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Dayton Divorce Law Blog

Medical marijuana considered in child custody case

With medical marijuana becoming much more available in the U.S., and Alaska legalizing recreational use of the drug this week, family courts will likely see more cases involving questions of child custody and parent's use of marijuana.

At the end of last month, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled against a man who had argued that the granting of child custody to his former girlfriend violated the state's medical marijuana act. The highest court rejected his claims, in a unanimous decision. 

Choosing what is "best" for your children

Equality is a difficult concept during a divorce. Both sides tend to believe they are the aggrieved party and that they deserve the best outcome, as compensation for having been "wronged" by the failure of their marriage, the ordeal of divorce, or whatever other host of issues they may bring to the Ohio family court.

The property settlement is supposed to be equitable. The child custody arrangement should be in the best interests of the child. But for many couples, the term "best interests of the child" translates into "best interests of the parent."

Understanding your divorce, after your divorce

For many couples, there are well-delineated roles within their marriage. As much as relationships and family life has changed in the last 40 years, many things have remained the same. Because of the earning differential and differing career opportunities, for many couples, the man made the family income and the woman was responsible for the domestic sphere.

Especially for high asset divorces involving older couples, the gender roles may have been very traditional. So when reviewing information for their marital property division, many women may feel somewhat apprehensive when making decisions regarding their financial future.

It's not the divorce, it's the conflict

We all read about high-conflict divorces. Knockdown, drag-out fights that gain headlines and publicity, often involving the rich and famous. Sometimes, these battles occur among the less than famous. Sometimes, it seems as though all divorce must be contentious and become unpleasant for all involved.

But it does not have to be that way. If you have children, you will have a continuing relationship with your spouse long after your divorce has formally dissolved your marriage. If you children are reasonably young, you could be looking at 10 to 15 years that you will have to deal with your former spouse through your child custody arrangement. 

How brave are you?

From time to time, most family lawyers have been asked by potential clients if they can complete a divorce on their own, without an attorney. The technical answer is yes, Ohio law permits a couple to represent themselves in court to dissolve their marriage.

The question the couple has to answer is do they think that is a wise decision? With the internet, you can probably find sufficient information to believe your understand the issues and can create a valid divorce settlement document. But the risks are so great, that it is almost never a good idea.

Facebook involved with one-third of divorces

Facebook, it seems, can provide both the means to begin infidelity that might end your marriage and the evidence to damage your divorce settlement that results from the case. A report from the UK found that one third of divorces handled by a law firm involved the use of material from Facebook.

The utility of Facebook is that it can allow you to communicate with a wide variety of people from a single platform. You next door neighbor in Dayton and friends on the other side of the world can both be apprised of your activities. The danger of Facebook and other social media is exactly the same. 

What are your expectations for your divorce?

Setting proper expectations during and after divorce is one way to keep your sanity and allow the process to advance in as quickly and timely a manner as possible. If you are considering a divorce, there are likely many reasons.

You and your spouse no longer get along with each other. He or she has cheated on you and you feel betrayed. You married young and as you have matured, you find you no longer find those qualities that initially were the source of your attraction very appealing. Or, you have aged out of your marriage, developed different interests and no longer wish to share your life with them.

Fracking oil decline leads to appeal of Hamm divorce settlement

The Harold Hamm divorce proceeding is back in the news. The billionaire oilman and his wife have been engaged in a lengthy divorce proceeding, primarily due to the massive amount of assets at stake. As recently as August of last year, his fortune was valued at $19 billion, and he called a $998 million property division settlement "equitable and fair."

Now, apparently, he is changing his tune. It has a lot to do with the change in oil prices since that time. His oil company owns a significant portion of the Bakken Shale oil field and the value of his assets boomed with the oil boom. 

Child custody and your child's desires

When going through a child custody hearing in Ohio, you are probably going to spend a lot of time thinking about what you want or what your spouse wants. If you don't agree—if you want joint custody, for instance, but your spouse is after sole custody—that is going to dominate your approach. However, it is important to remember that the court is going to consider your child's desires, as well.

If the child expresses a desire to live with one parent, the court is going to give it serious consideration because the judge is trying to do things that are in the child's best interests. For this reason, he or she has to look at things like the relationship the child has with each parent, the relationship the child has with other siblings, the type of specific care that the child may need, the proximity to schools and other important institutions, and more. All of these things factor into the child's happiness, which is the court's ultimate goal.

Accumulation and division of marital property

One of the most important things to understand about a divorce in Ohio is how the marital property is going to be divided after the split. Courts are going to seek an equitable division, which just means that, though it may not be equal, the division will be fair.

As far as what qualifies as marital property is concerned, the court looks at wealth, assets and other items that were purchased or accumulated while the couple was married as property belonging to them as a couple. The court will not consider some of the property to belong to the husband, for instance, while other items belong to the wife.