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Columbus, Ohio, Family Law Blog

What can you pay for with child support funds?

Most states view child support as a way for parents to equalize the playing field when it comes to covering a child's basic necessities, including food, clothing and shelter. Some jurisdictions allow parents to request child support to pay for a broader range of costs, such as those associated with childcare, education, entertainment, extracurricular activities, medical care and transportation, though.

As the cost of living increases, so does the cost of child support. A judge may order a non-custodial parent to pay a portion of the rent or mortgage, utilities, electricity bills and the telephone. Medical costs that a parent may have to pay include any associated health insurance, including dental, mental health, and vision care. Parents may also be responsible for covering uninsured extraordinary medical expenses such as those associated with pre-existing medical conditions or if an emergency arises.

Tips for handling a difficult ex when there are custody issues

Child custody cases sometimes bring out the worst in people. This can have a negative impact on the co-parenting relationship because both parents want their own way.

One of the key strategies for having a successful co-parenting relationship is being able to work as a team. When one person is being difficult, these tips might help the other parent ensure that the children get what they need.

What should you do with real estate in your Ohio divorce case?

With divorce comes various complications. Deciding what to do with the marital home is one of them. With the costs of homes these days, the average person is typically unable to pay for a home in cash, or potentially even qualify for a mortgage on their own. Thus, it generally takes two people to be eligible for a home loan.

When couples decide to get a divorce, they have to decide what to do with the family home. Even if they agree that one spouse will remain in the property, it may not be as simple as that. The remaining spouse has to qualify for a mortgage on their own. Otherwise, the former spouse's name would have to remain on the deed, or you'd have to sell your house.

Can I have my child's other parent declared unfit?

If you have tried co-parenting with your child's other parent and experienced problem after problem, you may have wondered if it were possible to declare the other parent unfit in order to make your life easier and involve less drama in your child's life.

While it may indeed be possible, it will not necessarily be easy or even the right thing to do. But if your child is at risk of being hurt when they are with their other parent, that is completely different. We'll examine some of the situations that you might face, how the Ohio family law courts may view them and the options that you have.

What factors may warrant a spousal support modification?

It's not uncommon for Ohio couples to be left on unequal financial footings when they divorce. Ohio family judges will often step in and enter court orders requiring a husband or wife to pay their ex some form of spousal support as a result of this. Alimony isn't supposed to last forever, however.

Changes in circumstances may warrant a modification in alimony. An Ohio judge may increase, reduce or cease spousal support awards depending upon the former spouse's newfound financial status.

Questions you should expect a judge to ask at a custody hearing

One of the worst parts about getting divorced for most parents is having to come to terms with not being able to spend as much time as they'd like with their child. Moms and dads often fight to win custody so that they don't have to miss important milestones in their kids' lives. If you are looking to gain more parenting time with your child, then you should prepare to discuss a few critical matters at your child custody hearing.

Judges will generally ask about how well you communicate with your child's other parent at your custody hearing. There's a valid reason why they ask about this. The court understands that parents have to regularly discuss scheduling matters and make joint decisions about child's medical care, education and upbringing. Parents who aren't able to have a civil conversation with one another are more apt to have conflicts and end up back in court, something that causes a child added stress.

Who gets the dog in a divorce?

Divorces can be hard on everyone involved, including the pets. Over the years, your domesticated animal has become more than just a pet, but instead part of the family. You can't split up the family dog. Thus, when a couple gets divorced, your canine friend has to go with one spouse versus the other. There are trends as to how courts generally deal with such matters.

Issues over who will pay for the dog's care and custody and who the dog prefers to live with are circumstances that you and your ex will need to hash out. Many times pets will end up being rehomed or even end up in shelters after a divorce because the couple believes that decision may be in the best interest of the animal.

Can I just pick up and relocate with my child post-divorce?

Former spouses often set out to make a fresh start in the aftermath of their divorce. For many, starting over may mean relocating to another city or outside of the state. Doing this isn't always a feasible option if you two have kids, though.

Out-of-the-area relocations have become increasingly popular for custodial parents. Research conducted by Mind Publications in 2004 captured how as many as 25% of parents who have primary or sole custody of their children relocate to another area post-divorce.

If your spouse is seeking sole custody, you can fight it

You and your spouse have been angry with each other for a long time, so when you decided to divorce, it was no big surprise. What you weren't expecting was for them to push so hard for sole custody of your child. You can't let that happen, but is there really a risk?

You should know that most courts want to see parents come up with a fair custody schedule. It's generally a preference of the court to see parents share custody around 50-50. If that's not possible due to work conflicts or other responsibilities, then coming up with a way for both parents to spent time with their child is important.

Know where to look for your ex's hidden assets!

When the topic of divorce comes up, one of the first things a husband or wife may consider is hiding their assets. Like bankruptcy, it's against the law for spouses to hide anything that they own during a divorce.

One of the primary ways that sneaky spouses hide assets is by not sharing accounts. It's not uncommon for husbands and wives to have separate retirement accounts or pensions through their jobs. They may seek to hide those funds too. Marital or rental properties may be in one or both spouses' names or registered to a trust or corporation, causing them to become hidden.

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