Critical Issues In A Divorce
Legally ending a marriage is often more difficult than most couples realize. Many issues need to be resolved before each side can head their separate ways. Some of the more common critical issues involved in a divorce include:
Division of marital property. Marriage is an economic union, and couples must divide their marital property. Under Ohio law, most assets obtained or money earned while married is marital—regardless of who earned the money or whose name is on the title. Ohio divides property equitably, which essentially means “fairly.”
A couple also must divide their joint debts. For example, many couples have joint credit cards or both names are on the mortgage. Dividing debt is a critical step some couples overlook in their rush to divorce court.
Child custody. If you have children, you will need to decide where the children live and who has the legal right to make important decisions regarding health care, education, and religious upbringing. No one should go into a contested child custody hearing unrepresented by legal counsel.
Child support. Each parent must support their children, even when they do not live with them. Child support covers the cost of raising children, including their medical and educational needs. Ohio has created guidelines that eliminate much of the guesswork, but judges can depart from the guidelines in certain situations.
Alimony. Divorce can financially devastate one spouse who might have less education or put a career on hold to raise a family. Either spouse can request alimony from the other, which usually consists of monthly payments. Ohio has been trending away from permanent alimony orders, though many people can receive alimony for a limited amount of time.
Divorce is a difficult process, and many clients express fears about the cost and length of the process. They are worried about how the divorce will impact their family and overall mental well-being.
The team at Lawrence Law Office encourages clients to make informed choices, so we spend considerable time with clients discussing their goals and needs. Once we know what you want, we can discuss strategies for obtaining it.
Many clients benefit from participating in mediation, which involves discussing the dispute with a third-party neutral. This mediator can offer helpful tips or creative solutions for resolving a dispute. When successful, mediation can reduce the duration of the divorce and allow coupes to work together effectively going forward. Our lawyers are deeply experienced in mediation.
No one should be bankrupted by divorce. Generally, an uncontested divorce is less expensive, but there are definitely situations where it makes sense to fight. For example, your spouse might be abusive to the children, in which case you will want to fight for custody. Or a spouse could be completely unreasonable in their demands, which makes a contested divorce unavoidable.