Family Law Representation: Helping You Through Life Transitions
At Kelly Law Office, we represent clients who are facing divorce and other difficult family law issues. We provide information and constructive advice to help reduce the stress you are feeling and enable you to make the best decisions possible.
Our family law services include representation and counsel in all processes related to the termination of your marriage in Ohio and matters related to:
- The division of your property
- Spousal and child support
- Custody and visitation of your children
- Schedules for parenting time
- Custody modifications for parental relocations
- Same-sex child custody matters
Do you have questions about divorce, child custody or another family law matter? Please visit our FAQ page.
What Is A Contested Divorce?
A contested divorce arises when you and your spouse cannot agree on one or more issues involved with ending your marriage. At any point in the process, if a settlement is reached, the litigation can be ended by putting the agreement in writing and presenting it to the court for approval. When a settlement is not possible, the issues that cannot be resolved by agreement must be decided by the judge or magistrate. The process by which this decision is made is a trial. It is important to have an experienced trial attorney — someone who is familiar with the judge or magistrate on your case — to assist you with the litigation process.
The Court May Issue Temporary Orders In A Contested Divorce
Typically, when a complaint for divorce is filed, either one or both parties will also file a motion for temporary orders. The magistrate will make temporary orders regarding custody, child support, parenting schedule, spousal support, payment of debts and payment of ongoing living expenses such as mortgages, rent, utilities, car payments credit cards and attorney fees. Because temporary orders may last for many months and can influence the ultimate outcome of the case, it is essential to have an experienced attorney prepare persuasive affidavits for submission to the magistrate.
Temporary Restraining Orders Protect Your Interests During A Divorce
Temporary restraining orders protect against vindictive and destructive behavior by a spouse, such as the canceling of insurance policies, the removal of furniture from the marital residence, the removal and expenditure of funds from retirement or savings, the selling or transferring of assets, and the accumulation of debt by your spouse in your name. The temporary restraining order can also prohibit a spouse from permanently removing minor children from the jurisdiction of the court. When a divorce is filed, a motion for a temporary restraining order is filed at the same time, and the restraining order is then served upon your spouse at the same time as the summons and complaint for divorce. Your spouse is not bound by the order until it is served upon him or her.
Experts May Be Appropriate Or Necessary In Some Cases
Experts such as appraisers may be used to prove the value of certain assets. If either spouse owns or has an interest in a business, a forensic accountant may be used to prove the dollar value of that interest. When custody or the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities of minor children is at issue, your attorney can move the court to appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the best interests of a child. The guardian has statutory duties that include a home investigation and speaking with the minor child, when possible, to determine the child’s wishes and desires, and speaking to relevant witnesses. The guardian ad litem is required to file a written report prior to trial that presents his or her findings and makes recommendations with respect to awarding custody or parental rights.