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Westerville, Family Law Blog

Beware of a an ex-spouse who declines a pay raise

If you're going through a divorce, or you've recently settled your case, then you may think that all the courtroom battles are finally over for good. This isn't necessarily the case though. If you receive child support or alimony, and you've recently found out that your ex has turned down a pay raise, then you may be back in an Ohio courtroom very soon.

Although it may sound counterintuitive for someone to be offered and decline a pay raise, it's not unheard of. There are various reasons someone may turn down an increase in salary. Individuals often do it so that their income doesn't fall within a higher tax bracket or so that they can continue receiving government benefits. Others do so they won't have to make higher alimony payments or pay more in child support than they already do.

Divorce rates among millennials are quickly declining

Recently published data shows that divorce rates are currently the lowest that they've been in as many as four decades. The number of individuals getting married is significantly lower than it's been in a long time as well. Legal analysts point to Millennials as the reason for this decline.

Right now, the average Millennial female gets married at 27 years of age. Women from Generation X used to get married at age 25. Their male counterparts are now getting married at age 30. They used to get married at age 27.

Co-parenting when parents don't live in the same state is tricky

When you and your former spouse filed for divorce in an Ohio court, your highest priority might have been making sure your kids got through it all okay. You never expected your ex to tell you that he or she was moving out of state. Long-distance co-parenting can be especially challenging. Success depends on both of you being willing to cooperate and compromise, and to keep your children's best interests in mind in all co-parenting decisions.

Like most family law judges, you might be of the opinion that children fare best in divorce when they get to spend ample time with both parents. You're just not sure how that's going to work when your kids have to get on a plane to see your ex. In situations like yours, detailed terms in a co-parenting agreement are essential to avoiding stress.

A dissolution works differently from a divorce in Ohio

If you and your spouse have split up then you've probably begun researching what the next steps that you should pursue. You've likely found that divorcing couples have two options in Ohio. They can either seek a dissolution of their marriage or file for divorce. There are specific requirements that you must meet to file for one or the other.

A dissolution is essentially a no-fault divorce. Couples that don't have kids or who have little to no assets often end their marriage via this approach. They do so because it's less court-involved and it's an inexpensive method to pursue.

Parents seek to stop Ohio from taking custody of their kids

Parents from Westerville and other parts of the state went to Columbus this past week to lobby lawmakers to revisit the issue of child custody relinquishment. They told them how they were forced to give up their special needs kids after letting state officials that they were unable to pay for their treatment.

One father recounted how his son frequently experienced violent outbursts requiring treatment when he previously lived with him. He couldn't afford the necessary treatment to cover behavioral therapy for his son so the state assumed custody of him.

Ohio gambling child support intercepts have exceeded $10 million

Many people dream of winning the Ohio lottery, at the racetracks or hitting it big at the casinos. If you owe back child support, then it may not be as exciting for you as it would be for others though.

State officials first started intercepting winnings for those owing child support back in 2007. They integrated their system with the Ohio Lottery's real-time database in 2014. Government officials have since gone on to intercept 6,300 payouts totaling more than $10 million.

Equal time parenting is critical in your child's earliest years

When Ohio parents split up, they often spend considerable time pondering how they should share custody of their child. They often feel conflicted about whether they should spend the majority of their time with one parent or equally with both. Researchers who worked on the 2017 Psychology, Public Policy and Law study concluded that it's particularly important for young kids to spend equal time with both parents post-divorce.

Before this study was published, some child psychologists had pointed out how significant that the mother-child bond was. Many of them had concluded that children who spent extended time with their dads during those early years tended to have a weaker bond with their moms.

More young adults are turning to prenuptial agreements

It is no secret that young adults are shaking up societal ideas of what adulthood should look like. From attending college to buying a home and having children, millennials are carving out their own paths through life. This includes reshaping ideas about misunderstood family law practices, such as creating prenuptial agreements.

Many people in Ohio have a negative perception of prenups. Even mentioning the word "prenup" can bring to mind the image of an intensely wealthy couple who is banking on a future divorce. While these documents do protect individuals in case of a divorce, they are not an indicator of divorce nor are they just for the very wealthy.

How should we handle visitation schedules during summer vacation?

In a few weeks, Ohio schools will go on summer break. If you're legally separated from your spouse or newly divorced, then you may not have extensive experience in handling custody matters. You may have even less knowledge about how to handle vacation plans that deviate from the schedule that you've agreed to. There are some steps that you can take to minimize the potential for conflict though.

If you're planning a summer vacation, then check your custody agreement to see what it says about how far in advance and who you must advise about your plans. Also check to see what it says about the geographic limits for your travels. It may prohibit you from traveling out of the country or state with them. If you want to leave the area, then you may have to request a modification of your court order.

Helpful tips after your spouse mentions divorce

You never thought you'd get divorced, but now it looks like things are definitely headed in that direction. Your spouse just got home and told you that they want to end the marriage.

You're shocked. You're not sure how to react or what to do next. Here are some tips that can help:

  • Don't be afraid to give one another a bit of space. This is an emotional time. It may be best to just step back and think things through on your own before talking about it more together.
  • Stay calm. Don't get angry. You can feel upset, but don't let things spiral out of control. Talk it over in a respectful manner and really listen to what your spouse has to say.
  • Be open to future conversations. Ask questions. Let your spouse ask you anything they have on their mind. Start working together, whether this is the outcome you wanted or not.
  • Keep things between the two of you. Talking to family members and close friends may be all right, but don't tell everyone or post about it on social media.
  • Don't be overbearing. Don't demand to know where your spouse is any time you're not together, for instance.
  • If you have kids, don't put them in the middle of this. It's your situation, something the two of you need to handle. Work together to find a good time to tell them, but don't force them to get involved.
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Brian S. Piper Co., LPA

Brian S. Piper Co., LPA
555 West Schrock Road Suite E
Westerville, OH 43081

Phone: 614-426-8704
Fax: 614-895-5650
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