Ohio Family Law Blog

Actress Geena Davis makes confession during divorce proceedings

Many Ohio spouses can relate to what it is like to try to keep up appearances in front of family members and friends if things are not going so well in a marriage. Actress Geena Davis reportedly married a prominent surgeon in 2001 and told the audience on the "Oprah" show that he was a great husband. Fast-forward to last year, when Davis's partner filed for divorce and requested spousal support. The case has yet to be settled, in part due to complications that have arisen because Davis told the court the couple was never legally married.

The surgeon, Reza Jarrahy, says they were definitely married. His attorney mentioned her guest spot on the "Oprah" show in court, asking Davis if her comments were lies to which she respond that she had not been honest on the show. Davis claims the two never intended to be legally married.

Moving on after an Ohio divorce, one step at a time

It's never easy to divorce, no matter how long (or short a time) one has been married. Divorce tends to have a ripple effect, not only on both spouses but on children, extended family members and friends, as well. Some Ohio spouses have great difficulty coming to terms with their situations and moving on in life.

One's ability to adapt to a new lifestyle often depends on the factors that led to the breakup. If there was an extramarital affair, for instance, it can be tough to let go of hurt feelings and feel happy again in life. Not only is it okay to do so, but it is highly recommended for the sake of emotional and mental health.

When child custody litigation is necessary

It is not uncommon for Ohio parents to disagree about certain issues regarding their children. In fact, most married couples can relate to having to discuss, negotiate and compromise when it comes to differences of opinion as to their children's best interests. In cases of divorce, disagreements often have to do with child custody. Sometimes, parents are able to amicably resolve their differences to create a solid co-parenting plan; if that is not possible, then litigation might be necessary.

When the court is asked to intervene, the judge overseeing a particular case becomes the decision-maker. Once a ruling and court order is issued, both parents must fully adhere to the terms. In some cases, if a parent believes a ruling is unfair or that his or her parental rights have been violated in some way, he or she may appeal the decision.

What's the difference between a divorce and dissolution in Ohio?

You can decide you need a divorce for many reasons. Ohio laws allow for people to divorce for reasons ranging from incarceration and substance abuse to simple incompatibility, as long as neither spouse objects to that claim. If you know that an end to your marriage is inevitable at this point, you will likely want to know what options you have for going through this difficult process.

Many people assume that the only choice available is a court-based divorce and all the expenses and turmoil that go with it. However, Ohio also allows for spouses to file for the dissolution of their marriage. Dissolution is a slightly different process, which may be an option for you and your ex if you can agree on terms for ending your marriage.

Child custody problems not over yet for Jenelle Evans

When an Ohio judge rules that children from a particular household should be removed from their home, he or she also makes a decision as to where and with whom said children should live. The court always has kids' best interests in mind when making child custody decisions. However, the adults involved in such cases are not always happy with the outcome.

Reality TV star Jenelle Evans and her current spouse, David Eason, recently lost custody of their children. Several of Evans's older children had already been living with their maternal grandmother by order of the court. The judge's most recent decision, which involved removing custody of her 2-year-old child, as well as her husband's 11-year-old daughter, came about after Eason reportedly killed Evans's dog, claiming that the animal had bitten one of the kids.

Finding a new normal, after divorce

No matter what types of issues may have arisen, soon-to-be exes often encounter challenges as they head to court. Like all good parents in Ohio, those with children want to keep their kids' best interests in the forefront. It is not uncommon for parents or children to have a bit of trouble adjusting to a post-divorce lifestyle. This may be especially true if divorce follows a marriage that lasted 10 years or more.

Even if spouses are not parting on very good terms, they can be caught off-guard by unexpected feelings of sadness. Many post-divorce spouses say they experienced grief, as though they were in mourning. It's better to  work through these feelings than to ignore them, which can linger and lead to depression if left unaddressed.

Mediation: It might be the answer you're looking for

When an Ohio married couple decides to divorce, they must resolve numerous issues before they can go their separate ways and move on in life. Many spouses worry about getting caught up in courtroom battles, perhaps costing them lots of money and causing much stress. Any spouse who wants to sever ties in as amicable a fashion as possible will want to consider mediation as a viable option.

Divorce need not always be thought of as a win or lose fight. In fact, if both parties are willing to cooperate and compromise as needed, it needn't be thought of as a fight at all. Spouses who have children together, for instance, can use mediation to help them achieve a settlement that keeps their kids' best interests in mind.

Deceased rapper's sister files child custody petition

Rap music fans in Ohio and beyond were shocked by the sudden death of Nipsey Hussle in March of this year. The rap artist also owned a clothing store on the West Coast and was gunned down in front of it. He was the father of a 2-year-old child from one woman but also had a 10-year-old child with another. A child custody case regarding the older child has been filed in court by the child's aunt.

Hussle's sister has told the court that she believes she should be granted legal guardianship of her niece. She has accused the biological mother of her niece of being unfit to parent. When a person makes such a claim, it must be backed up with compelling evidence.

Early neutral evaluations can help resolve disputes

When a case is filed in court, an early neutral evaluation may take place. This is when the case is referred to an expert, typically an attorney, who then provides their opinion on the dispute in a fair, unbiased manner.

During this process, the attorney looks at either submitted, written content or talks to the other parties directly. That expert then decides what each side's weaknesses and strengths are, assessing the likely outcome if they were to go to trial. This early neutral evaluation can be important for some cases, since it helps both parties decide if going to trial is going to end in the way they expect.

Married and unmarried people can encounter child custody problems

When you think of parental rights issues, you may automatically also think of divorce. It is a fact that many Ohio divorce situations include child custody disagreements. However, it is also true that many unmarried parents run into legal problems where their children are concerned; for instance, with a child's other parent or with a biological grandparent.

Trying to resolve disagreements about your children may naturally evoke strong emotions. Problems can get out of hand if emotions lead to angry outbursts and/or threats. This is why many parents think it is best to quickly reach out for experienced legal guidance and support rather than try to handle things on their own.

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