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Westerville, Family Law Blog

Researchers say Ohio's default parenting plans shortchange kids

A recent report published by the National Parenting Organization (NPO) suggests that many of the parenting plans that Ohio courts often default to aren't actually in the best interests of children.

NPO researchers argue that these default parenting plans aren't in their best interest because they often champion the parent that lives nearby over one that lives at a distance. The state's default parenting plans also often leave non-custodial parents with as little as 20 percent of the parenting time with their kids.

Joint custody may be viable option following divorce

As you embark on the divorce process, you will face many critical decisions, such as who gets to keep the marital home. You might also end up pursuing alimony or having to pay it.

However, one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce involving young children is how to handle child custody. Joint custody is one of multiple custody arrangements available in Ohio today, with both joint legal custody and joint physical and legal custody being possible scenarios.

What's in a child's best interest affects grandparents' rights

Since 1994, Ohio law has recognized a grandparent's right to visitation of their grandchildren if the children's parents have died, they've separated or divorced or if they'd never married. Petitioning a judge isn't possible for grandparents to children belonging to an intact family. In any of these situations, whether a grandpa or grandma is successful in petitioning a judge for visitation is contingent upon what's in the child's best interest.

In determining what's in the best interest of the child, a judge will take into account his or her age. If he or she is old enough, the judge may even ask the child for their own preferences.

What financial steps should you take as you prepare to divorce?

When many couples decide to divorce, it's not uncommon for the once stay-at-home spouse to find out that their partner was struggling to pay the bills, racking up debt in the process. This can greatly impact your ability to move forward with your life post-divorce. One of the best things that you can do right way is to start building your credit.

One of the first steps to doing this is to let all the creditors or banks that you have accounts with know of your impending divorce. This will essentially serve as a way of freezing the account or at the very least sending a warning to them to not allow one spouse to run up more debt or drain an account.

Nearly 1 million Ohio kids receive $2 billion in child support

According to the Fayette County Department of Job & Family Services, more children in Ohio are designated to receive child support than any other type of aid offered in the state. As many as 33 percent of all Ohio children are recipients of child support.

While a husband and wife are automatically listed on a child's birth certificate if the parents of a child are married at the time of the baby's birth, only the mother's name is listed if they're unwed. In order for a father's name to be listed there in such a situation, he has to first prove his paternity.

Uncontested divorce may make marital breakup easier

Divorce is understandably a difficult process both financially and emotionally. However, if you and your spouse are on the same page about filing for divorce, you may want to complete an uncontested divorce filing.

Uncontested divorces are usually available to spouses who are in agreement regarding major marital breakup issues, such as spousal support and property division. Here is a look at what uncontested divorces entail in Ohio.

Negotiating an end to your marriage is not as easy as it may seem

If you're considering ending your marriage, then you may simply assume that the process to do so is called a "divorce". In Ohio and many other states, though, couples often pursue a "dissolution of marriage". Either a husband or wife can petition the court to end their marriage without providing a reason for doing so. The spouses must meet specific requirements before pursing a dissolution, though.

Couples filing for an Ohio dissolution of marriage must have lived in the state for at least six months in advance of filing for it. They must also have already reached an agreement as to how they want to handle spousal support, share custody of their kids or divide up property beforehand.

Navigating divorce can be difficult on the kids

Couples who are on the brink of divorce often wonder how splitting up is going to affect their child. They're often concerned about how custody negotiations will go and how their child will cope emotionally with the demise of their relationship.

If you're concerned about how your divorce will impact your child, then the research that's out there may not calm your fears. While it's true that divorce is stressful for everyone involved, the more support a child receives from their parents, the better chance of them bouncing back the quickest.

Ohio's child support laws are on the verge of changing

Each year, more than $100 million in ordered child support payments go unpaid in the state of Ohio. Analysts estimate that one of the reasons this happens has to do with the non-custodial parent who's responsible for making those payments ducking wage garnishments by taking on work that's off the books.

A new child support reform bill has already received a stamp of approval from Ohio state legislators and is now on Governor John Kasich's desk awaiting his signature. If he signs off on it, the bill will change the way that child support payments are calculated.

How property is divided in Ohio, an equitable distribution state

Like many states in the country, Ohio recognizes equitable distribution when it comes to dividing up marital property in a divorce. States using this approach to asset division assume that both spouses equally contributed to acquiring or producing the shared property.

One of the first steps in dividing up property using this approach is for a judge to make a determination as to which assets belong to one spouse and then also to the couple. It's only once a proper accounting of all assets has been made that a judge can equitably divide all shared property among the spouses.

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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
Westerville Office Location

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