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FAQs about Family Law

Answered by Our Dublin Family Lawyers

At Farlow & Associates, we strive to provide all our clients with effective and compassionate legal counsel. Our family lawyers in Dublin will work to answer all of your questions and address all of your concerns in a timely manner. To pre-emptively answer several of your questions, we created this FAQ page with well-informed advice and accurate information. If you have any more question or concerns after reading through this page, we urge you to please call us today at (614) 741-1157 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable family lawyers in Dublin.

What’s the Difference Between a Divorce & a Dissolution?

Essentially, a dissolution is when two parties decide to end their marriage amicably by presenting their written agreement to a court, as well as their petition requesting the court to officially end the marriage. The agreement that the parties draft needs to address all important matters of debate, including, but not limited to, property fees, taxes, debts, and division, as well as child support, custody, and visitation. After the agreement is presented, the court needs to have a final hearing regarding the decision of the petition within 30 to 90 days after it has been filed. Divorce, on the other hand, is when one of the parties in a marriage files a lawsuit against the other, thereby requesting the court to decide all marriage-related matters. Although one spouse may be suing the other in a divorce, most parties are able to find common ground and reach agreements without having to go to trial. However, if an agreement cannot be made between both parties, the task will be left to the court to resolve all issues.

Does My Spouse Have to Move out Before a Divorce or Dissolution is Final?

For a dissolution, most definitely yes. For a divorce, most Ohio courts require a separation before granting a divorce, too.

What happens to the Property My Spouse & I have Accumulated Over Our Marriage?

The basic approach in Ohio is to determine what the parties’ marital assets are, and then to divide them 50-50, even if one person earned more money than the other during the marriage — unless something very unusual has happened that would require the court to divide the property differently. It is important to distinguish among three types of property: Separate property, pre-marital property, and marital property. Ohio is not a community property state. If either party claims that property is separate or pre-marital, the person making the claim must prove it.

Will a Court Order Spousal Support in My Situation?

The court may order spousal support in certain situations. For example, they may order spousal support where one spouse or the other has not developed a career because of home responsibilities, or has failing health.

What Can I Do if I Cannot Afford an Attorney?

Several actions regarding child support can be taken through your Ohio county’s agency for child support enforcement, thereby removing the need to obtain a private lawyer yourself. In addition, some counties in Ohio have local Legal Aid Agencies that can provide you with effective legal representation if you meet the agency’s requirements for income. Lastly, laws in Ohio allow you to request a court order requiring your spouse to assist you with legal expenses any time during a domestic relations suit so long as you can prove that you need financial help in order to assert your rights legally. Also, you have the right to attend court yourself without the help of a lawyer. Some people have legal insurance in their employee packages and benefits, so make sure you check those as well before proceeding.

How Does the Court Decide Matters Pertaining to Children?

When the court is required to make decisions regarding the children in a divorce, it must act in the best interest of the children. To do so, the court needs to consider a variety of aspects.

The court needs to consider the following factors, and more:

  • The parents’ wishes regarding their chil(ren)’s care
  • The child(ren)’s interaction with other important people in their life
  • If either parent has criminal convictions; and if so, how many and how severe
  • The physical and mental health of all parties involved in the divorce
  • The child(ren)’s adjustment to their community, school, and home
  • Which parent will be more likely to honor the court’s decision regarding companionship and visitation rights
  • If either parent failed to honor their child support payment agreement

In order to come to a decision, the court may hear testimony from a psychologist or other expert, or interview the child in chambers.

What is Shared Parenting?

Shared parenting occurs when both parents develop an agreed-upon plan that takes care of their child(ren)’s legal and physical needs. It is the job of the court to then decide of the shared parenting plan is in the best interest of the parents’ child(ren). An effective plan for shared parenting should address several matters, including school placement, dental and medical care, physical living arrangements, as well as parenting schedules for school holidays, legal holidays, and other important days.

If I Did Not Marry the Parent of My Child(ren), Can I still Get Child Support or Parenting Time with My Child(ren)?

Yes! You can, after the paternity of the child is officially and legally established.

What is a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

A pre-nuptial (or antenuptial) agreement is a written contract between two parties contemplating marriage. It must include a full disclosure of all of their assets and liabilities. It should also include details of how they agree their financial matters will be handled during their marriage, as well as in the event of divorce or death.

Who Needs a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Pre-nuptial agreements are commonly used by people who have accumulated assets, such as real estate or investments, and want to continue to keep ownership and control of those assets regardless of the marriage they are planning.

When is the Best Time to Draft a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Once two parties decide to marry, they should allow sufficient time to negotiate and finalize the agreement, including retaining and counseling with a family law attorney in Dublin. This process may take several weeks, and should occur well in advance of the wedding. A last minute effort that does not truly reflect both peoples’ wishes may nevertheless be enforced by a court, and should be avoided.

Does a Pre-Nuptial Agreement Have to Be Filed with a Court?

No, the parties can simply retain their agreement with their other valuable papers. They can keep its contents strictly confidential between the two of them and their legal counsel.

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