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Dublin Family Law Blog

Who will receive your property if you do not have a will?

While death is a guarantee for everyone in Tennessee, most do not really think about it until it becomes imminent. There are way too many things to think about in your daily life to worry about what is going to happen when you die. However, you also cannot take your possessions with you after they die, either. Everything you own will end up in the hands of another person. The law states who will receive you possessions and other assets if you do not have a will directing where they should go.

If you have a spouse and no children at the time of your death, then all your property will go to your spouse. If your have a spouse and children, a portion will go to your spouse and a portion to your children. If you have children, but no spouse, then your children will each receive a portion of your property. If you have no spouse or children, then your estate goes to your parents; if your parents are no longer alive, then your estate will go to your siblings. If you have no parents or siblings, your estate will go to your grandparents, and then to aunts and uncles if there are any.

Remember to update your estate plan after divorce

Your estate--that is, your money, property and other assets--likely underwent a big change during your divorce. Even if it did not, you should take a second look at your estate plan.

It is also a good idea to look at accounts such as 401(k)s and life insurance where you have specifically designated beneficiaries. If your beneficiary prior to divorce was your spouse, you may want to change that.

Summer weddings and estate planning can go hand in hand

Summer is a popular season for weddings in Ohio. For some people, however, this is not their first walk down the aisle. In fact, a Pew Research Center reports that, in 2013, 40 percent of weddings involved one or both spouses marrying for a second time. When one is caught up in the romance of a wedding, it can be hard to stay grounded and think of the practicalities that come with remarriage. For example, if you are remarrying, it is a good time to review your estate plan.

First of all, if a person doesn't have a will, they should draft one, especially if a person has stepchildren or children from a previous marriage. If you want some piece of property to go to a specific individual, a will is one way to ensure your wishes will be met. Moreover, without a will, one's assets will be distributed per state intestacy laws, which may not be to one's liking. If a person does have a will, they should make sure it is updated to reflect their new marital status.

Legal help is available to those adopting a child in Ohio

Many people in Ohio dream of one day becoming parents. While some people will conceive naturally and give birth to a child of their own, others may decide that adopting a child is the right choice for them. That being said, the road through adoption is fraught with twists and turns. There are many steps that must be taken, which can be complicated, confusing and sometimes frustrating. However, once one makes it through the adoption process, they may find that being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences of their life.

There are many ways to adopt a child. Some children are adopted through an adoption agency. It is important that these agencies are properly licensed. Children can be adopted from the United States or they could be adopted from overseas. Sometimes children are adopted after being in foster care. Also, sometimes a stepparent wishes to adopt his or her stepchild.

How is property divided when spouses in Ohio divorce?

In Ohio, when a couple is going through a divorce, they will need to divide their marital property. Who gets the house? Who gets the automobile? What about furniture, appliances and electronics? Property division issues can be emotionally charged, so it is important that any decisions made are fair.

When it comes to property division, Ohio is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court will divide the couple's marital assets based on what would be fair. While sometimes the split will be equal, there may be circumstances in which one party will be awarded more of the marital property than the other property. There are a number of factors the court will consider in such situations.

Divorce is becoming more socially acceptable nationwide

It used to be that divorce was taboo. People in Ohio may have stayed in unhappy marriages due to the social stigma of divorce, and if they did divorce, the situation was hushed up. However, according to a recent Gallup poll, the number of adults in the nation who stated that divorce is "morally acceptable," is on the upswing, at 73 percent.

Moreover, 76 percent of unmarried adults found divorce to be morally acceptable. In fact, from 2015 to 2017, the number of married individuals in the United States were as apt as unmarried individuals to believe that divorce was morally acceptable. People who attended religious services at least once a week historically were opposed to divorce. However, even among these individuals, 51 percent now claim divorce is morally acceptable. Interestingly, the polls shows the approval of divorce growing even as the divorce rate itself in the United States has been on the decline in recent years.

Gray divorce is costly

The end of a marriage for spouses over 50-years-old, known as gray divorce, can be financially costly although it does not usually involve child support disputes. These can upset financial planning for retirement by splitting the couple's savings and other assets, accumulated over many years, in half.

The divorce rate for couples over 50 doubled since the 1990s. It has tripled for couples who are at least 65-years-old. These divorces are further complicated because spouses at this age may be taking care of their parents Also, research shows that 32 percent of adults from 18 to 34 now live with their parents. Dividing retirement assets makes these responsibilities even more daunting.

Requirements for a valid will in Ohio

Drafting a will remains among the more effective ways to implement your wishes for your property disposition after you pass. Ohio wills must meet several technical requirements in order to be valid.

Although fill-in-the-blank will forms proliferate all over the internet, they may not always meet requirements or properly reflect your wishes. A lawyer can advise you as to what provisions would best convey your disposition and draft an effective document.

What if a custodial parent wants to move?

We all know that a divorce inevitably leads to significant changes in everyone's life following a divorce. Either one or both ex-spouses will move out of the home, though it is not uncommon for the custodial spouse to choose to stay in the home. This may be done to minimize the impact of the divorce on children from the marriage. Courts always focus on assuring that the best interests of the children are met; this is often done by allowing the custodial parent to stay in the home.

A situation may present itself where it is in both the custodial parent and the children's best interest to move. The courts understand that life may change and encourage someone to move, but if there are children involved including child custody agreement and visitation rights, things are not always easy.

Why courts look at the best interest of the children

During the process of a divorce, if there are children involved from the marriage, the courts find it prudent to focus on the children and to make sure that all decisions are made with the children involved. Children can be especially sensitive during a divorce. It is not always easy to avoid conflict or animosity in the presence of the children all living under the same roof.

Children are smart; they can pick up on things, and know when something is awry. What they may not be able to comprehend is the reasoning why their mom and dad are no longer together or acting the way they did when the marriage was healthy and happy.

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