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Columbus Legal Blog

Child custody mediation and what to expect

Divorcing is one of the most frightening things parents in Ohio face. In most cases, parents will search for ways to make the process of divorce and child custody proceedings as painless for the kids as possible. Mediation has become one of the top methods worried parents turn to in order to ease the transition for their kids.

Many times, first-time divorcing parents rely on the advice of family and friends who have already been through mediation successfully. Along with authoritative guidance from an attorney, this is often a big help for parents and children. Still, it would be even more helpful if parents had an idea of what to expect during the child custody mediation process. Below you will find some things you should be prepared for in child custody and divorce mediation proceedings.

  • Child custody mediation typically takes more than one session.
  • Some of these sessions can last two or three hours.
  • If you do not want to participate in mediation, you must notify the court in writing.
  • If a judge has ordered you to participate and you refuse, you might be held in contempt of court.
  • Willingness to cooperate with your spouse generally increases the chance of finding a fair resolution.

Does your situation warrant a court order modification?

One of the only things you can logically assume about life is that it never stays the same. Beyond that, it is impossible to predict with 100 percent accuracy what the future holds. In fact, you may find that your life is headed in a particular direction one week, then unexpected events prompt a drastic turn the next week. If you've recently divorced, you may be one of many Ohio parents who are currently encountering child custody challenges.  

When the court hands down a custody ruling, you and your co-parent are legally obligated to adhere to the terms of the court order. Your children's best interests are, of course, among your highest priorities as you move on in life after divorce. However, the court's ruling is the deciding factor in certain things you must do, as well as certain thing you must avoid, regarding your children. If a problem arises, you can't simply take matters into your own hands if the situation involves an existing court order. 

Is formal divorce necessary in a common law Ohio marriage?

Informal marriages, also called common law marriages, have been around a lot longer than many people believe. At one time, the state of Ohio recognized this type of informal marriage as a legal contract.

In short, living together in common law means getting a formal divorce if the relationship ends. In Ohio, common law marriages have been prohibited since October of 1991, but those who entered such a marriage before that time must still get a legal divorce.

Self-care is crucial in coping throughout your divorce

When it comes to getting a divorce or even separating from a spouse, self-care is one of the first casualties. We all know how traumatic a divorce is and in our desire to simply get through the process, we may let our physical and emotional health fall by the wayside. This is one of the biggest mistakes we see as divorce attorneys serving Ohio residents.

While it may feel like one of the least important areas of focus when splitting from a spouse, taking care of yourself can actually help you cope with the divorce more effectively. After all, when you feel bad mentally, emotionally and physically, it can cause complications during your divorce. We offer the following example for you to consider.

Think carefully before following divorce trends

Divorce is not an easy process to walk through. It can involve complex emotions, and parents have to figure out how to navigate their own feelings while making decisions that are in the best interests of the children. One way that some Ohio parents do this is by opting for a nesting custody arrangement.

Nesting is an arrangement in which the kids will remaining living in the same home after divorce while the parents rotate in and out when it is their respective parenting time. This type of custody and parenting arrangement will require a lot of communication and a certain willingness to work together to make it work. Before you agree to nesting, it is beneficial to carefully think about all the benefits and drawbacks of this type of arrangement. 

How can grandparents in Ohio seek visitation rights?

In most families, children have a special relationship with their grandparents. When a divorce or other circumstance separates children and grandparents, it can be harmful to all parties. Family law courts recognize how beneficial a strong child/grandparent bond is. With the best interests of the children at heart, many of these courts allow estranged grandparents to seek legal visitation or even child custody in some situations.

Ohio grandparents interested in acquiring visitation or child custody rights will benefit from legal representation, which can improve their odds of success. Together with a knowledgeable family law attorney, grandparents can prepare a case that shows the court how a continued relationship will enhance the child's life. The first legal step is filing a motion with the court requesting visitation, custody or companionship rights with the grandchild.

Property distribution is handled equitably in Ohio

One of the most contentious areas of a divorce is property division. This is particularly true for those who have amassed a large number of assets with their spouses over the years.

Part of the reason for the challenges that comes with the distribution of assets is that people do not understand property division law in Ohio. Here is a glimpse at how courts in the Buckeye State handle the distribution of property during divorce.

Unmarried fathers could benefit from help in custody cases

Under Ohio law, unmarried mothers are granted sole custody of their children at the time they give birth. Unmarried fathers have the right to seek custody or time with their kids, but it isn't automatically granted as it is with mothers.

Instead, fathers have a bit of work to do.

Is there a legal solution for those who can't pay child support?

When people least expect it, life circumstances can arise that place them in a precarious financial situation. For people without children, it is easier to find a solution to these situations because they do not have to worry about providing for kids. For Ohio parents who contribute to the care of their kids through child support, a single financial hardship can have many detrimental consequences for parents and children alike.

Some circumstances that can affect one's ability to make child support payments include a sudden job loss, suffering a debilitating illness or injury and switching to a new job that pays a lesser wage initially. When these events occur, the divorced parent responsible for paying child support needs to find a solution as early as possible. If left unaddressed, the parent may incur severe legal consequences and the child will likely suffer in some way from the absence of financial support.

Settling your child custody out of court may prove beneficial

No one "wins" when a family goes through the stress, contention and expense of a courtroom battle over child custody. A divorce exerts its own measure of chaos and anxiety on a family without adding anything else into the mix.

You may be among the many couples here in Ohio who realize this and want to make the process easier on your children by avoiding the courtroom if possible. This means working with the other parent, which may make you nervous since your personal relationship isn't at its best. A viable solution may be to use mediation to help you reach a child custody agreement.

400 South Fifth Street Suite 101 Columbus, OH 43215 Toll Free: 888-609-8912 Phone: 614-556-4231 Fax: 614-464-2035 Columbus Law Office Map

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