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Dublin Family Law Blog

How a prenuptial agreement may change the outcome of a divorce

As our readers of this Ohio-based family law and estate planning blog may know, the property that a person owns may have different classifications under the law. This is particularly true if they are marred; a spouse may have their own property that they do not share with their significant other and they may have property that they hold jointly with their husband or wife. In the event of a divorce, a person may find themselves fighting to prove that certain property is separate when their soon-to-be ex-spouse claims that it is shared.

This is only one example of how property, money and assets can be contested during a divorce. Although it is not at all idealistic to consider, a prenuptial agreement may save couples from squabbling over who will take certain items when the partners are no longer together. Prenuptial agreements that are validly executed may alter divorce outcomes by their terms and the agreements the parties made.

What is a spendthrift trust?

Most parents in Ohio do their best to help their kids understand basic and important life skills. They may teach them how to care for their own physical needs and how to budget for their financial expenditures. While some children may embrace these lessons and thrive in adulthood, others may struggle to give up their adolescent ways.

A parent who wishes to provide for their child through their estate plan may worry that their child will quickly exhaust their inheritance due to their extravagant spending. They may have concerns that their child will not have the financial help that they require because they are unable to manage their own financial affairs. For individuals in this worrisome situation, a spendthrift trust may be useful.

Child support is for more than a child's basic needs

If parents in Ohio were to total up all of the costs that they must cover to provide their children with what they need, they may come up with a staggering figure. Aside from the food, shelter, clothing and warmth that the child needs to stay healthy, a parent may add in costs associated with education, extracurricular activities, entertainment, transportation, out-of-home care and more. Raising a child is expensive and often requires the contributions of both parents.

When parents live together they can pool their resources to make sure that their children are provided for. However, when parents are divorced or choose to live separately, they must find a balance wherein their child has a stable home and the financial support necessary to allow them to continue to live their life. This can mean that the child's non-custodial parent will need to pay child support to the custodial parent to keep up with the costs of caring for the child.

Preserving family law fairness in the age of social media

Although Ohio residents still call up their friends to find out what is happening in their lives, many can quickly catch up on the big events happening in the lives of the people they love by signing into their social media accounts. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a bevy of other internet-based platforms allow individuals to share pictures, information and other forms of data with their connections in a user-focused manner. These social media platforms can, however, complicate family law matters when online friends, shared data and other information become relevant or discoverable at trial.

Recently, a judge granted a mother sole custody of her child based on alleged domestic violence that existed between the mother and her husband, but that ruling was short-lived. An appeal sent the matter to a higher court for reconsideration and now the matter must be reheard. That is because the judge accepted a friend request from the mother through Facebook before offering his final ruling.

Advance directives: how to choose a health care agent

An advance directive, or medical power of attorney, is a crucial estate planning document. This document gives you the opportunity to designate someone to act on your behalf if you become unable to make your own medical decisions due to a debilitating injury or illness. This person may be known as a health care agent, proxy or surrogate.

Many people choose the following individuals as their health care proxy:

  • Spouse
  • Partner
  • Close friend
  • A relative

What happens if parents cannot agree about their child's custody?

The divorce or separation of a couple in Ohio can require the parties to make many important legal and financial decisions. As they choose where they will live and who will retain control over certain parcels and items of property, they may also need to work out how they will share in the responsibilities of raising their kids. Child custody plans provide guidance to parents on how they will work together to provide their kids with the support they need despite the end of their parents' relationship. While some parents can work out solid child custody agreements, others may struggle to find common ground with their former partners.

When parents cannot agree about the custody of their kids their case may go to court so that a judge can make a decision about how to resolve the matter. When a court intervenes, the judge in the case will look at the best interests of the child or children to decide where they should live, which parent should be responsible for their day-to-day needs and if the parents can share physical custody between them.

Get answers to important divorce questions

It is a trend that may surprise some and may make sense to others: In January, more people file for divorce that in other months of the year. This is thought to happen because individuals want to get through the holidays without disrupting their families. It may also occur because some resolve to be happier in the New Year and experiencing more joy may mean letting go of a spouse.

It is now February and Ohio residents may still be riding this trend and wondering what options they have for ending their marriages. Divorce is a heavy legal matter that has many implications for how the custody of children, the division of wealth, and the distribution of property may be handled. How these and other important matters are managed can have long-term consequences on the life of a person after their marriage has ended, and therefore it is in their interests to ensure that their divorce happens appropriately and on their terms.

Changes to estate plan may be necessary after a divorce

It is important that all Ohio residents seriously assess their needs for written estate plans. While many people may feel that they do not possess sufficient assets to justify the creation of estate planning documents, practically everyone can benefit from taking the time to consider just what may happen to their wealth and possessions if they pass away. Additionally, those who do have estate plans in place should consider what changes they may need to make to their existing testamentary documents when they go through significant life events like divorces.

It is not unusual for spouses to name each other the beneficiaries of their wills or to name each other proxies on their power of attorney documents. However, when spouses divorce, it may be necessary for them to change their documents to reflect the dissolution of their marriages. The failure to do so may result in ambiguity concerning the intentions of the decedent or individual who has become incapacitated.

Stepparent adoption can bring families closer together

Not long ago a national news program offered the heartwarming story of a little girl asking her stepfather to adopt her. In a pretty dress and with a handmade sign, she asked the man who had been in her life since her infancy if he would officially make her his daughter. The story had a happy ending - the man tearfully agreed and legally adopted the little girl.

Ohio families that include stepchildren and stepparents can understand the special bond that the family from this story exemplifies. Stepparents can take on roles that are identical to those that biological parents often provide. They can claim special places in their stepchildren's hearts and likewise can develop parental love for the children of their spouses.

Should you keep your married name after a divorce?

The result of divorce is ending life together with your current spouse so you can move on as much as possible, only sharing what is absolutely necessary, such as time with children. It is normal for divorced people to get rid of things that remind them of the painful relationship.

What about your married name? Is the last name of your ex something you should retain or drop? There is no right or wrong answer. It depends on your own feelings and circumstances.

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