Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: The Question of Moving Out of the Marital Home

One of the most common misconceptions is that a person will be found to have “abandoned” their home, by moving out, and that there will be a loss of rights resulting from this action. There is nothing in Ohio law that provides for a loss of rights if one moves out of the marital home. The home continues to be a marital asset and both spouses will be entitled to share in the value of the marital home, subject to other legal principles surrounding the source of the funds that were used to purchase the home.   However, there are considerations that should be made, in deciding whether to move out of your home when a divorce is being considered.   The first consideration is whether there are minor children. If there are minor children, and custody of those children is in dispute, the court may give stronger weight to award temporary custody to...

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: How are Household Goods Divided?

When a couple divorces, along with the division of all of their larger assets, such as the home, bank accounts, and retirement assets, they also have to divide their household goods and personal property. People are often unsure how the court will divide this property, especially when many of the items may appear to have little value, but in fact have great personal value to one or both of the parties. First, each party would be entitled to retain any personal property which would be considered separate or non-marital property, such as property that was acquired prior to the marriage, purchased with funds acquired by gift or received as inheritance or a gift. All remaining personal property that is marital, would then be divided. In the eyes of the court, all personal items and household goods are valued based on what another person would pay for the the item, often...

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...