Massucci Law Group LLC - Family Law

Columbus Ohio Family Law Blog

Noncustodial parents also have rights

Noncustodial parents in Ohio and throughout America may be granted visitation rights to their children. However, it is critical that they stick as closely as possible to the visitation schedule. If there are any problems doing so, it is a good idea to speak with the custodial parent as quickly as possible. Alternatively, a noncustodial parent may want to voice his or her concerns to a judge.

Staying in regular contact is generally seen to be in the best interest of the child. Furthermore, parents should be sure that they can handle any needs that a son or daughter may have during a visit. This generally means being able to provide adequate food, shelter and entertainment. Parents may also need to work together to ensure that a child isn't stressed or nervous about the transition from one home to another.

Social media posts may be divorce evidence

The question of social media and other electronic evidence has come into play in many Ohio divorces. Most couples have at least one social media account on which they post personal information. In divorce cases, 81% of lawyers say they've discovered evidence on social media that is worth presenting during courtroom proceedings. Around two-thirds of divorce cases involve the use of Facebook as a primary source of evidence, and one-third of all divorce case legal action can be traced to affairs conducted online.

Generally speaking, a person's social media posts are admissible in court as evidence as long as they are not discovered illegally. It is prohibited to create false social media accounts with the intention of gaining information from an ex. Furthermore, one cannot gain admissible evidence by hacking into a social media account. Social media information gained in other ways, though, is likely to be admissible. Public posts and photos that are available to a large number of people are fair game as evidence in a divorce case.

Child support by agreement saves time and energy in court

When two people who have children together split up, one of the main questions to address is child support. The family court system in Ohio is designed to provide definitive answers on child support, custody and other issues. However, it's often in the best interests of the parents and children to agree outside of court. Child support by agreement works well in situations where the parents are able and willing to work together to work out the specific details.

The parents may be able to work out payment terms on their own, including payment frequency, duration and amounts, or they might do better retaining attorneys to negotiate for them. Alternative dispute resolution is another route to reaching an agreement. With ADR, the process is less formal and adversarial than court proceedings, but it's more formal than just working it out between the parents. ADR typically involves a mediator or arbitrator who works to help the parents come to an agreement.

Same-sex couples can face child custody battles during divorce

Child custody matters are challenging for all couples who are ending a relationship. Same-sex couples have some circumstances to think about that might not be present in other custody cases. Finding out what issues you might face can benefit you greatly.

In opposite-sex custody cases, parents are likely the biological or adoptive ones for the child. This isn't the case with a same-sex couple. However, both adults probably raised the children together. Some argue that both parents have the right to continue to raise the children, but others think that the non-biological or non-adoptive parent doesn't need any additional rights.

Approach divorce with a positive attitude

In Ohio and across the United States, divorce is near the top of the list when it comes to negative and stressful experiences. For many Ohio residents, divorce means ending a commitment to live with another person who shares their vision for future happiness and contentment. Divorce can lead to chronic depression manifesting in both psychological and physical ways. After getting divorced, some people find it difficult to go to work or accomplish simple tasks. Others start drinking or taking drugs. Some divorced individuals eat large amounts of food to quench their thirst for happiness.

The good news is that most people manage their feelings of depression. One way to cope is to rely on close friends and relatives. It is difficult to go through a divorce alone. Realizing that loved ones are standing by to offer emotional support is a big help for many people. Another helpful strategy is to attend therapy sessions conducted by a therapist who can provide insight into exploring emotions in a way that does not pronounce any moral judgments.

Mortgage issues can arise in divorce

In many Ohio divorce cases, the couple's most important and most valuable asset is the family home. There are essentially three options for dealing with the mortgage in cases where one of the spouses will keep the home. Typically, the other spouse will take other assets to compensate for the equity in the home. The three options are retaining the original mortgage, refinancing the original mortgage and assuming the original mortgage.

The primary problem with retaining the original mortgage with both spouses on it is that the spouse who keeps the home might run into financial hardship and be unable to make payments. This means the other spouse, who no longer lives in the home nor has ownership rights to it, must make mortgage payments or risk damage to his or her credit. Refinancing the mortgage into the name of the spouse who's keeping the house can be the best option, but it might also mean paying higher interest rates or significant transaction costs.

Tips for locating hidden assets in a divorce

There are a number of signs that might alert a person in Ohio to the possibility that their spouse is attempting to hide assets in a divorce. One of the most obvious signs is money disappearing from accounts or missing account statements. A person may claim that a large sum has been taken from an account to pay a tax or credit card bill, but this may be an overpayment ruse. By the time the IRS or the company gets around to refunding the overpayment, the divorce may be over, and the money might not be included in shared property that is subject to division.

Some people try to work with an employer to conceal bonuses or other compensation. This kind of compensation might be deferred until after the divorce. Familiarity with a spouse's pay structure may help protect against this deception.

The importance of preparing for divorce negotiations

Divorcing couples in Ohio and around the country often hope to get through property division and spousal support negotiations as quickly and as painlessly as possible, but going into these talks unprepared can lead to problems in later years. People who have grown accustomed to pooling their incomes to cover their monthly bills can find it difficult to maintain a comfortable lifestyle on a single paycheck, and debts that are divided may become thorny issues if payments are not made on time.

When spouses decide to divorce, they usually account for monthly costs like rent, utilities and car payments when they calculate the costs of living alone. However, they often overlook equally important obligations such as health insurance and retirement savings. Another common divorce misstep is cashing out and dividing IRA and 401(k) accounts. While doing this can provide people with cash while they transition into a new lifestyle, it can also lead to higher tax bills.

How divorcing couples might handle social media

Some unhappy spouses in Ohio might be tempted to use social media to blow off steam. However, this could be a mistake if a divorce is inevitable. Anything one posts on social media could be used against them during a divorce.

Someone who is considering a divorce may want to lock down their social media entirely. This could include updating privacy settings and deleting anyone from the friends list who might cause drama. Venting should be done offline to family and friends or a therapist if necessary. Friends and acquaintances do not need to know the details of divorce disputes or what kind of agreement the couple has reached regarding property division and child custody. If the split is relatively amicable, the couple might decide on a time that they will announce the divorce on social media.

Adopting stepchildren: The steps it takes

A stepparent adoption is similar regardless of the gender of the parent who wishes to adopt. Typically, stepparents will seek adoption if their partner's child has no second parent. For example, if their father or mother passed away or gave up their parental rights, then the stepparent would be able to seek adoption.

What's interesting about stepparent adoption is that adopting a stepchild is the most common type of adoption. It allows stepparents to take on the full responsibilities of a legal parent and revokes the rights of the noncustodial parent. This does, however, end the noncustodial parent's responsibility toward child support.

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Massucci Law Group LLC

250 Civic Center Drive
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Columbus, Ohio 43215

Phone: 614-398-4267
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