One Size Doesn't Fit All
Child custody cases can be the most difficult ones in Family Law court. The “best interests” standard comes before the courts in all sorts of ways. these include divorce, dissolution, legal separation, juvenile custody, post-decree modifications, and step-parent adoptions to name a few.
Emotions are sky-high, battle lines are drawn and there is no holding back.
Child custody decisions are some of the hardest ones parents will ever make. They are also among the most important.
Even the experts have trouble agreeing, but the divorce rate for first marriages is believed to be between 36% and 42%.
As a Family Law Attorney, I see families at all of the different stages of the divorce process. Ending an unsatisfactory relationship isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but there is denying that it affects every family member.
During the divorce, parents must act responsibly—make children feel involved in key decisions throughout the process and not expose children to adult disagreements. Uncertainty about the future and being exposed to the constant conflict are what’s most damaging for children, not the fact of divorce itself.
When choosing a career path, or even a job that we need to have to currently satisfy a need—we tend to focus on things like salary, benefits, opportunities for advancement, and commuting time. Your lifestyle is often affected by this choice.
The number of hours you work, the stresses particular to that kind of job, and what type of people you deal with daily. What we often forget to consider is how this career could affect our relationship with our spouse.
You may think that after hiring a divorce lawyer, you can simply wait around for your court date, but people who actively participate in their divorce will find things easier in the long run. There are actions you can take to make things easier and have your case over as quickly as possible.
In Ohio, a dissolution is a non-adversarial proceeding to legally terminate a marriage. A Dissolution also means that the terms of the divorce are decided between the two parties before any documents are filed with the court.
Unlike a divorce, the negotiating couple is expected to voluntarily trade any information as part of their dissolution. The courts do not have subpoena power during dissolution and cannot put temporary orders in place or force either side to share information.
The court does allow professionals to be hired to evaluate a property or give financial advice.
Thanks to the internet and easily available resources, more and more people are trying Do-It-Yourself divorce. In Ohio, this process is referred to as a pro se (on your behalf) divorce. Like any divorce, it involves completing paperwork, filing it with the correct court and attending a hearing. But is a DIY divorce right for you?
Who is a Good Candidate?
People wanting to do a DIY divorce are often concerned about the costs involved in hiring an attorney. Not everyone should do a divorce themselves, and several factors can make a difference. You and your spouse are good candidates for a DIY divorce if...
Walking into a lawyer's office, especially when your mind and emotions are occupied with a looming divorce, can seem intimidating. However, preparation will go a long way and ensure that you find a lawyer who best suits you and your situation.
When you schedule a consultation with an attorney, begin jotting down any questions you can think of that you'd like to discuss. Your time is valuable, and you should get as much information out of meeting an attorney as possible.
Having questions ready beforehand will not only help alleviate some anxiety, but it'll also help you assess whether the attorney is a good fit for you.
When you talk to a divorce lawyer about your case, there are several questions you need to ask. But any good attorney should ask you questions as well. The more information an attorney has, the better they will be able to help you.
What is your story? What happened between you and your spouse to put you in front of a divorce attorney?
The important points the attorney will be looking for are when you were married, how long you have been married, what happened—or did not happen—during the marriage, your income and employment situation, if you have children and why you are in the situation you are in.
Change is an inevitable part of life. Even after your divorce and parenting plan is finalized, things happen.
Living expenses change, children get older, and employment opportunities can appear or disappear. Regardless of whether or not you’re satisfied with the initial terms of your divorce, changes in circumstances may prompt you to renegotiate those conditions.
In most states (including Ohio), these changes are called “modifications.”
Child custody arrangements and spousal support agreements are binding. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be changed.
In Ohio, the court that handles divorce and dissolution cases is the Court of Common Pleas which is located in each county. This means a particular county court has “jurisdiction” over a case.
Jurisdiction involves residency. Meeting Ohio residency requirements are usually easy and only a concern for a person who has recently moved or is planning a move shortly.
What is Discovery?
The term "discovery" refers to the process of the exchange of information between the parties. This information includes each spouse’s personal and financial situations and is used in both dissolution and divorce cases in Ohio.
