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Dublin Family Law Blog

Annulment and prohibit marriage laws in Ohio

In America, each states determines its own rules and regulations regarding marriage. These include rules on when a marriage may be annulled and when it may be prohibited. In Ohio, there are five grounds for annulment.

First, if one or both parties to the marriage are underage, then it is not recognized legally. The legal age in the state of Ohio to obtain a marriage license is 18-years-old. Second, if either of the parties are still legally married to someone else, a new marriage will be considered null. Bigamy is prohibited in Ohio. Third, mental incompetence. If it is determined that one or both parties made the decision to marry while mentally incompetent, or in other words, not able to make such a decision while understanding its effects, the marriage can be annulled. Fourth, if gaining consent for the marriage was done through fraudulent methods or other force. For example, if two underage parties needed consent from an adult to be married, but they gained that consent by manipulation or even threat of harm, then the marriage could be annulled. Finally, fifth, if the marriage was never consummated.

Ohio child custody: Frequently Asked Questions

There are always a plethora of questions from parties embroiled in a child custody dispute. Let's take a look at some of the most common ones we receive.

First, what is the difference between joint and sole custody? Joint custody means that both parents will share in parenting their children. However, this does not mean that custodial periods will be entirely equal. Sole custody means that one parent be designated primary, and will have decision making abilities above the other, but there may also still be a visitation plan in place for the non-primary party.

Should you start to distribute inheritances early?

One thing that some senior citizens wonder, especially as they get even older, is whether they should start distributing their inheritances early. That is, suppose a woman intends to leave her extensive jewelry collection to her daughter. Should she give the collection now, or at least a few pieces, while she is still alive to see her daughter enjoy the jewelry?

The answer is not always clear-cut. There can be quite a few things to consider, so here is a look at some of them.

Protection from Domestic Abuse in Ohio

Domestic violence or domestic abuse can be considered both a civil and a criminal matter. On the civil side, these types of matters will fall under the scope of family court, and can be handled by an attorney who practices family law. Many times, people do not realize this. They often begin immediately searching for a criminal attorney to help them obtain a temporary restraining order, not realizing that it is a civil matter from the start.

Each of the 50 states have their own rules and penalties regarding these types of orders. In the state of Ohio there are two types of orders recognized; a civil protection order and a criminal protection order. A temporary restraining order, also called a civil protection order, is meant to direct a person regarding what they can and cannot do. Violation of it is punishable by fines and up to one year in jail.

Frequently asked questions about private adoption in Ohio

There are many considerations to take when making the decision to place a child up for private adoption. Birth parents often have a flood of questions about how the process works, and how much involvement they will have in the process.

One of the most frequently asked questions is "Do I get to choose the new parents?" The answer to that question is yes. Birth parents may choose their child's adoptive parents. However, this is not always a clear cut, easy decision, so it can be helpful to consider the input and advice of an adoption agent or attorney.

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is defined as "the act of preparing for the transfer of a person's wealth and assets after his or her death." It is a common misconception that only those with significant assets should consider estate planning. Instead, it is something which everyone should consider. There are many aspects which affect more than just physical assets. Further, it can offer your loved ones peace of mind in knowing that they have carried out your wishes as you wanted them done.

A comprehensive estate plan can include a Last Will and Testament or trust, Letter of Intent, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Power of Attorney, beneficiary designations, and guardianship designations. These documents cover all bases, including those that families often fail to consider. Accounts such as retirement and insurance policies can pass outside of an estate if there are beneficiary designations. This prevents the court from deciding on its distribution, which often times also prevents family disputes.

Modifying child custody agreements in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, child custody agreement modifications may be requested at any time by parties who have previously established such in a prior court hearing.

If both parties are in agreement to a modification, they may simply pay a filing fee and submit the required affidavits and written agreement to the court for approval. This request can be either a modification to the original agreement, or a complete replacement of the original agreement. Regardless of which one is filed, all forms must be filed in the county in which the original agreement was entered.

Should you get a divorce or a legal separation?

As you find your marriage coming to an end, you may balk at getting a divorce. Never did you imagine your marriage would become another statistic. Even with the acceptance of divorce in society, it can still be difficult to accept personally.

The reasons for your hesitance may be many, and they matter as you decide whether to proceed with a divorce or not. However, staying married and divorcing are not your only two options in Ohio. Another you have is to get a legal separation.

Elements of adoption: matching family and child

In honor of November as National Adoption Awareness month, we have been talking about the elements of adoption. In our last blog post, we discussed the homestudy. Once that element has been satisfied, an adoptive family can then move on to the next phase, which is matching.

One of the determinations made during a homestudy is the type of child a family could best parent and provide for. A family may be suitable parents to a child with anger or rejection issues, but not as suitable for a disabled child with many medical needs. These issues will have been discussed during the homestudy. The length of time it takes to match a child to a family will depend on what characteristics were demonstrated to be a good fit. For example, a family who demonstrated the ability to care for a complex special medical needs child may be matched quicker, as there are fewer adoptive families able to take on those responsibilities.

Elements of adoption: The homestudy

Any individual or family who has ever considered adoption has most likely heard of a homestudy. On television and in movies, it is often portrayed as just a simple visit to make sure a house is clean. In reality it is much more than that, and is arguably the most essential element used by professionals to determine adoptive suitability. The homestudy is not only a tool for determining suitable living conditions for a child, but also forces an adoptive family to look within. Doing so allows them to make sure that adoption is a correct fit for the family as a whole.

Once a family begins the adoption process in Ohio, an assessor will be assigned to them. This is the individual who will perform the homestudy. While the homestudy can, in certain cases, take up to six months to complete, it is often completed much sooner.

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