Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: What is the Difference Between Sole Custody and Shared Parenting?

In a divorce or dissolution involving minor children, or in the case of unmarried parents, the parties or the court must make a determination regarding the custody of the minor children. Custody can be allocated in two ways. First, one parent can be designated as the sole residential parent and legal custodian of the children. In this scenario, the custodial parent retains the right to make all major decisions regarding the children, including but not limited to educational, medical, religious and disciplinary issues. The non-custodial parent is still entitled to parenting time with the children, including regular parenting time, holidays and vacation time. Additionally the non-custodial parent is entitled to equal access to the children's school and medical records.   The alternative option is Shared Parenting. Under a Shared Parenting Plan, both parents are designated as the legal custodian and residential parents of the children. The most important factor to understand about...

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: Marital Property, Separate Property and Mixed Property Explained

In a divorce or a dissolution, Ohio law provides that the court must order an equitable division of all marital property or debt. Generally, property or debt acquired by either party during the marriage is deemed "marital". This includes any property acquired during the marriage, regardless of which party's income was used to purchase that property. Retirement benefits, household goods, cars and investments are marital property and this is true even if these assets are not tiled jointly.   However, certain property can be deemed one party's separate, otherwise called non-marital property. Separate property can include property that either party owned prior to the marriage, received as a gift or inheritance, or purchased with funds that the party had prior to the marriage or received as an inheritance or gift. Separate property will not be included in the overall division of property, but rather will be awarded to one party. In order...

Cincinnati Family Law & Divorce Blog: Should I Negotiate On My Own With My Spouse?

Attorneys are placed in a difficult position in answering a client’s question about negotiating on their own with their spouse.  On the one hand, we want our clients to make their own choices and, contrary to popular perception, don’t want clients to incur legal fees unnecessarily.  On the other hand, we cringe when we hear that a client has reached an agreement with their spouse without understanding their legal rights or the significance of the decision. A problem arises when a couple has done their own negotiation and then brings that agreement to their respective attorneys.  Once the clients receive legal advice, if they no longer want to abide by their earlier agreement, it can create a large obstacle to further settlement discussions.  Rightly so, one party may have felt the right to rely on the other person’s representation and will invariably mistrust a lawyer who has dissuaded their client from...

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