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Columbus Family Law Blog

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.

Keep the details of your divorce off of Facebook

As more and more Ohio residents make use of social media, outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, these tools play a larger role within our lives. Even individuals who do not make regular use of social media can be heavily affected by the sites, in ways that can bring embarrassment and a marked lack of privacy. Nowhere is this more true than in regard to the aftermath of a divorce.

When the end of a marriage is filled with bitterness, anger and strife, many former spouses turn to Facebook to vent their frustrations. These actions can include writing lengthy rants about the perceived flaws on a former husband or wife. It is also not uncommon for an ex to post photos that paint him or her in an unflattering light.

When can an Ohio child support order be changed?

A child support order may be modified when the circumstances of the parties have changed significantly. In Ohio, either parent or guardian can request a modification of an existing order. The order may also be reviewed every 36 months by the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) in your county. The rules and regulations governing the review and adjustment of a support order are found within the state statutes.

A request filed by a paying parent should be based on a significant change of circumstances, such as becoming disabled, unemployed or sustaining a substantial reduction of income. If you have become unemployed, this must last for at least 30 consecutive days before you file for a review and adjustment. With a decrease in income, this must be at least a 30 percent decrease in gross income for at least six months because of "circumstances beyond your control."

How does debt come into play within property division?

One lesser-known aspect of an Ohio divorce involves the division of marital debt. Just as assets are divided during divorce, so are the debts accumulated during the course of the marriage. Spouses should be prepared to negotiate the terms of this form of property division. Even more importantly, those who are wise will take steps to avoid debt problems that commonly arise once the divorce process begins.

In many cases, a spouse who is angry or bitter about the end of the marriage will act in ways that are spiteful. One example is running up debt on shared accounts before the divorce is finalized. This can cause serious financial troubles for both parties, and can leave a spouse who is concerned about preserving a solid credit rating with little option other than to repay those obligations, even if he or she did not make the purchases that led to the debt.

Insurance needs following an Ohio divorce

The process of ending a marriage entails the completion of a seemingly endless number of to-do lists. Gathering documents, listing assets, considering which party will retain which possessions within the family home: all of these considerations requires one’s time and attention. Many Ohio spouses look forward to the day that the process is made final, simply to move beyond the “homework” aspects of their divorce. Unfortunately, the focus of this article is on a side of divorce that many overlook until the process has ended.

Newly divorced spouses must take time to review their insurance coverage to see what changes are needed. Virtually everyone will have altered insurance requirements after a divorce, and leaving these needs unattended to can lead to serious negative consequences. The first step in this process is to gather policy information for each form of insurance that is currently held.

How Ohio families can determine child support eligibility

When parents in Ohio choose not to raise their child together, it could be due to divorce or other reasons. Whatever the explanation, one parent might need financial assistance from the other in order to adequately care for the child. Some parents may not know how to figure out whether they qualify to receive child support payments. There are a few factors that can determine their eligibility.

In most cases, a parent will receive child support from the other parent if he or she has primary custody of the child. He or she is often referred to as the “custodial parent,” which means that the child lives in that parent’s home and receives everyday care from that parent for a majority of the time. Sometimes, there is an official court decision concerning which parent will become the custodial parent and, other times, it happens because one parent does not desire to have custody of the child. Even so, a court can decide that the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support to the custodial parent.

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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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