We understand that our clients may have personal and family needs from time to time and we have attorneys that devote the majority of their practice to family law. The breakup of a family involves complex legal and emotional issues that require the experience and expertise of an attorney who is familiar with these concerns.

We have attorneys who can provide advice, counsel and representation in a wide range of family law matters, in domestic relations court or juvenile court.

Our family law attorneys are familiar with the practices of the courts in Ohio’s Northeastern and Northwestern counties, but have also practiced in other counties around the state.

Our family law attorneys work with our business, financial, tax, estate planning and bankruptcy attorneys to provide our clients with a comprehensive approach to their family law needs.

If you have a family law matter, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

Dissolutions

 

Ending a marriage is often times a difficult decision and a dreaded process. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with the stressful emotions, parenting issues, property division and complicated financial arrangements frequently associated with divorce.

The two most often used methods to terminate a marriage are: divorce and dissolution.

  1. A divorce is an adversarial process and is necessary when you and your spouse disagree as to division of property, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities and/or support. Divorces often take a long time to resolve and can be quite expensive. But our attorneys understand that there situations and circumstances where assets must be protected or issues are worth fighting to protect.
  2. A dissolution, on the other hand, requires cooperation and involves a separation where the parties can agree to all aspects of dissolving their marriage, i.e., property division, custody and support. This method of terminating a marriage is quicker and more cost-effective. Our attorneys are skilled in the preparation of the necessary Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, Shared Parenting Plans and all other forms required by the various courts in connection with a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

To learn more about the differences between a contested divorce and a dissolution, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

A separation or divorce is a difficult and emotional time. These difficulties and emotions are only compounded by the fact that every marital asset (i.e., home, retirement, banking accounts) and debt (i.e., mortgage, credit cards, loans) must be divided between the parties.

Ohio utilizes an equitable distribution process to ensure that all of the marital assets and debts are equitably divided between the parties. Equitable does not necessarily mean “even” but, more importantly, “fair.” In other words, when a court seeks to divide the marital estate, it will do what is fair and appropriate; often times this results in an “even” division but sometimes it does not. Generally, the court utilizes various factors in determining what is fair, including, but not limited to, length of marriage and earning capacity of both parties.

Our family law attorneys are skilled problem-solvers and will work to create a property settlement agreement through negotiation or mediation. In our experience, this often leads to a better result for both parties. Leaving these important and sensitive issues in the hands of the court, who has no knowledge of your personal lives or preferences, typically does not end with a result that is practical or preferred by either party.

Our attorneys have represented clients with complex property division issues such as separate property, family businesses, other business investments or interest, stocks, bonds, dividends, pensions, and 401(k) and other retirement accounts. Our attorneys will utilize, when necessary and appropriate, property valuators, forensic accountants, pension and retirement valuators, and other experts to properly value your assets, in order to better advise you and advocate on your behalf concerning these assets.

If you have questions or want more advice concerning property division, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

The amount of child support depends on a variety of factors which are set forth in child support guidelines within the Ohio Revised Code. Child support is determined using a formula taking into consideration the number of children you have, the income of the parties, the parenting arrangement, medical care costs, daycare costs, who receives the tax dependency exemption(s) and various other factors. Therefore, the amount of child support can vary considerably. Deviations from the child support guidelines are allowed under certain circumstances. In most cases, child support is paid until the child turns 18, unless the child is still in high school, in which case child support terminates at age 19. Children with certain disabilities may receive child support past their 19th birthday.

Unlike child support, spousal support (formerly called alimony) is not governed by guidelines in the Ohio Revised Code. Rather, spousal support is left within the discretion of the particular judge assigned to your case. Spousal support is generally determined by factoring the parties’ length of marriage, income, contributions to the marriage and other factors. These factors and the method for determination of spousal support vary from county to county and judge to judge. Our attorneys are experienced with Northeastern and Northwestern Ohio counties and their judges and can assist you in accurately determining a likely spousal support award based on your particular case.

We understand that life happens and the circumstances of the parties may change over time, such as increased or decreased income, alcohol or drug abuse, medical needs, moving, etc. In these cases, modification of support and tax dependency exemption(s) may be necessary. Our attorneys can assist with domestic relations and juvenile court related support modification issues.

For more information about child support and spousal support, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

When making a custody determination, a court will review and consider a variety of factors and make its determination based on the best interests of the child(ren). Our attorneys will fight to protect your parental rights. We represent both mothers and fathers throughout Northeastern and Northwestern Ohio counties.

