How children benefit from joint-custody arrangements

If you are an Ohio resident and a recent divorcee, you may be working on adjusting to a new child custody arrangement and everything that comes with it. Learning to live without your son or daughter for some period of time is rarely easy, but it may help you adjust to the process if you recognize how your joint-custody arrangement may benefit your child. At Harry Lewis Co., LPA, we recognize that, in many cases, joint-custody arrangements are advantageous to children of divorce, and we have helped many Ohio families navigate the transitions involved in parting ways. Per Time, in one study involving about 150,000 kids in either sixth or ninth grades, children who spent time in the homes of both of their divorced parents fared better than those who lived exclusively with one parent or the other. More specifically, children whose parents had joint-custody arrangements were far less likely to experience or develop a wide range of emotional and psychosomatic health problems than those who lived with only one parent.

If your child spends time living in your home and that of your former partner, he or she is less likely to experience feelings of sadness, depression or dizziness. Your child is also less likely to experience problems sleeping or eating, and he or she is also less likely to suffer regular stomachaches or headaches.

Do I need legal counsel for divorce mediation?

Choosing to go to mediation for a divorce can seem like a great relief for the Ohio couples who choose it, since they have greater control over the final outcome of the divorce, including how their assets will be divided. However, some couples may wonder what part legal counsel plays in a mediation. Are attorneys even needed for a mediation? While mediations are not the same as judicial proceedings, attorneys still play important roles in a mediation.

The Ohio State Bar Association points out that mediators do not act as legal counsel for either side of the mediation. A mediator does not provide advice of a financial or legal nature. The purpose of the mediator is to oversee the mediation and help both sides reach a mutually agreed upon conclusion, so a mediator cannot advise either of the two parties in legal matters.

Divorce may mean altering your will

Divorce is one legal area where the status of personal relationships may have far-reaching legal implications. Not only does a divorce mean the end of your marriage, it also means separating your finances and reviewing your estate plan, as well as your business interests. If you do not pay careful attention to these issues during the divorce process, you may create a tangled mess of your affairs rather than cleanly separate personally and legally from your spouse.

Don't underestimate just how important it is to properly finalize your divorce. A poorly-executed divorce can leave you legally tied to your former spouse for years after the marriage ends. This is especially pertinent when it comes to your will and other estate-planning documents. Many who create wills with their spouses as heirs fail to alter those wills when they divorce. If a will remains in place and is never updated after a divorce, a former spouse may remain legally in line to collect a substantial portion of the will creator's estate, even years after the divorce finalizes.

The many things child support can cover

Divorce is a long and winding road, especially if you have children with the other individual.

Along the way, you'll come face to face with questions regarding child support. Generally speaking, one person will pay child support while the other person receives the money to care for the child or children.

How can I establish paternity?

As a father, you need to establish paternity of your child in order to have full parental rights in Ohio. There are a few different ways you can legally establish paternity. It depends on the situation. For example, the Ohio State Bar Association explains if you were married to the child's mother when the child was born, then you are automatically the legal father of the child. However, if she was married to someone else, then he is the legal father, and you would have to use another method to claim your paternity rights.

Even if the mother put your name on the birth certificate, you are not the legal father if you are not married to her. You would have to sign the birth certificate yourself, along with the mother. This must be done under oath.

How are student loan debts divided in a divorce?

Property division is an important aspect of any divorce. You have to divide up everything from your house to your bank account. You both probably have property you want. However, part of the division of property in a divorce is also the division of debt, which neither of you probably want. Some debts, such as credit cards, are easily divided. Other debts, can be trickier. One such debt is student loans.

Student loan debt is something that many people have. Perhaps you had this debt before coming into the marriage. In that case, Forbes explains, it will probably remain your debt after the divorce. If you used all your student loan money to pay for your education and related expenses, then it probably will be your debt as well.

What is a forensic accountant?

If you are involved in a high asset divorce, you have more to lose than most other divorcing couples in Ohio. You may need to call upon the assistance of a forensic accountant. According to the Forensic CPA Society, a forensic accountant is an accountant who specializes in helping with litigation and disputes through finding evidence to back up claims.

If you hire a forensic accountant for your divorce, you can expect him or her to do plenty of investigation into your finances. If, for example, you suspect your spouse of hiding assets, your accountant will look for evidence and provide it to your attorney so it can be presented at court. The accountant also will assist with figuring out the value of your property. He or she may testify at court on your behalf as well.

Don’t let a child custody dispute ruin your summer vacation

Are you planning a summer vacation with your child? Do you have reason to believe your ex-spouse will attempt to ruin your good time?

The last thing you want is for a child custody dispute to spoil the summer vacation you've been looking forward to. Since this is lingering in the back of your mind, there are a few things you need to do.

What if I do not update my estate plans after my divorce?

After you get divorce, you probably have many financial and personal things to contend with. However, one thing that may slip your mind is your estate plan. While there may be more pressing things to handle, you cannot forget to update your estate to reflect the changes in your personal life. You need to make changes as soon as you can and ensure your plan in properly filed according to Ohio law, so you can avoid some of the problems that can come from an outdated plan.

According to the American Bar Association, your estate plan needs updated to remove people who you may no longer wish to make decisions for you or have access to your assets. The court goes by your most recently filed plan. It will not care that your circumstances had changed. So, for example, if your ex-spouse was listed as the beneficiary to your estate, that will stand unless you change it.

Forms required in divorce and dissolution

There are two main ways to end a marriage in the Ohio legal system: dissolution and divorce. Couples with children should choose carefully between these alternatives in order to achieve a lasting post-marriage agreement. 

It bears mentioning that neither of these options involves a jury. As such, one should expect a decision based on a strict interpretation of the law by a divorce magistrate, or else a dissolution agreement reached through mediated negotiations. In neither case would emotional reactions or lay interpretations of jurors effect a change in the final separation documents. 

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Gregg R. Lewis, Esq. - Harry Lewis Co., LPA
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Columbus, OH 43206

Phone: 614-221-3938
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