cases in which one party receives full custody, and the other is only able to retain visitation rights. It is easy to feel as if one has been relegated to the role of occasional visitor in the life of their child or children, and this can be deeply painful. In some cases, parents will take it upon themselves to stretch the limits of their visitation rights, a choice that can have multiple negative outcomes.

Such is the case in the child custody battle between former NFL star Deion Sanders and his ex wife, Pilar Sanders. Deion was able to obtain full custody of the couple's three children during the divorce, with Pilar receiving visitation rights. On a recent visit, Pilar did not return the children on time, which prompted Deion to file a claim of contempt.

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Paul R. Panico

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Columbus, OH 43221

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