Your Rights as a Nontraditional Family

nontraditional family divorce attorney in Dublin

Your Rights as a Nontraditional Family

August 26, 2016

Same-sex couples and unmarried parents have always existed, but such nontraditional couples have only recently been accorded many of the same legal rights and protections as married heterosexual couples. Statutory and case law continue evolving, however. This means that people in committed same-sex relationships and people who wish to co-parent children without getting married must take steps to ensure they do not lose out when matters related to divorce, child custody, and parenting time go to court. 

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personality disorder attorneys in Columbus Ohio

Divorcing Someone with a Personality Disorder

August 20, 2016

Decades of combined experience have taught the Columbus, Ohio, divorce attorneys with Edward F. Whipps & Associates that personality disorders lie at the root of many troubled marriages. The paranoia, compulsive behaviors, obsessions, narcissism, mood swings, and/or withdrawal from society that mark different kinds of personality disorders can make sharing a home and child care duties with an afflicted partner impossible. 

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spousal support

How Is Spousal Support Affected by Cohabitation?

August 18, 2016

Ohio law offers several possible answers to the question of whether moving in with a new partner will affect spousal support payments. Consulting with a knowledgeable spousal support attorney is probably the only way to determine what possibilities exist in your case. To help you prepare to take part in such a consultation, the alimony lawyers with Edward F. Whipps & Associates present the following summary. 

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child support lawyer Columbus Ohio

How to Enforce Child Support Orders

August 15, 2016

A custodial parent who can prove that an ex-partner has repeatedly failed to meet his or her obligation to make contributions toward the housing, educational, well-being and health care of his or her child can seek many legal remedies.

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spousal support termination in Columbus Ohio

Reasons Spousal Support Can Be Terminated

August 14, 2016

Spousal support, which many people still call alimony, is awarded based a complicated calculation of the recipient’s need and the payer’s ability to write checks that won’t bounce. A change in either former spouse’s financial situation can justify reductions in or cancellation of spousal support. 

A man or woman can ask a judge to modify a spousal support order for the following reasons: 

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Child Relocation Attorney in Dublin

What Is Child Relocation?

August 13, 2016

In the context of divorce, child custody, and child visitation/parenting time, “child relocation” means that the custodial parent is moving from his or her current home with the kid. The term matters because Ohio law requires a custodial parent to notify the family court that granted custody in a timely manner of his or her intent to relocate. The court requests the information so it can formally notify the parent who has visitation rights of the potential relocation. This process exists because the state understands, first, that a child usually benefits from having both parents involved in his or her life and, second, that a move can interrupt parenting time. 

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never-married parents

Determining Custody of a Child with Never-Married Parents

August 12, 2016

Both parents have rights and obligations when it comes to caring for their child. The rights include being involved in the child’s upbringing and having a say in decisions regarding the child’s education and medical care. Many of the obligations mirror parental rights, including the duties to ensure the child has shelter, food, clothing, and health care. Getting married does not establish these rights and obligations, nor does never marrying remove them. They arise from conceiving the child and/or acting as a parent. 

That is a more of philosophical answer than may be needed to the question of whether a person who never marries the mother or father of their child can request custody or child visitation when a romantic relationship ends. The brief legal summary, however, helps makes clear that a never-married parent can absolutely assert his or her rights as a child’s mother or father. It also clarifies how decisions regarding child custody are based, in part, on determinations regrading which parent can best meet his or her obligations to the child. 

Family law judges use the child’s best interest as the standard for assigning custody. Questions that must be answered during a custody dispute include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • What is the exact relationship between the child and the person petitioning for custody? Note that an adult does not need to be a biological parent in order to receive custody, but a court can request a paternity test and consider the result as a factor that affects the strength of the bond between the adult and child.
  • Which parent has the more stable living situation? Is one parent employed and in his or her own home while the other parent struggles to find work and does not keep their own apartment? Is one parent already successfully raising other children?
  • Which parent has the strongest emotional bond with the child? Related to this, has the child only ever lived with one parent, and does the child express a strong preference for staying with his or her mother or father? A child considered mature enough to do so will be encouraged to tell court officials and agency representative what they consider their own best interest to be.
  • Which parent can best provide for the physical, developmental, and emotional needs of the child? Answers include financial and psychological considerations, as well an assessment of the physical health of each parent.
  • Would a custody decision cause the child to move and change schools, make new friends, and live away from siblings, cousins, grandparents, and other family members? Judges often seek to minimize lifestyle changes for the child. 

A never-married parent who wants legal custody of a son or daughter must go through the same legal processes as a parent who was once married to their child’s mother or father. Court filings, home visits, occupational and financial assessments, and a hearing before a judge are needed. Having advice and representation from an experienced Ohio child custody lawyer while navigating this system can help a parent avoid missing paperwork deadlines and prepare for meetings with judges and evaluators. 

Let the family law attorneys with Edward F. Whipps & Associates know if we can assist you with a child custody case. Call us at (614) 461-6006 or set up an appointment online.

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Columbus, Ohio divorce lawyers

Understanding Military Divorce

August 12, 2016

Ending a marriage to an active duty, reserve, National Guard, or retired service member raises tough questions about spousal support, child custody, child support, and access to housing and tax benefits. Also since divorce, dissolution, annulment, and legal separation cases are handled in state courts, free legal advisers available to military spouses through the various branches can generally not represent a husband or wife in negotiations, mediation, arbitration’s, and hearings. In fact, one online clearinghouse for military family law information plainly states, “For military divorce or legal separation situations that require representation in civil court or involve contested issues such as child custody, spousal/child support or division of assets like retirement pay, it is recommended that you consult with a civilian attorney who is knowledgeable of the divorce laws of your particular state and has extensive experience with military-related family law.” 

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paternity attorney Columbus Ohio

The Most Common Steps in a Paternity Case

August 12, 2016

Ohio law provides two ways to establish that a man is the father of a child. The first is submitting an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit to the Ohio Department of Health. The second is having a family court judge accept the results of a DNA test as valid. Men who wish to overturn an affirmation of paternity must file a civil lawsuit and be able to prove that there is very little chance that he fathered the child in question. 

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spousal support

How Much Spousal Support Will I Have to Pay?

August 9, 2016

Estimating how much you can expect to pay in spousal support is an important part of preparing financially for your divorce. Arriving at an exact dollar amount is rarely possible, however, because each divorce presents unique factors, and the laws of Ohio do not specify a formula for calculating monthly or quarterly payments to a former spouse. The state also does not mandate that what used to be called alimony be included as part of a divorce agreement. 

The best way to figure out both whether you will need to make spousal support payments and how much any payments will be comes down to working closely with an empathetic, discreet, and experienced Ohio divorce attorney. The requirements for empathy and discretion cannot be overstated because planning appropriately for paying spousal support requires disclosing your entire employment, earnings, and investment history to your legal advisor. Experience also counts a great deal because awarding and calculating spousal support involves a great deal of legal analysis and negotiation. 

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