Consider health and life insurance during a divorce

Couples in Ohio who have gone through a divorce understand what a complex and lengthy process it can be. While trying to balance everything, it is easy to overlook the family's insurance coverage. However, it is important to understand how divorce will impact insurance policies once the divorce is finalized.

In many families, one spouse is covered by the other spouse's employer-sponsored health plan. After the divorce, they may no longer have coverage. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act was designed to allow an a non-income-earning individual to receive insurance coverage under their ex-spouse's plan for about three years. While this may be a good short-term solution, it may be better to look at affordable health insurance options. The Affordable Care Act can help individuals who do not have access to employer-sponsored health plans.

Illegitimate reasons to block or refuse child visitation

While most parents in Ohio agree that shared parenting after a divorce is beneficial, there are some things that can cause a custodial parent to want to refuse visitation to the former spouse. There are a few illegitimate reasons to refuse child visitation. Many are illegal and can cause a person to lose custody of their children and even be subject to fines or jail time.

Unless a child is in danger when with a non-custodial parent, the custodial parent cannot refuse visitation if they have been granted these rights by a judge. While bitterness and hostility can cause a person to want to use the children as leverage to get back at an ex, this is not in the best interests of the child and is not a legitimate reason to deny visitation. If the ex-spouse has a new romantic interest, feelings of apprehension and jealousy can make the situation even more difficult to handle.

The importance of cooperative co-parenting

Many post-divorce custody arrangements in Ohio divide the child's time with each parent more or less equally. Research strongly supports shared child custody after the dissolution of a marriage or relationship. Children tend to have better self-esteem and mental health when they maintain relationships with both parents. To pursue these positive outcomes, parents need to keep communication channels open and develop a parenting plan that limits stress on the kids.

The needs of children vary depending on their age. Younger children under 10 might require more help adapting to a lifestyle that requires that they move back and forth between parental households. Parents should tell them a few days in advance before they switch to the other parent's house to reduce feelings of disruption. Parents should frame time spent with the other parent in a positive light. Any differences and disagreements that they possess should not be shared with the children.

Divorce and stress go together hand in hand

There is more to divorce than figuring out details regarding property and debt division, child custody, child support and alimony. Even if you have all of these things in order, you must still contend with a variety of feelings that can be a challenge to shake.

Divorce and stress go together hand in hand, so it's critical that you prepare for the worst while taking steps to ease your mind every step of the way.

Handling child custody in a difficult divorce

Infidelity, addiction, financial mismanagement and other difficult situations can quickly lead to a high-conflict divorce for an Ohio couple. When at least one party involved is manipulative, narcissistic or emotionally immature, the problems can be compounded, especially if children are involved. These exes will probably need to navigate a challenging journey toward co-parenting.

Absent situations of neglect or abuse, children generally benefit from a relationship with both parents. In most cases, courts will strongly encourage joint custody or at least some form of regular visitation. Of course, the parents themselves will also be charged with keeping in line with the child custody order. In a high-conflict situation, the kids may find themselves pulled into ongoing arguments between the parents. One parent may even engage in emotionally manipulative tactics to undermine the kids' bond with the other parent. They might also use the children to check up on their former spouse's new dating life.

Do you want to stay in your family home after divorce?

Divorce can and will alter your life in many ways, such as where you live and how you pay for housing.

As you prepare for divorce, it's important to learn more about the circumstances surrounding your family home, as doing so will help you decide if you want to stay put.

The role of a financial specialist in high-asset divorces

Affluent couples seeking divorces in Ohio will have to negotiate a financial settlement. People with many assets, such as family businesses, real estate and securities, could discuss their finances and explore settlement options with a financial adviser trained to deal specifically with divorce. Both former spouses might choose to engage a divorce financial adviser jointly as they mediate their divorce, or individuals could hire an adviser for guidance when navigating major divorce decisions. Someone who did not have a hands-on role with finances during a marriage might especially benefit from a professional's analysis of the situation.

Divorce financial advisers typically understand state family laws that influence the division of property as well as tax consequences. These advisers can calculate current valuations for marital assets, including private equity holdings, and suggest approaches to dividing the assets. Their analyses could show former spouses how various settlement approaches might influence future income.

More men are being granted custody of children

Some Ohio residents have likely noted that for a good part of the 20th century, fathers who sought joint custody after divorce did not commonly get the results they wanted. In most cases, courts sided with the mothers by giving them full custody. Over the last three decades, things have changed. Now, courts are pushing parents toward shared custody.

Child custody can be divided into two categories: legal and physical. If a parent has legal custody, they have the right to decide their child's religion, education and health care. They are responsible for their child's well-being. Conversely, physical custody determines where the child spends the night.

Steps parents can take to keep their kids safe

Ohio parents may have concerns about an existing child custody or visitation order. While these concerns are normal, it may not necessarily be enough to forbid a child from having a relationship with both parents. In fact, parents may be held in contempt of court if they do not comply with the terms of a custody or visitation agreement. If a parent does decide to prevent a child from seeing a mother or father, it is important to carefully document the reason why.

It is generally valid to prevent a child from being transferred to the other parent's care if the child is apprehensive about an upcoming transition. Children who are anxious may be unable to sleep, specifically ask not to see the other parent or cry more than usual. If children are anxious about seeing their other parent, it may be worth discussing those concerns with that individual.

What is child support designed to pay for?

Child support is often one of the most contentious issues in a divorce. If you have children with your imminent ex-spouse, it's critical to understand the ins and outs of child support, including who will pay, how much and the factors the court takes into consideration.

Also, once your divorce is in the past and child support payments begin to exchange hands, it's critical to have a clear understanding of how the money is to be used.

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Gregg R. Lewis, Esq. - Harry Lewis Co., LPA
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