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Columbus Legal Blog

Shared parenting vs. sole custody: decide which works for you

During divorce, your mind may be swimming with all sorts of questions and concerns about matters such as property division and spousal support. However, one of the biggest areas of contention during a marital split-up is child custody.

Oftentimes, conflict over child custody and visitation is the result of one party's or both parties' lack of understanding of these legal terms and the ways in which they impact parental responsibilities and rights. Two kinds of child custody that are important to consider in the state of Ohio are shared parenting and sole custody.

Dissolution may make for an easier divorce process

Divorce is often portrayed on television as an acrimonious process, with two spouses dragging out a battle over who gets to keep the house or the children. The reality is that not everyone contests a marital split-up, with both parties at odds about how to handle their related matters.

In Ohio, you can save stress, time and money by choosing a process known as marriage dissolution, which is an alternative to your traditional contested divorce process. Marital dissolution may make ending your marriage a much easier ordeal for everyone involved, including the children. In fact, those who have young children may especially find it helpful because they learn early on how to find common ground and work together when they have disagreements -- something they will have to do as co-parents after the finalization of their divorce.

Do you have valid grounds to seek an annulment?

The end of a marriage is a difficult process. For some couples, the thought of a divorce is disheartening and overwhelming, but in some situations, it may be possible to avoid a divorce and seek an annulment. There are strict qualifications for annulment, but you may find it beneficial to learn more about how you may qualify.

Annulments are only an option for Ohio couples who are still in their first two years of marriage. People often seek an annulment rather than a divorce if they believe that their marriage was not valid, legally binding or real. Both annulments and divorces will end a marriage, but there are distinct differences between the two processes. 

How to navigate the back-to-school season following your divorce

Whether you're one of many Ohio parents who hail the back-to-school season as a welcomed event (if only to send end-of-summer, rambunctious kids someplace else for a few hours a day) or are among those who wish they could cling to their summer vacation time with their children a bit longer, if this is your first back-to-school since your divorce, you may be in for some fairly hefty challenges. If everyone cooperates, you may have the best school year yet.

Adapting to life after divorce is typically challenging on all fronts; so, it's no surprise that when kids begin a new academic year, it may add to your stress level, especially if you and your former spouse disagree on some key issues along the way. If you're both willing to compromise you shouldn't have much trouble, although it's always good to plan ahead to know where to turn for support if you need it in a pinch.

A mediated custody arrangement may work better for your family

Ohio parents know that their kids could have a difficult time when their parents decide to divorce. In order to minimize the potential impact that the end of a marriage could have on your children, you may be looking for ways to help your kids through this time of transition. One of the ways you could do this is by seeking a mediated custody or visitation arrangement.

Mediation is a way to resolve divorce-related disputes without setting foot inside a courtroom and can give families more control over the final order. This, in turn, may lead to better, more workable resolutions.

Who decides what happens to your business in divorce?

If you wrote a list of the top 10 things you value most at this time in your life, the business you worked so long and hard to build would likely be on it. It's a great feeling to bring a dream to fruition, even with the challenges, sweat and yes, perhaps, tears that came with the process. As you watched your business take hold, you likely breathed a sigh (or two) of relief and began to look forward to a successful, happy future.

Whether your spouse has always been actively involved in your business or not at all, if you're preparing for divorce proceedings, the two of you will probably discuss business interests at some point. As you may already be aware, Ohio is an equitable division state, as are most other states in the nation. This means that even though not all your marital property get split 50/50 in divorce, the judge will determine a fair division.

Why marriage dissolution may be a better option than divorce

Sometimes a marriage simply does not work out long term due to irreconcilable differences. Maybe over time, you and your spouse have grown apart and developed your own interests. Perhaps an affair has made the marriage impossible to save, thus requiring you to move on.

If you are contemplating a marital split-up in Ohio, you may want to consider a marriage dissolution. This is, in fact, not the same thing as a contested divorce. A marriage dissolution, unlike a contested divorce, offers the benefit of saving you stress, time and money.

Legal separation versus divorce: what is the right choice for me?

For some Ohio couples, divorce is not the best option, even when a marriage is essentially over. For various reasons, it may be better to remain married while maintaining separate households, and for this reason, a legal separation agreement may be necessary. Such an agreement provides protection for both parties in this situation. 

If you are considering separating from your spouse or are already living apart, you would be wise to ensure that you have the necessary legal protections in place. Simply moving out is not the only step that you might take. A legal separation agreement provides clarity, outlines responsibilities and eliminates the risk of complicated problems between the two spouses. 

Splitting up? Splitting of assets can be a hurdle

Married couples typically comingle the assets they accumulate during their marriage. That is one of the biggest reasons the divorce process can be so tricky: It essentially involves untangling these assets, even though the ownership lines are blurred.

Any items you purchase with your spouse while you are married are marital property. A few tips may help you to navigate the complex process of the splitting of assets when going through divorce in Ohio.

Is your spouse hiding assets during your divorce?

Property division is one of the most complicated aspects of a divorce, even for an amicable Ohio couple with relatively straightforward assets. However, this process can become even more complex when the two parties are at odds over the division of marital property or one spouse is not willing to fully disclose assets and income. 

If you believe that your spouse is hiding assets, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests. Your post-divorce financial future is on the line, and a fair property division settlement is essential to your stability. You have the right to use all of the tools at your disposal to protect your interests.

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