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Columbus, Ohio, Family Law Blog

What divorcing couples can learn from Jeff Bezos

Wealthy couples in Ohio who are considering ending their marriage might want to take a cue from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his wife. The two announced their divorce with a joint statement that said they would continue to cooperate going forward.

Divorce means many changes in a person's financial and personal life, but it is important for people to avoid letting those changes interfere with their professional life. A messy divorce that gets dragged into the workplace can hurt a company's value and may even result in a person's termination or early retirement.

Protecting parental rights of fathers after a divorce

These days, most courts in Ohio and throughout the rest of the nation recognize the importance of a father in a child's life. However, it's still fairly common for children to end up living with the mother if there's a serious custody dispute that can't be resolved amicably. That's why some steps dads looking to remain involved with their children may want to take steps to protect their rights after a divorce.

Dads are encouraged to be reasonable about parenting time, custody and visitation requests by determining how much time they'll likely have to spend with their children during their transition to a post-divorce life. While diligent fathers understandably want to be involved as much as possible, they should always keep their kids' best interests in mind. Taking this step may require some dads to face their own emotions about the end of a marriage while also letting go of lingering bitterness or resentment.

The case for 50-50 joint physical custody

Divorcing parents in Ohio are likely concerned about how the split will impact their children. In some cases, a parent will fight to obtain sole custody of the kids. Many still believe that children, especially infants and toddlers, do better when they are raised solely by their mothers.

However, modern research in child development has changed the way that people look at the issue of sole custody. It is clear that children are not negatively affected by spending time away from their mothers. To the contrary, research points to a number of benefits that children of divorced parents experience when they spend time with both parents.

Neutral ground can help eliminate fights at custody exchanges

When a divorce becomes contentious, every interaction between the spouses can turn into a potential argument. Unfortunately, when couples have minor children, they will have to see one another regularly.

The end result may be numerous arguments and fights, many of which their children will witness. Research has long shown that divorce can be difficult for children, and fighting can make it worse. One of the best ways parents can minimize the impact of divorce on children is to prevent their child from witnessing such arguments.

New tax laws will affect alimony in North Carolina

For decades, alimony payments have been tax deductible for the payor and taxable income for the payee. As of Jan. 1, 2019, however, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will change this. Alimony will no longer be considered tax deductible to the payor starting in the new year.

While those who have already ended their marriages don't have to worry about the change, it will impact new divorcees. Instead of alimony payments, some couples may consider a division of property instead, which is not a taxable event. Under this arrangement, the marital estate is divided in half with one partner receiving their half of the estate in yearly payments over time.

DNA test results affect child support decisions

As many Ohio parents know, child support disagreements can become very tense. Complications add up if there is any question about paternity. In those cases, results from DNA testing might be the key to resolving the issues.

Questions of paternity often come up when a child's parents were not married at the time of conception and sometimes at the time of birth. In those cases, the father would be considered an "alleged father," and his name would not legally have to appear in the child's birth certificate. However, if the couple splits after the child is born, questions about child support might arise, particularly if there are also questions surrounding the child's parentage. To arrive at concrete child support determinations, a DNA test might be ordered. The results of the test can help settle the questions and resolve the case.

Living arrangements may be sticking point in child custody cases

When it comes to divorce in Ohio, nothing is more important for parents than the safety and security of their children. Unfortunately, there can be some major disagreements regarding how to go about securing a child's well-being after a divorce. In many cases, parents will share custody, but in others, living conditions at the home of one parent may become a point of contention when it comes to deciding amicable custody arrangements.

According to Verywell Family, there are a number of factors that can determine whether a parent's home is fit to house children. While things like income may influence a judge's decision as to custody rights, one of the main issues is whether a parent can adequately handle the responsibilities of custody. As a result, a judge will factor in considerations like how many children will be living in a residence, how much privacy can be realistically afforded to each child, the age of each child and access to healthcare and education.

Dividing retirement assets during a divorce

It can be a challenge for divorcing couples to figure out how to divide assets and property and handle child custody. Determining how to fairly divide retirement assets can add another layer of challenge to the divorce process in Ohio. For many couples, their retirement savings represent the largest chunk of money that they have. If they are not careful, they could find themselves paying a hefty price as they are forced to pay penalties and additional taxes. Or they may see a substantial amount of money go to their ex-spouse.

Working with an attorney who has expertise in handling these situations is a key part of having an equitable outcome. However, financial experts advise divorcing couples to be familiar with what they have in their retirement fund. It's easy to think that an attorney will not miss anything, but the truth is that the divorcing couple should work closely with their attorneys to make sure that everything gets covered.

How parallel parenting can reduce conflict after divorce

Some divorcing couples in Ohio might not be able to create a strong co-parenting relationship. For the most part, co-parenting requires exes to set aside their differences, focus on their children and communicate effectively. In some divorces, there is simply too much conflict for this to happen. However, there is an alternative, known as parallel parenting, that allows exes to share custody or have a custody and visitation arrangement.

In parallel parenting, exes avoid direct communication as much as possible. This helps remove the likelihood of conflict. Parents who intend to use this approach need to make a plan that is very structured. They might want to set up a channel for indirect communication. This may involve sharing calendars or using email to communicate any critical information.

4 steps to getting a divorce in Ohio

When you get married, one of the last things you're thinking about is the possibility of a divorce. While some marriages last forever, the reality is that not all of them do. In that case, you may end up turning to a divorce to resolve your marital problems.

Ohio has its own laws regarding divorce. You will have to meet certain requirements to go through a divorce and obtain one. Here are the steps you'll need to take.

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