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Dublin Family Law Blog

What are conciliation procedures under Ohio law?

Making the decision to end a marriage can be difficult for an Ohio resident. They may spend time weighing their options and attempting to make the best possible decision for themselves and their family. However, if they get to the point where they are prepared to divorce, then they may not wish to dwell on other options any longer than they must.

However, under Ohio law courts may require individuals who want to divorce to work on their relationships a little longer before they are allowed to terminate them. After a party has filed for divorce a court may order the parties to go through a conciliation period to work on certain aspects of their marriage. The court can order the parties to seek counseling as a family or to work with community or health services providers. Courts can refer individuals to members of the clergy and periods of conciliation can last up to 90 days.

What role could prenups play in a divorce?

Before they have even celebrated their wedding days, some Ohio couples have made plans for how they will manage their property in the event that they divorce. Prenuptial agreements, sometimes referred to as prenups, are contracts that parties may enter into before they marry that outline how their financial responsibilities and property holdings will be dealt with in the event that their marriage does not last. Not everyone who marries will want a prenup but those who do enter into them should be aware of what will happen if they divorce with one in effect.

A prenuptial agreement will be reviewed by a divorce court to ensure that it is valid. If the agreement covers topics such as child support that are prohibited from inclusion, then those terms may be stricken from them. If the agreement was created while one of the signing parties was under duress or otherwise coerced into signing, then the entire agreement may be set aside.

Is it possible to divorce without a trial?

Divorces are still a prevalent part of life for many people living in Ohio. In 2016 alone, over 35,000 couples divorced with around 15,000 of those couples having children. 

Before filing for divorce, many couples are well aware of the complications that can arise from the process. Therefore, it is normal for the couple to wonder whether they can divorce without spending over a year in court. Although it is rare, it is possible, and if both spouses get along amicably, it may be possible for them to divorce without going to court. 

Birdnesting is a unique approach to child custody

When two Ohio parents go through a divorce, they may work hard to minimize the challenges that their children will face as they transition into their new lives. Though children do not lose their parents when divorces happen, they do lose the stability of having both of their parents living together under the same roof. A relatively new trend in child custody arrangements attempts to keep the same roof over kids' heads after divorce while the parent who is with them changes.

Known as "bird nesting" or "nesting," this trend involves allowing the child to remain in the family home, while the parents rotate who will live in the home with the child. First one parent will live with the child in the family home. When it is time for the other parent to have custody of the child the at-home parent leaves and the other parent moves into the home. The non-custodial parent then stays at a second home that the parents share but never reside in at the same time.

During season of giving, consider gifts through an estate plan

In a matter of days, Ohio residents will be celebrating Thanksgiving with members of their families and friends who have become special to their lives. And just as the last plates of turkey are cleared from their tables, some individuals will head out into the cold to brave the Black Friday crowds that will undoubtedly ravage local retailers. Holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and Valentine's Day are on the horizon and these celebratory events are often associated with gift-giving. While many will stress over what to buy their favorite relations, few will consider a much more important way of providing for those that they love.

Estate planning is an important step in preparing one's property for disposition after their death and ensuring that relatives are given the items that the decedent wants them to have. An estate plan can include a will, trusts, and other important tools, and every estate plan should be tailored to the needs of its creator.

Be prepared for custody issues during the holidays

The holidays are a special time for many Ohio residents. Not only do many individuals get time off of work to be with their friends and loved ones, but some have the special opportunity to see people they may not otherwise get to spend time with during the rest of the year. For parents, the holidays can be a wonderful time to catch up with their kids and enjoy quiet moments for building love and memories.

When a family is affected by divorce or separation, though, a parent may find that they are missing their children throughout the holiday season. Whether they get to see their kids may depend upon the terms of their child custody agreement or court order. They may find that their kids' other parents wish to change previously agreed to holiday plans in order to accommodate trips or events that they did not have scheduled before the custody arrangement was made.

The independent adoption process

The decision to adopt a child is one of the biggest that prospective parents will ever make. In Ohio, there are several ways that individuals can pursue adoptions. They can work with the state or state-sanctioned agencies to find children in need of adoptive placements, or they may endeavor to make independent adoptions directly from the children's biological parents.

An independent adoption is one that happens outside of an adoptive agency. It generally involves the direct contact of birth parents with adoptive parents and can allow the parties to the adoption to make their own, personal relationships with each other. In an independent adoption the parties work together to effectuate the transfer of parental rights from the birth parents to the adoptive parents.

Reasons divorce can be good for children

Despite the common belief that half of all marriages end in divorce, the rate has plummeted in recent years. This is in part due to millennials marrying later in life. Susan Brown, who works as a sociology professor in Ohio at Bowling Green State University, said the trend has remained particularly striking and suggests further decline in the future.

Couples with children worry about how the divorce will impact their kids. While there are specific considerations to make, research suggests there can be benefits. 

Do I have to go to court to set up a child support agreement?

It is not always the case that parents will need to establish a child support plan in conjunction with a divorce. In some cases, Ohio parents may be unmarried, and thus not need to legally divorce or even divide property.

Moreover, they may agree to raise their child as co-parents in separate homes, thus alleviating the need for a custody and parenting time hearing.

More money does not necessarily mean a more stable marriage

It is not uncommon for Ohio residents who choose to end their marriages to cite money as a contributor to their marital woes. It can be hard to keep a relationship going when the two parties to it differ on their views of how to save, where to spend, and what to prioritize in terms of financial management. It can also be hard for couples to settle their differences when they simply do not have enough money to do what they want and need.

It may therefore seem that if a couple had more money, their marriage would have a greater chance of lasting. Research into the topic of money and divorce suggests a different outcome, though, with high income earners also finding themselves in divorce court. There are many reasons that earning more money is not a guarantee to preserving a long-term marriage.

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