Sometimes marriages cannot end by agreement. For whatever reason, sometimes people need a divorce. From our Franklin County offices, our Columbus Ohio Divorce Attorneys help clients throughout Ohio with divorce. Our experienced team is led by an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist, one of approximately 100 attorneys in Ohio to receive this honor. Whatever your situation, we want you to get through the process as efficiently as possible. We’ll listen to your story, discuss your goals, and tell you what we think is the best course of action. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of your case honestly, and we’ll give you our advice in plain English.
Divorce and Custody in Ohio
Our Ohio Divorce and Custody Attorneys know that nothing is more precious to you than your children. We’ll provide you with information about Ohio custody, visitation and shared parenting laws, and help you focus on the strategy that is most likely to reach the result you want. Working side by side with you, we’ll work to put together a plan that is proactive, rather than reactive. If your case involves issues that require a guardian ad litem, we’ll work with you to provide the guardian ad litem with important information about the best interest of your children. If there are issues in your case that require the involvement of an expert, such as the need for a psychological evaluation, we will work with you to make sure you understand the process.
Our firm understands that parental alienation happens all the time in divorce. We will work to obtain a precise and detailed shared parenting plan and decree that address the parental alienation as much as possible, and provides you with a way to fight back if you need to. There ARE remedies for parental alienation.
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- One party files a complaint
- Can be contested or uncontested, depending upon whether the defendant answers and/or contests
- The Court can order temporary orders while the case is pending (for more information regarding what temporary orders are, see Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure 75 or consult books about Ohio temporary orders.)
- The Court can issue restraining orders while the case is pending to prevent either party from disposing of assets, harassing the other, etc. (see Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 75)
- The parties are required to exchange financial and other information with each other during a process called “discovery” (to learn about the discovery process, see Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure 26-37 and 45.
- The case may result in a trial, but most cases settle before trial.
- An Ohio divorce can last anywhere from 42 days to one year when no children are involved. When the parties have children, the case can last up to 18 months or more. Some counties (Franklin County, for one), have very crowded dockets, and may sometimes take longer than these time limits to conclude. For more information regarding how long your Ohio divorce can last, see our post entitled “Is your divorce case taking forever? Here’s what you need to know about continuances in Ohio divorces.”
Technically, Ohio divorce law still requires grounds for divorce, but the burden of proof is very low. Usually, it is enough to bring a witness to your final hearing that can testify regarding one of the statutory grounds for divorce exist. Even though grounds for divorce are required in Ohio, the primary concern of the court is to end things and divide things. For the most part the court will not right the wrongs done during the marriage.
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Divorce and Child Support in Ohio
In addition to the financial strain of splitting one household into two, divorce often goes hand in hand with child support. Our Ohio divorce and child support attorneys will discuss the amount of child support you can expect to receive or pay, if any, and go over the law regarding reasons to have your child support lower or higher than the child support guidelines amount. We will give you our honest and experienced opinion about what to expect from the law and the courts, and discuss a strategy designed to help you receive a fair result under the law. Please take a look at the child support articles on our blog to learn more about how child support works in Ohio and what you can expect.
Divorce and Property Division in Ohio
Ohio divorce courts have great discretion when dividing up the parties’ assets and liabilities, but generally, the courts will not punish either party for contributing to the end of the marriage. The remedy the court provides for the wrongs done during the marriage is to terminate the marriage. The court will consider whether either party has committed financial misconduct by diverting marital funds (example hiding money or assets with the spouse’s parents or family members). The court will also consider, and almost always follow, any validly executed antenuptial or prenuptial agreement. If the parties cannot agree upon the division of assets and liabilities, the parties may have to have all of their assets, if any, valued. In high asset cases, this may involve experts in valuing the particular type of asset involved, such as business valuation experts, auctioneers, real estate appraisers, pension valuation analysts, etc. In cases where separate assets have become commingled with marital assets, or where financial misconduct has occurred, it may be necessary to use the services of a forensic accountant for tracing or discovery. Regardless of your income situation, we will give you honest advice about the most practical method for dividing assets and debts. Sometimes, people cannot agree on all issues, but, if your spouse and his or her attorney is willing, we will help you to settle as many issues as possible, and only litigate the issues which simply cannot be resolved by agreement. Nobody is well served by the “all or nothing” approach, but it takes two to make an agreement. We will aggressively pursue your best interest, whether it is settlement, negotiation, mediation, trial, or a combination of all four.
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Divorce and Retirement
Depending on your age, your retirement may be your biggest asset. All retirement earned during the marriage, except for social security, is a marital asset subject to division by the court. We understand that all retirement is not created equal. Whether you have OPERS, STRS, a 401K, an IRA, pensions, annuities, military retirement benefits, Keoughs, defined benefit, defined contribution or another type of retirement, we’ll help you you navigate your way through the divorce in the best manner the law allows. We’ll also advise you regarding tax consequences, and help you divide your retirement assets in a way that is tax free. We will also advise you regarding the current state of social security, and how that impacts the division of retirement benefits.
