Ohio Family Law Blog

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

Is my prenuptial agreement valid?

Whether you're the one who stands to benefit from an Ohio prenuptial agreement - or the one who stands to be harmed - if you're heading for divorce, you probably want to gain a sense of how strong your prenuptial agreement is. In other words, will your prenuptial agreement hold water in court?

In the state of Ohio, we refer to prenuptial agreements by the term "antenuptial agreements." Although these agreements are legally permitted under Ohio family law, they are not always valid.

Debt & Divorce: How the Two are Connected

Separating from your spouse is a complicated and taxing process, especially when you start to get into the financial aspect of it. Understanding that debt and divorce go hand in hand, and why they do, can help you do your best to avoid winding up in the same position. The team at O'Keefe Family Law wants to provide you with a few of the reasons that this happens so that you can do your best to keep it from happening to you.

You Can't Divorce Debt

For better, for worse, and for all of the debt that you've acquired at the moment of your vows - debt can't be divorced. Though you may leave your spouse and end the marriage because of money problems, they remain your problems as a unit even after a divorce.

Any debt that was built up during the time of the marriage is not the responsibility of one individual, but rather is something that both parties will have to take care of even after the divorce.

Now, these debts that you had acquired throughout the divorce may be divided up throughout the process of the divorce, but this agreement that is made at the point of the separation is one that is made by the two of you. In the case that the spouse responsible for the payments to a specific debt does not pay, that does not mean that you too could suffer the consequences.

How is Child Support Calculated

Divorcing with children is emotionally taxing, but figuring out all the legal aspects of it is no walk in the park either. Child support is just one of the many things that need to be figured out while finalizing a divorce that will affect children, and it can be very daunting and overwhelming if you're not entirely sure what it is that you're taking into consideration.

Child support is calculated by a few different things, but when those items aren't being communicated, it can seem like an insignificant number that often leads to feelings of unfairness. In an attempt to avoid this, we are going to provide you with a brief overview of what items are considered in the process of calculating child care.

Income of Both Parents

Given that child support is intended to provide children with the care and items that they need, it makes sense that income of both parents would be taken into consideration. More often than not, both incomes of the parents will be looked at to see how much of their income is supplementing the care for the child. On a percentage base, the judge will determine what is fair for the other parent to pay for the children to be entirely taken care of.

This is usually the part of the calculations that people are most nervous for because while they know what their income is and where it stands next to the other parents, it can be uneasy waiting to hear where you will land with the child support. Just know that the court will always take all of the areas into consideration and not only your financial status.

That being said, if financial status changes at any point after the child support is determined, you can bring the case back to the courts to have it re-evaluated and updated.

Preparing for a Divorce with Adult Children

Worrying about how children will handle a divorce goes beyond the younger ages that are often talked about. While preparing small children for a divorce is something that needs to be talked about often, it's just as serious to prepare for how divorce will affect children that are now adults.

While not widely known, a large percentage of divorces happen once the children have left home and are attending college. If you and your spouse are talking about divorce and are curious as to how it may affect your adult child, the following are some of the more common reactions that have been noted.

Loss of Security in the Home

Even though your children are now adults and have left, the idea and safe space of a home is one that they likely still hold dear. When the topic of divorce is brought up it is not uncommon for children to feel as if that home is now broken - and in some ways, it will be. The best thing that you can do here is have this conversation with your kids as a united front. By doing so, they are more likely to see the logic behind the decision rather than it being about one person wronging the other.

Divorce Needn't Be An All-Out War

Many Options Available To Couples Who Are Uncoupling

Ending a marriage is one of the most stressful and emotionally debilitating experiences anyone can have. Whether you are the person who left or the person being left, terminating a marriage or live-in relationship ranks almost as high as the death of a loved one when it comes to the damage caused to body and psyche.

Who Can Gain Custody During A Divorce?

For most parents, a key question when discussing divorce is whether or not it is the best decision for their children. Yes, having both parents take an active role in their children's lives is valuable, but if you and your spouse fight regularly, splitting up may be better for you and your children. Divorce is an option to carefully consider, as it can bring about a lot of changes that your children may struggle with. One of the most common questions from parents going through a divorce is the question of custody. Specifically, parents want to know how custody is decided and who can get custody.

How Custody Decisions Are Made

During divorce proceedings, efforts will be made on both sides to help you come to amicable agreements as much as possible before going to court. This includes everything from determining how to divvy up shared accounts to what you will do with a house you jointly own and even who will keep the couch. A divorce lawyer can mediate discussions and help you draw up an agreement if you can decide how to split everything amicably. If you disagree, you may both need the representation of a divorce lawyer to help you arbitrate the discussion.

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