Our experienced family law attorneys will guide you through the custody process and explain the various options, including full custody, legal custody, physical custody and shared parenting. In most cases where the parties are able to communicate, shared parenting will be the solution. Although one parent may be designated residential parent for school purposes, both parents jointly share decisions concerning the child. Ohio encourages parents to amicably agree on shared parenting arrangements for custody and visitation. A cooperative environment and joint parenting generally leads to less emotional stress for the parties and child(ren) and can greatly reduce financial costs in a divorce or parenting proceeding.

If a shared parenting plan cannot be reached, our attorneys will petition the court for an appropriate judicial custodial determination, including a temporary custody order. When making a custody determination, the court will consider a host of factors including, but not limited to, the needs and safety of the child(ren), your ability to serve as a custodian and facilitate visitation with the other spouse, the relationship between the parents, and the wishes and best interest of the child(ren).

Our attorneys are experienced at selecting and working with Guardian ad Litems to aid the parents and the court in making custodial and visitation determinations. Our attorneys also have experience in serving as Guardian ad Litems, representing children to ensure that their wants and needs are heard by the court, and that appropriate custody and visitation plans are put into place.

If you have parenting questions, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

Domestic violence is intolerable. If you or a family member has been assaulted or harassed by a present or former household member, our family law attorneys will take action and protect your family. Our attorneys will be there for you at every step, as you engage in one of the most difficult times of your life. Domestic violence can take many forms:

  • Physical abuse from another past or present household or family member
  • Threats by a household or family member that cause you reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • Abuse or neglect (statutorily defined)

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you have two methods for relief: criminal remedies and/or civil remedies.

  1. Criminal remedies – if you decide to prosecute the domestic violence through the criminal process, you will deal with the prosecutor’s office and you can be granted a protection order from the court, which generally lasts until the case is resolved.
  2. Civil remedies – you may seek to obtain a domestic violence civil protection order, which can last up to five years after a full hearing.  Any violation of the order is a criminal offense, and may be punishable by jail time.  In connection with a civil protection order, you may seek to remain in your residence, temporary custody, spousal support, child support and vehicles, if necessary.

Due to the nature of domestic violence, you should act quickly to protect your rights.  If you have questions about domestic violence, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

When a parent decides to relocate, the parent-child relationship can be irreparably impaired or damaged unless proper provisions and schedules are implemented.  Whether you are the relocating parent or you want to dispute the relocation of the other parent, our family law attorneys are familiar with the laws surrounding parental relocation and out-of-state parenting issues.

Potential reasons for relocation include: job transfer, employment, increase/decrease in income, extended family, remarriage, illness, familial support, etc.

Our attorneys are determined to work with you to negotiate satisfactory and practical terms to maintain contact with the child(ren), explain the overall process, and protect your parental rights.

Our attorneys will work hard to make sure that the parent who is not relocating continues to maintain the same type of access to his or her child(ren) through special long-distance parenting time schedules, telephone contact and Skype access.  If you are the relocating parent, our attorneys will also work hard to ensure that you are permitted to relocate.

If you have relocation questions, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

Sometimes parties do not follow the orders of the court concerning custody, visitation, support and/or property division.  In these circumstances, it is important to take legal action to enforce orders of the court and to ensure that you receive the proper support, property, or parenting time.

Our attorneys are skilled at drafting and prosecuting contempt motions with Northeastern and Northwestern Ohio counties.  We will fight to protect your rights pursuant to the court orders issued in your case.

If you have contempt questions, please contact one of our family law attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.

A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two parties in contemplation of marriage.  These agreements usually address property issues in the event of a divorce, dissolution or death.

Prenuptial agreements can serve many purposes.  Typically, this type of agreement is used to protect the inheritance of children from a prior marriage or relationship, to protect the assets of a spouse with substantially greater property or net worth, or to ensure that a spouse is taken care of in a certain manner upon divorce or death.  The agreement will specify the separate property of each party as of the date of the agreement and will contain terms as to how property will be divided and/or characterized in the event of a divorce or death.

Our family law attorneys are skilled at drafting and tailoring prenuptial agreements to meet our clients’ specific needs.  Our family law attorneys also work closely with our estate planning attorneys to ensure that a total estate planning package is achieved.

If you have prenuptial agreement questions, please contact one of our family law or estate planning attorneys as soon as possible to find out how they can help.