Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: Do I Need a Pre-nup?

Ohio law allows written contracts between parties before a marriage that define various aspects of marital rights and rights upon the death of either spouse.  These contracts are called prenuptial agreements, premarital agreements, or antenuptial agreements.  All of these terms can be used interchangeably.  Prenuptial agreements may not always be enforced.  To avoid the most common challenges to these agreements, the following should be adhered to: (1) both parties should have lawyers represent them during the negotiation and execution of the agreement, (2) it should be signed as far in advance of the actual wedding as possible to avoid the possibility of coercion, and (3) there must be a complete and accurate disclosure of assets and debts between the parties.   Currently, Ohio law protects premarital assets and assets which are acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance and a prenuptial agreement may not be needed.  It is often a misconception...

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: What Are Some Differences Between Child Support and Spousal Support?

Child support and spousal support have different tax consequences. Child support is not tax-deductible to the payor and is not taxable income to the payee. Whereas, spousal support is tax deductible to the payor and is taxable income to the payee. One’s tax bracket determines the after tax impact of spousal support. For example, a man who is in a 25% tax bracket, will actually be paying 75 cents out of pocket for every dollar paid as spousal support. If the recipient is in a 20% bracket, she will be receiving 80 cents net for every dollar received.  In this scenario, the IRS will receive 5% less in taxes than they would normally be entitled to. It is for this reason that divorce attorneys pay special attention to the manner in which child and spousal support are structured.   Child support ends upon a child’s 18th birthday or graduation from high school,...

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: What is Collaborative Law?

Collaborative law or collaborative practice is another option for parties who want to terminate their marriage without resorting to litigation or the adversarial process. There are several key features to a collaborative case.  Each party must engage a collaborative attorney and a participation agreement will be signed. The agreement requires (1) an exchange of complete financial information (2) the maintenance of confidentially during the process so that each spouse can freely express his or her needs and concerns, (3) a commitment to resolving the case out of court and (4) an understanding that the collaborative attorneys may not represent them if either chooses litigation. The goal of the collaborative process is to reach a comprehensive agreement on all issues so that the parties can dissolve their marriage without court intervention.   Collaborative law empowers spouses to dissolve their marriage with dignity. While each party's attorney will support him or her through advocacy,...

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: Is Mediation Right for Me?

Mediation services are used for resolving all sorts of disputes between individuals or businesses in many different areas. Mediation is commonly used in family law as an alternative to litigation. In the Cincinnati area, there are attorneys who are trained mediators, and mental health practitioners, and individuals without any required professional licensing who act as mediators. In our law practice, we normally work with attorneys and mental health professionals as mediators.   A mediator can be engaged at various stages of a family law matter. For example, there are cases where a couple decides to end their marriage, and rather than seeking independent legal counsel, they engage a mediator to help them resolve their issues and then engage lawyers to prepare the legal documents and have the case processed through court. In other cases, a couple may each engage legal counsel and their attorneys may recommend they attempt mediation to resolve their...

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: Tech Tools for Co-Parenting

When couples with children divorce, they are faced with the reality of an entirely new parenting dynamic. While married, each parent most likely had certain “domains” that he or she took care of for the children, often with little or no input from the other parent. This is the nature of married parenting, but it isn’t the same for divorced couples. Most divorced parents want to have access and input into all areas of their children’s upbringing, even when they didn’t in the past. This can be challenging, considering many couples end their marriage due to poor communication.   Thankfully, there are a few extremely helpful apps that can streamline the co-parenting process and help families transition into a new dynamic. Programs such as these ensure that all of the children’s activities, expenses, appointments and important information can be kept in one place, and can be documented for the court if necessary....

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: What is a Divorce Restraining Order?

When a party files for divorce in most Ohio counties, the Court will automatically issue a Temporary Restraining Order ("TRO") that prohibits either spouse from taking certain actions while the case is pending in Court.  The Court issues these orders as a matter of course, without a specific request by the parties, to ensure that the status quo is not changed unilaterally by either spouse.   Temporary restraining orders can vary from county to county so it is imperative that you review the specific order issued by the Court where your case is pending.  Typically, these restraining orders include the following prohibitions: removing children from the county where they reside at the time of filing for purposes of establishing a residence, selling or otherwise disposing of property owned by the parties, changing or canceling insurance of any kind (life, health, car, etc.), withdrawing funds from any retirement or investment accounts,  or incurring...