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Lebanon Family Law Blog

When a couple should avoid mediation

There comes a time when an Ohio couple decides that they no longer want to be married. Although mediation is often a first choice when it comes to actually dissolving the marriage, this method is not for every couple.

When couples decide to attempt mediation, they must put aside their differences in an effort to work together. If they cannot do this, the mediation process will not work. For example, if a person is not okay with his or her former spouse being fine during and after the mediation process, he or she is not a good candidate for that method. Further, each must be able to accept the other person's view of reality. If one or both individuals are too committed to their views of what happened during the relationship, it may be too difficult for them to come to an agreement without help.

Prenuptial agreements can provide benefits

After accepting a marriage proposal, few people relish the idea of their soon-to-be spouse asking them to discuss the terms of a prenuptial agreement. Among the many uncomfortable conversations to come up, prenups may be the least enjoyable to start on both ends. However, they do offer several benefits to an engaged Ohio couple.

A person looking to tie the knot typically thinks that he or she knows enough about the partner's character and long-term goals. If the suggestion of a prenup is a surprise, the reality may be that there is more to know. Fortunately, the process of making this family law document can lead to a deeper understanding between the couple. Some of the things people are likely to learn about their partners are their attitude towards money, financial priorities and communication style with difficult topics.

Understanding child support calculators and worksheets

Divorced Ohio parents who have minor children and who are trying to figure out how much child support that they might be required to pay or that they might receive often use child support worksheets or calculators to estimate the amounts. While these calculators can provide an estimate of what might be ordered, they do not give definitive amounts.

Ohio courts determine the appropriate child support amounts according to a number of factors. There are child support guidelines that judges use, but they can order child support in amounts that are higher or lower than the guideline amounts if they make certain findings. Courts generally order child support amounts that are in the best interests of the children.

Divorce: can written communication be used against you?

When you are going through a divorce, carefully evaluate what you put into writing. What you post on social media, write in an email or send in a text message may be used as evidence against you in family court. That being said, you can also admit written evidence against your spouse if they write something that supports your case. How do family courts use personal written content?

 

8 tips for stress-free co-parenting

The start of a new school year means a new routine. Classes, homework and activities can create problems for a family's schedule, especially if you are co-parenting.  

To minimize the stress of the new school year, use the tips below.

What to do with a home in a divorce

Many divorcing couples are fixated on their marital homes. While some spouses want to keep their homes, others are intent on selling and keeping the profits. For Ohio couples who are thinking about divorce, what to do with the marital home might become a source of conflict.

Whether a spouse wants to keep the marital home by refinancing and buying out the other spouse or selling it and buying a new home with their portion of the sales profit, experts advise being prepared. Usually, banks will look at income, assets, credit score and debt-to-income ratio. If alimony payments are included, banks usually want to see at least six months of alimony paid before they can include the amount in their calculations. Work history and conditions will also be analyzed. For example, if a previously non-working spouse begins working part-time after divorce, a bank will usually want to see their income tax returns for two years before considering the income stable.

Careers can have an impact on marriage

Although most Ohio residents do not get married with the intention of getting a divorce sometime in the future, stress and other complications can and do cause some marriages to fail. According to U.S. Census data, some careers can even have a major impact on a person's marriage.

For example, an analysis of the data showed that those who were employed in the military career were more likely to get a divorce by the age of 30 than those who were in other careers. Overall, the divorce rate was found to be 15 percent. Within the military career path, first-line enlisted military supervisors had the highest rate of divorce by that age at 30 percent. Logisticians, automotive service technicians and tactical operations workers had the next highest divorce rates.

Recognizing fact from fiction in a divorce

Ohio residents who are ending their marriage might find themselves the recipients of advice from family and friends. While most people mean well, those involved in the actual divorce need to be able to sort the facts from the fiction, which might help make the entire process less stressful.

One common misconception is that both spouses can be represented by one lawyer as a way to save in legal fees. In fact, a lawyer is only able to represent one of the spouses and the other spouse would be self-represented. This might result in more expensive financial decisions later on. Another common misconception is that spouses can figure out child support by themselves through their state's child support guidelines. While the information can be found, judges often vary from them depending upon the circumstances.

More Americans are okay with divorce

Divorce can unearth many personally negative feelings. In addition to a person's internal feelings, some couples say they perceive a social stigma about divorce. Although these feelings are a natural, though likely unwelcome, part of the divorce process, there may be less of a negative social attitude toward it today than ever before.

According to Gallup, nearly three in four Americans say that divorce is "morally acceptable." This belief among Americans climbed 14 percent since 2001 to an all-time high today and represents a shift in the way attorneys handle divorce cases.

Deportation fears lead to child custody concerns

Immigrant families in Ohio and across the country are worried about the impact of detention and deportation on their children. Many undocumented people have children who were born in the U.S. and who are thus considered American citizens. While the parents could be threatened with detention or deportation, especially amid the intensified and public campaign around immigration issues, these children have the right to stay in the United States and continue their lives. However, without their parents by their side, they are also at risk of being thrown into the social services system.

Legal clinics, volunteer lawyers and churches are working to prevent negative outcomes for the children of undocumented families by setting up emergency child custody legal advice centers. Here, lawyers and students help undocumented families to prepare paperwork to name people as the legal guardians for their children in case the parents are detained or deported.

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