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Columbus, Ohio, Family Law Blog

Protecting finances in case of a divorce

Many people in Ohio who get divorced are unprepared for the financial impacts. Recovering from the financial devastation that a divorce can bring might be a years-long process. There are steps that people can take to protect themselves against a potential divorce in the future.

When people want to get married, they should recognize that they are entering into a contract with each other. While most people dislike thinking about marriage as if it is a business relationship, there are several similar aspects. Spouses must work together to handle their finances and to build their futures. Before getting married, it is a good idea for couples to make certain that they have a thorough understanding of each other's finances. They might want to draft prenuptial agreements to define what will be considered the separate property of each partner if a divorce occurs.

Use calendars for expense, schedule details in divorce cases

Because divorce is so stressful, it's easy for the parties involved to forget important things. When gathering such necessary documents as tax forms, bank statements and other items, soon-to-be exes in Ohio should also consider looking at old calendars. These may contain a wealth of information that could be important in the divorce and also be evidence if spouses disagree about an event or expense.

A parent who is preparing for divorce-related litigation may need to provide many details to an attorney about children's activity schedules and health care costs. They might also need to give information about expenses. Calendars may contain all of this information. Some commonly overlooked expenses may include gifts for birthday parties that children have attended or the costs of traveling overnight for a school- or sports-related activity. A parent may also use the calendar to prompt their memory about any visits the child may have made to a doctor or therapist. This information can also be useful in determining parenting time, which is often used to calculate child support.

Child support involves more than what most people think

When Ohio residents consider child support, they often think about covering the minor's basics needs. These could include food, clothing, and a place for the child to live. The reality is that child support covers a lot more.

In many places, a good education is not free, so child support could cover regular school fees. Since the parent who has custody may also need to work, support could be used to help cover childcare fees. Furthermore, kids need entertainment. It's the parent's responsibility to provide their children with entertainment, so this could also be included in child support.

Here’s what you should do if your spouse asks for a divorce

Even if you think your marriage is on solid ground, your spouse may not share your feelings. Instead, they've been thinking long and hard about your relationship, pondering whether or not divorce is the right solution to their personal problems.

If your spouse asks for a divorce, it's critical that you take a deep breath and begin to process what's just happened. Doing anything else could lead you to make a variety of mistakes that will haunt you in the future.

Handling a divorce where there is a prenuptial agreement

In Ohio and across the United States, it is unfortunate that many marriages will end in divorce. When a couple decides to part ways, there are certain issues that will come to the forefront as part of the case. That includes property division, spousal support and other financial considerations. To make the situation harder, couples may have prenuptial agreements but disagree about whether it is enforceable.

Understanding how to deal with divorce when there is a prenuptial agreement can be complicated. The prenup can be beneficial as it dictates what will happen in the event of divorce. Still, there can be disputes about how the divorce will be settled even if there is a prenup. Couples will try to tailor the prenup to suit their needs.

Dividing retirement assets after a marriage ends

When Ohio residents divorce, the question of how to divide a retirement account may be difficult to answer. This is because it may represent one of the most valuable assets that an individual could have. Retirement plans may also be tricky to divide because of the potential tax implications of doing so. As defined benefit plans are not considered marital property, any appreciation that takes place before marriage or after a divorce cannot be split.

However, retirement plans such as a 401(k) are typically considered marital property. Therefore, spouses may be entitled to a share of it even if it is in one spouse's name only. Money inside of a 401(k) or other qualified plan is divided per the terms of a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). There is no need to split assets in an IRA using a QDRO, but they can be split per the terms of a divorce decree.

Child visitation cannot be refused for these reasons

After going through a bitter divorce, some Ohio parents may search for leverage that can be used against an ex-spouse to get back at them for the pain they are experiencing. Some feel the only leverage they have left is the children. Custodial parents need to be aware of illegitimate reasons to refuse visitation rights that could lead to them possibly losing custody of their children and even facing fines or jail time.

A parent may be tempted to refuse visitation to an ex-spouse because they do not have a separate bedroom for the child. While this may cause them to feel concerned, it is not an appropriate reason to refuse visitation.

Tips for helping children thrive after a divorce

Many parents in Ohio face the prospect of raising their children after a divorce. One factor that will come into play as it relates to creating an effective parenting plan is the age of the kids. Younger children often need more structure while older children want more freedom to spend time with friends and participate in school activities. Furthermore, young kids will generally need more support and reassurance after their parents finalize a divorce.

No matter the situation, it is important that both parents are involved in the child's life. Research has shown that children are generally better off as adults when they have had both parents playing a key role in their development. It is also important that children don't feel as if they have to choose between one parent or the other.

Do you get more of the assets in a divorce if your spouse cheats?

Infidelity is one of the leading reasons that people have for ending their marriage. When one spouse strays, it can destroy the trust and respect upon which the marriage existed. Without that important foundation, a healthy relationship may not be possible.

As someone who has experienced the pains of infidelity, it is normal for you to want some kind of compensation or justice for your suffering. Many people have heard stories about someone getting to keep the house or another significant asset because their ex cheated during the marriage. These stories can inspire people to want to fight over every cent in a divorce stemming from infidelity.

Co-parenting strategies to limit conflict with a difficult ex

Divorced people in Ohio typically cooperate as co-parents to their children, but vindictive or controlling ex-partners can make the journey more difficult than it already is. A person feeling undermined by a quarrelsome or unreliable co-parent could reduce conflict with mindfulness and communication strategies.

Self-reflection forms the first step in the process. Parents could try to identify hot-button issues that their exes might trigger on purpose. Identification of sensitive subjects could help people halt their natural responses and avoid taking the bait laid out by difficult exes. When a co-parent does something upsetting, a person could take a few moments or even a whole day before responding. Pausing gives people a chance to come down from strong emotions and make more rational responses. Ultimately, people can only control their reactions and not their former partners. If face-to-face communications too often produce arguments, then parents could restrict communications to only email or online family communication portals.

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