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Dayton Divorce Law Blog

Tips for making joint custody work

Joint custody arrangements can be very beneficial for families after divorce. More parents in Ohio are deciding to share custody instead of fighting each other for primary physical custody. 

Shared custody is often in the best interests of the child, since both parents are able to spend time with the child on a consistent basis. While this type of custody arrangement is favorable for most families, parents should be aware of what steps to take to make a 50/50 custody arrangement work better for everyone. 

The positive side of divorce

Divorce is often a conflation of many things. Your feelings for your spouse, for your children, for your past and for your future. The separation of a single household into two separate households is traumatic, even under the most ideal circumstances and most of the time the circumstances are less than ideal. If you have children, in addition to your personal concerns about your well-being and future, you worry about the affect the divorce will have on them.

Much in the press suggests that only bad things can come from a divorce. The children's grades will suffer as will their socialization. But this is not ordained in the process of divorce, and is often a symptom of fundamental problems with the relationship between the parents. In addition, some can even find good in having experienced a divorce as a child.

A custody hearing for a dog?

During a divorce, you must review all of your assets and debts and divide them between yourself and your spouse. With some assets, this may be straightforward, and with something like a joint savings account, an equitable division is uncomplicated. However, there are other items, some of which like a favorite chair or a musical instrument, where you may have more of an emotional attachment. This can add to the complexity.

And then there are those assets, which rival children in terms of emotional affection and attachment; the family pet or pets. And for couples without children, the custody discussions and the formal arrangements may be nearly as complex as a child custody agreement.

The pitfalls of social media and divorce

When it comes to your divorce, social media presents many challenges. For one, it represents a dangerous opportunity for you to make statements or post pictures that could cause problems for your divorce. Even if your spouse has no access to your Facebook or other social media accounts, material posted there can never be considered private in any meaningful way.

You should always assume that anything on those sites could be found and shared with your spouse. Placing any information that could be compromising or derogatory must be avoided, as it is likely that the more damaging it is, the more likely it will find its way in to his or her hands.

When is a prenuptial agreement right?

Thinking about a prenuptial agreement before your wedding may be one of the most counterintuitive activities. You may wonder how you can both be planning a fabulous wedding and all of the ancillary related activities and then flip your thoughts to determining how to divide or not divide assets when you and your spouse-yet-to-be decide to divorce.

Perhaps the best way to consider the prospect of a prenuptial is to think about why you would need one. If you are young, have few if any assets, will not receive a large inheritance and are head over heels in love, a prenuptial agreement may not really provide much value or usefulness for your relationship.

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.