Ohio Family Law Blog

When will your Ohio child support obligations end?

If you recently divorced in Ohio and your spouse has primary or full custody of your children, it is likely that you have to pay child support. Child support is an obligation, not an option. The courts will take steps to enforce your child support obligations if you do not pay of your own volition.

Thankfully, there are limits to how much support the court can order and how long you will have to pay child support. Educating yourself about your rights as a parent paying support can help you make the best decisions regarding your legal situation and your finances.

Resolving child custody issues in Ohio

When Ohio parents decide to divorce, they often encounter numerous challenges related to co-parenting agreements. Child custody issues can spark highly emotionally charged disputes if parents disagree or simply refuse to cooperate to amicably devise a fair parenting agreement. Such situations often prompt litigation, wherein a family law judge is tasked with making decision the parents in question were unable to peacefully make for themselves.

Parents who want to avoid having to hash out their differences in court may be able to use an alternative dispute resolution process to do so. Such practices might include mediation or collaborative law arbitration. In both cases, parents maintain a good bit of control regarding what their future co-parenting arrangements will be. Once they've resolved all issues, they merely submit their proposed, agreed-upon plans to the court for approval.

Marital issues that often prompt Ohio spouses to divorce

Ohio is home to many residents who happen to be married. Some are newlyweds, while others have been with their spouses for decades. Regardless of the length of a marriage, there are several issues that often cause discord in marital relationships. In fact, many spouses who divorce say one or more of these issues were leading factors in their decisions to call it quits.

Most people enter marriage reasonably expecting fidelity. When a spouse has an affair, it can cause a lasting rift that proves insurmountable. Infidelity is a main factor in many divorces in this state and others. Some spouses say they both remained faithful to each other throughout their marriage but simply grew apart and found they really had nothing left in common, so they decided to go their separate ways.

Mediation: Often a means to a swifter, less-expensive divorce

When Ohio spouses determine that they are unable to resolve certain issues that have driven a wedge between them, they often file for divorce. Those who have children no doubt want to achieve a settlement that causes as little disruption and stress in their kids' lives as possible. This is why some spouses choose mediation rather than litigation to negotiate the terms of their divorce.

There are numerous potential benefits to mediating a divorce. It is typically less expensive than a litigated divorce and often takes much less time. Spouses understand ahead of time that they will not have an opportunity to appeal since it is irrelevant in a mediation process, which is based on agreed-upon, amicable discussions and cooperation between spouses. 

Jeff Bezos is one of many baby boomers filing for divorce

Ohio baby boomers can likely relate to their peers across the country who remember the 1960s and 1970s with affection. From peace signs to rock and roll, as well as the whole make-love-not-war slogan that inspired a generation, those born between 1946 and 1964 are now in their 50s to early 70s. In addition to music and other cultural flares, baby boomers have something else in common nowadays. Many of them, including Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, are filing for divorce.

Bezos was married for 25 years. This is often the case in a gray divorce, and the lengthier the marriage, the more complicated divorce proceedings might be. It is logical to assume to that the longer spouses are together the more assets they acquire.

Your time with your child deserves protection

As a divorced parent, you face many challenges each and every day. Even parents who want to work together peacefully run into conflict, especially during the period of time when the family gets used to a new custody schedule.

Custody orders that a court approves are not flexible suggestions over how parents split their parenting time, but some parents seem to believe that the other parent's time with their child is less important than their own. In the eyes of the court, when one parent keeps the other from enjoying all of their court-ordered parenting time, they are essentially stealing a valuable resource.

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.
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