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Columbus, Ohio, Family Law Blog

Understanding the role of a parenting coordinator

If the relationship between separated or divorced parents is so bad that they're unable to co-parent their children, a parent (or parenting) coordinator (PC) may be necessary. A PC may be ordered by a court or parents may decide on their own that they need one.

The role of a PC will vary somewhat based on the issues a family is facing. In general, however, their role is to help co-parents negotiate their differences, resolve their disputes and learn some conflict management skills so that they can both adhere to the agreed-upon parenting plan and better deal with situations that may arise that aren't covered in the plan.

Find out if your soon-to-be ex is hiding assets!

Financial infidelity is a concept that refers to a spouse hiding money, assets and possessions from their partner. Having separate or secret financial holdings is quite common in relationships in the United States. A recent survey conducted by revealed that 12 million Americans have bank accounts or credit cards that their significant other is unaware of.

Nearly half of Americans have admitted to some form of financial infidelity. Almost 50% say that they don't know how much their spouse makes. They noted that they'd be unable to estimate the amount within $25,000 as well.

Blindsided by divorce? Think quickly to protect yourself

You didn't think that your relationship was bad enough to result in a divorce, but your spouse proved you wrong as they handed you the divorce paperwork. They claimed they had been unhappy for a long time, even though everything seemed normal on the surface.

Being blindsided by a divorce is difficult, and you haven't been sure how to cope with it. It's emotionally straining and financially difficult to deal with divorce. What should you do to make this easier on yourself?

Dividing future profits from work created during the marriage

Your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has been writing "the great American novel" for most of your marriage. Although you provided lots of encouragement, read more than a few drafts and suggested some plot points and character descriptions, you never thought it would amount to anything.

Now a publisher is actually interested in it. Your spouse doesn't want to sign a contract until the divorce is final because they don't want to split the proceeds with you. It may barely sell, or it could end up being made into an Oscar-winning film. Either way, it seems like you should share some of the profits.

Your relationship with your kids can impact custody decisions

If you and your co-parent can't reach an agreement on how to share custody of your children, a judge will need to make that decision for you. In Ohio and in family law courts throughout the country, judges typically adhere to the "best interests of the child" standard. They make custody and visitation decisions based on what they think will be best for a child's happiness, safety, development, and physical and emotional health.

A big consideration for most judges is each parent's relationship with their children. One judge explains, "If both parents have a history of being engaged and involved with their kids, that will matter a lot. If...there are no safety issues for the children, then ordinarily, you will be looking at some sort of shared parenting."

What holidays should parents put in their custody agreement?

If you and your co-parent are negotiating your custody and visitation agreement, you'll need to address the issue of holidays. The more clearly you detail the parenting agreement for each holiday, the less likely you'll be to have disputes and confusion later over the issue.

If you and your co-parent celebrate different religious holidays or one of you is more observant than the other, take that into consideration. Besides Christmas or whatever religious holidays you want your children to celebrate with you, you'll also need to think about Thanksgiving.

Property division: How do Ohio courts divide marital debts?

When divorce enters the picture, many spouses focus on what assets they will receive during property division. Neither person wants to feel as if they walked away from divorce without their fair share of the assets. Unfortunately, this leaves the area of debt division largely unaddressed.

It is wise for divorcing couples to make their own decisions on how to divide their debts and property. However, in many cases, it is simply not possible for couples to agree on property division matters. When this happens, a family court will have to make these financial decisions on behalf of the couple.

Can your ex leave Ohio and take your shared children away?

As you move through the process of divorce, you could find yourself wishing you would never have to see your ex again. Of course, since you have children together, that kind of clean break won't be an option. You will have to see your former spouse every time you exchange custody and on important days for your children, such as graduations or birthdays.

Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that your ex could decide to move out of Ohio as part of moving on with their life after the divorce. If they have primary custody, you could find yourself in a situation where you live hours away from your child, which means regular visits will be prohibitively difficult in the future.

Why dividing artwork in divorce can be a complicated endeavor

As your and your spouse's incomes grew, you began collecting more increasingly valuable works of art. This art now adorns virtually every room in your home. Now that you're considering divorcing, it's likely to be one of the biggest areas of contention as you divide your property.

Dividing artwork (as well as antiques and collectibles) is different than dividing up furniture, sports equipment and many other assets. In addition to monetary value, works of art can have a great deal of sentimental value to one or both spouses.

Tips for disciplining your kids after divorce

If you're a separated or divorced parent who's having difficulty disciplining your children, you aren't alone. After a marital split, parents often feel guilty about the impact of the break-up on their children. They also feel like they're competing with the other parent for the kids' affection.

Both of these things can make it hard to tell your children "no," even when it's for their own good. Kids are often smart enough to realize this and make it work to their advantage.

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