Divorce and Spousal Support (Alimony) in Ohio
In Columbus and throughout Ohio, couples that are facing the end of their marriage want to know if they are legally entitled to receive spousal support or obligated to pay spousal support (formerly known as alimony). Unlike child support, alimony in Ohio is not governed by “guidelines”. You cannot simply plug in the numbers and know how much, if any, alimony to expect. That is why husbands and wives who find themselves at the end of the marriage need the advice of an experienced divorce and spousal support attorney.
Although the court must consider certain factors when awarding spousal support, our Columbus Ohio family law attorneys have the experience necessary to understand the trends in Ohio law. Whether to award alimony, how much to award, and how long it must be paid is ultimately up to the discretion of the court. This is why understanding the law and the current trends regarding spousal support awards is crucial when determining the best strategy for negotiating with your spouse and/or his or her attorney.
Our Ohio spousal support attorneys can help with questions such as:
- Will I have to pay alimony if I get a divorce?
- Can alimony be paid in a dissolution, or just in divorce? What about legal separation or annulment?
- Can an Ohio court order BOTH alimony and child support?
- Would it be better for me to pay alimony or pay child support?
- If I have a choice, should I ask for child support or spousal support?
- Do courts still order spousal support for life? If so, under what circumstances?
- Do trends vary from county to county or judge to judge?
- I don’t want to pay spousal support at all. Is there a way I can work out something else with my ex?
- I don’t want anything from my ex over time, I just want everything finished now. Is there a way to work that out?
- Does spousal support have to be paid over time? Can it be paid in a lump sum? If I take a lump sum, does that change the tax effect?
- We don’t have any children. If I pay spousal support, does it have to go through child support enforcement, or can I just send my ex a check every month?
- After the divorce, my ex will live in Ohio and I will live out of state. How will I enforce interstate family support if I have any problems? Does the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) apply to me?
- How long will I receive spousal support, and how much will it be?
- When will I stop receiving alimony? When I get remarried? When my spouse dies?
- Can my spousal support be secured with a life insurance policy?
- If the court ordered spousal support in my divorce, can I get a post decree modification of my spousal support?
- What language has to be in my divorce decree for me to be able to get a post decree modification of my spousal support?
- What language to I need in my divorce decree to make sure my spouse does not get his or her spousal support changed after the divorce?
- What is double dipping? How do I make sure it doesn’t happen to me?
- We got a prenup / antenuptial agreement before we got married. Does that mean I won’t have to pay spousal support?
- My prenup says that I do not get spousal support. Is that still true?
- If I am ordered to pay spousal support, and don’t pay it, can my ex go after my 401K to get it?
- Can I be put in jail for failing to pay spousal support?
- Can payment of attorney fees be considered spousal support? If so, what are the tax implications?
- Can payment of debts be considered spousal support?
- What is “recapture”? Is recapture something I need to worry about?
- What happens if the court orders me to pay alimony and I cannot afford to do it?
- Can a business owner be ordered to pay family support through wage withholding?
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DIVORCE AND BUSINESS OR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE OWNERS IN OHIO
In Columbus, Franklin County, and throughout Ohio, when a business or professional practice owner is facing the possibility of divorce or dissolution, he or she needs sound advice from their divorce attorney regarding what to expect . They need to be able to trust their attorney to understand and explain what lies ahead.
The end of a marriage causes upheaval, and to many business or professional practice owners, the thought of both their marriage and their livelihood being disrupted is simply unthinkable. In addition, if the practice is producing an income stream and the business owner is facing the possibility of paying child support or spousal support, he or she wants to know what to expect, especially in light of the fact that the income from their company may fluctuate from year to year, or even from season to season.
Click HERE to see our page regarding Divorce and Business,
Medical or Professional Practice Owners in Ohio
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Interstate and International Divorce Jurisdiction in Ohio
Our team, led by an OSBA Certified Family Relations Specialist, understands the law regarding jurisdiction. We know whether the state of Ohio has jurisdiction over your divorce, your property, custody of your child, and payment of child support. It may be true that Ohio has jurisdiction over some of those matters, but not all. It may also be true that no state has jurisdiction over all of those matters, and to get the relief you want, you may have to file for custody in one state and child support in another.
The point is – we get it. We know the law and we don’t guess about jurisdiction. We understand the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), and we understand what continuing exclusive jurisdiction means. We understand the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), the Hague Convention (s) and much more. If you are going into a jurisdictional battle that we don’t think you will ultimately win – we’ll tell you that in plain English. If you are being forced to fight a jurisdictional battle and the law is on your side, we’ll fight for you.
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