Informal discovery involves both sides exchanging information voluntarily. An attorney will prepare a list of important documents and ask the other lawyer for them. Your spouse’s lawyer will request the same from you. The more you both cooperate during this information exchange, the more money you will save.
Your relationship has come to an end. But you aren’t satisfied.
You want answers. You need closure.
But how are you defining closure? Is it a clean break with everything ended to the satisfaction of you both? Is it having all of your questions about what went wrong with your relationship answered?
Sometimes, there's a good reason one spouse or the other needs a continuance in divorce proceedings.
Do you live in or around Columbus? Here are some great tips on how to get a continuance in Franklin County, Ohio:
Go to the court and ask the bailiff
Sometimes, it is as simple as aking. Whether this method works depends heavily on how busy the court is.
Hire an attorney and ask the attorney to do it
Often a judge will be more inclined to listen to an attorney’s request for a continuance than a request from a non-attorney. Make sure it is for a good reason.
Divorce trends are changing.
Things that were unheard just a generation ago are now well on their way to being, if not commonplace, at least not creating too much of a stir.
Many theories are being proposed for this transformation—as usual, the millennials are cited as being behind many of the changes—but no one can say for sure that any single thing is causing a divorce to be in transition.
Some of these trends are good, while others seem positive on the surface but show some tarnish when they are examined more closely. In 2016, the last year for which figures are available, there were 6.9 marriages for every thousand people in the U.S. and 3.2 of those ended in divorce, according to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
They say that you can’t have too much of a good thing.
But researchers say that having too many or the wrong kind of friends can devastate your marriage. Especially if your husband is the one complaining.
A groundbreaking, 16-year study at the University of Michigan confirmed this idea. Spouse's attitudes toward their partner's friends in the first year of marriage predicted divorce down the line.
Divorce is good for some and devastating for others, but both sides can agree on one thing: It is expensive.
What is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?
The bill, which was originally signed into law in December 2017, was designed to simplify the tax code. The change was sold based on the idea that the decrease in itemizations would save much more money in the IRS payroll than in the increase would cost.
More importantly, simplifying the code would reduce the economic expense of over 6 billion hours that Americans need to jump through the hoops of the old code by collecting receipts and itemizing their deductions.
Divorce is one of the most challenging and stressful legal events in anyone’s life. If you are facing a divorce, then you must prepare. You will get a better result and avoid feeling shafted after it is over.
1. Don’t go rogue!
Don't come up with your ideas on how to settle your divorce case without talking to your attorney first.
This is a common mistake that many people make. They think that they can be their lawyers and do everything themselves.
One of the biggest concerns in any separation, divorce, or dissolution proceeding is often: “How will this affect the kids?” And for good reason.
According to a landmark 25-year study, adult children of divorce have more unstable father-child relationships, greater reluctance about commitment, and less education than their non-divorced counterparts. Also, these children carry very impactful, and sometimes traumatic, memories of the process of forced custody and visitation.
In a recent op-ed piece by Beth Behrendt in the New York Times, she recounts an associate’s adult reflection on the hardship of being split between two lives.
“It was 30 years ago but I will never forget my little sister sobbing uncontrollably every time we had to move houses. It was awful.”
If you are unfamiliar with the term, “gray divorce,” it refers to a divorce between two people who are in their elderly years, or who are quickly approaching these years. Gray divorces are becoming more and more common as people live longer and as medicine gets better, improving the quality of life during retirement years.
In the past, it was very common for people to remain married for their entire lives once they tied the knot. However, now, roughly fifty percent of all marriages end in divorces.
Gray divorces contribute significantly to this statistic.
Divorce rates for people above the age of 50 have doubled since 19. They have tripled for people who are above the age of 65.
Even if you feel like your divorce case is as solid as granite and your attorney agrees, there are still several things that you can do to screw it up. If you screw up your divorce case then you may have to deal with the consequences for the rest of your life. So, you should avoid doing this at all costs.
Here are a dozen ways to screw up your divorce case in Delaware or Columbus, Ohio:
#1 Violate a Franklin County Restraining Order
Mutual restraining orders are commonly put into place when divorce proceedings start in Ohio. If you violate one of these restraining orders can it can mess up your divorce and result in your ex-spouse getting the better deal.