Ohio Family Law Blog

Abuse allegations in child custody case against Teen Mom 2 star

Ohio fans of reality show "Teen Mom" are eagerly awaiting the premiere of the show's second season. Many fans have also been following a child custody situation involving one of the show's stars, Jenelle Evans. Evans's ex boyfriend is suing for custody of their son and has levied some serious accusations against Evans and her current husband.

The father of Evans's son told the court he witnessed bruises on his child. The father, Nathan Griffith, says he spotted the injuries during a weekend visit he was enjoying with his son. Evans claims that Griffith and his mother refused to return her child to her at the appointed time when the visit was over.

Divorce in Ohio and beyond will be different with new tax laws

When Ohio spouses decide to end their marriages, they often encounter challenges regarding financial issues, including alimony. Many people throughout the state pay spousal support when they divorce. New tax laws enacted for 2019 have tax implications for those who pay or receive this type of support.

Prior to such laws taking effect, those who pay spousal support have been able to claim the payments as deductions on their federal income tax forms. The new tax laws rescind the deduction. Those who receive alimony, who have previously had to claim it as income, will no longer be required to do so.

Support for parents in high conflict Ohio child custody cases

The Ohio court typically believes that children are best able to cope with divorce when provided ample time with both parents as they adapt to new lifestyles. At times, a judge overseeing a child custody case may determine that a parent is unfit or may somehow be a detriment to his or her children, thereby ordering supervised visits only or, in some situations, none at all. In situations where parents are unable to agree, litigation may be needed to resolve child custody conflicts.

If the court considers a situation to be high conflict, it may decide that shared custody is not an option. The court always makes custody decisions with children's best interests in mind and would no doubt want to avoid placing kids in a position where they would be perpetually caught in the middle of feuding parents. Some parents are aware of the court's typical position on such matters and try to drum up conflict or make minor issues into major ones because they don't want joint custody.

9 tips to help your child feel comfortable at your home

Children have a tough transition when their parents get a divorce. One of the biggest changes involves learning to live in two homes. This can be challenging because there might be stark differences between them. It is imperative that parents do what they can to help the kids feel secure and welcome in both homes.

It is important that the children think of both homes as their own. They might refer to them as "Mom's house" and "Dad's house" but they should realize that they are an integral part of both, even though they split their time between them. Parents may have to work hard to get this to happen.

  1. Give them a spot of their own in the home. This can be a room, if possible, but it can also be a special drawer or something similar so they can keep their belongings there.
  2. Make sure they have items at your home. Clothing, books, toys and similar items are great so that the child doesn't have to carry those from house to house.
  3. Allow the children to have a say in the décor, even if only in their own space. This helps them to feel like they are an important part of the home.
  4. Embrace your child's friends. If your kids have friends in your area, make sure they know that they are welcome at your home. This might be for playdates during the day or sleepovers.
  5. Set the routine. Children thrive when they have consistency. Even if you can't always have the same schedule, try to keep the flow of the days similar.
  6. Establish the rules of the home. If you and your ex get along, you might come up with master rules that traverse both homes. If this isn't possible, make sure that you get your own ground rules established quickly.
  7. Find new traditions to enjoy with your children. This might be having hot cocoa and watching a movie on a weekend evening or going out for ice cream the first afternoon they are with you. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something everyone enjoys.
  8. Relax on transition days. Stressful transitions can make it hard for the children to adjust. Contentious discussions with your ex can't happen during the custody exchange.
  9. Remember that the kids might want to speak to the other parent. Setting up ways for this to happen can help them to feel more secure as they adjust to living in two different homes.

Kate Gosselin's ex has filed a child custody petition

"Jon & Kate Plus 8" was a popular reality TV show for years. Ohio fans of the show will recall the parents of twins and sixtuplets, Jon and Kate Gosselin who shared the daily happenings of their busy, often chaotic lifestyle with the world. Although the Gosselins divorced in 2009, they are reportedly headed back to court because Jon is asking the court to award him sole child custody of one of their sons.

The son in question is a 14-year-old who is said to have special needs. He has been residing at a facility with an inpatient program but is scheduled to be released a few days before Christmas. The court will decide where he will live, with his father or mother. A sister has been living with her dad for nearly a year, but the other kids live with their mother.

Divorce does not necessarily have to involve a trial

Many married couples in Ohio and elsewhere will decide to end their marriages before this year is over. There is definitely no single reason for divorce because every couple's relationship is unique to their own personalities and circumstances. While individual circumstances typically vary, one thing many spouses have in common is their desire to avoid a trial.  

Knock-down, drag-out courtroom battles are often the climax of Hollywood movies about divorce. However, most people would rather avoid such situations in real life. It is often possible to achieve a fair settlement without having to become entangled in litigation.  

Be prepared to address child custody issues

If you've recently filed divorce papers in an Ohio court, you are likely spending a lot of time thinking about the future. As a parent, you want to make sure that your divorce settlement includes a fair and agreeable child custody plan. Even spouses who were fairly like-minded in marriage often learn how different they are when it comes to deciding factors regarding where children will live, who will make decisions about their medical, academic and religious life, as well as where children will spend their holidays and summer vacations.

In all such matters, the court has the final say. If you and your spouse agree on every issue, you can basically write out your own plan and seek the court's approval. However, if you disagree about even one issue and are unable to resolve the problem, you may need to enter litigation so that the court can make the ultimate decision.

Both parents should be present if possible to talk about divorce

All good parents in Ohio and beyond have their children's best interests in mind. When parents decide to divorce, it not only affects the two spouses involved but also their children. Parents can help their kids come to terms with their situation in as healthy manner as possible by keeping several practical ideas in mind.  

One of the first things parents can do to help children cope with divorce is to break the news to them while the whole family is together in the same room, including both parents. This lets children witness their parents acting in joint effort to support them and shows that while a marriage may be ending, their relationship with their family will always continue. During such conversations, it is a good idea to verbally remind children that they are not to blame for the divorce.  

Financial disparities between spouses can create strains

Money issues can be a major source of stress within a marriage. This may especially be the case when the two spouses are coming from very different places when it comes to finances.

For example, people who came into their relationship with very different credit habits may have a higher likelihood of splitting up down the line. This is what Federal Reserve Board research suggests. According to this research, couples tend to have higher likelihoods of splitting up within their first five years the greater the initial disparity is between their credit scores.

5 ways funds can become commingled during marriage

When you hear the word "commingling" in the context of a marital property division dispute, it means that you and your spouse's separate property got mixed up together in some way. In many cases, the commingling of initially separate assets during marriage can result in the marital estate absorbing the property -- which, in turn, makes that property divisible between the spouses upon divorce.

How couples commingle their assets

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