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Dayton Divorce Law Blog

How complex can it be?

When some people consider divorce, they may wonder if they could do it themselves, without an attorney. Maybe, but do you want to take the risk? The difficulty is with a divorce there are multiple tensions at work that make representing yourself less than optimal.

There is the emotional roller-coaster that may occasionally cloud your best judgment. You also may have difficulty viewing the decisions that need to be made with sufficient distance, which an attorney can help provide.

Facebook used to serve divorce notice

Social media continues to have an impact on family law and the participants in divorce cases. This really is not surprising, given the word "social." The ubiquity of Facebook, which for many has become an integral part of their day, means that inevitably it will become enmeshed in divorce matters.

Of course, it can facilitate or advance a divorce. For a couple with a troubled relationship, turning to Facebook to "connect" with friends who may eventually become more than friends. It can become a tool that they use to facilitate their extramarital affairs, both in providing research and execution of these relationships.

As a grandparent, you may be able to seek child support

Child support is an important issue for divorced or unmarried parents. Both parents are expected to contribute to the care of their children. If the children primarily live with the mother, for instance, the father will typically be required to provide monthly payments intended to help cover the cost of the children's food, clothing, housing, education and other expenses.

However, sometimes it isn't the custodial parent who is primarily providing for his or her children. Sometimes all of them — parent and children alike — are living with the grandparents.

Divorce and your retirement

Divorce changes your plans. You may have had elaborate ideas of what you and your spouse would spend your life, after the children have grown and moved on, and after you have retired. And you may have even accomplished the most difficult part of that equation, by creating a financial plan for your retirement that actually could support the lifestyle you hope to maintain.

But a divorce can work substantial changes for all of that. The ramifications of your property division are broad. Suddenly, keeping the family home may become a difficult proposition. If you still owe money on the mortgage, you would have to structure your property division so that one party could both refinance the mortgage solely in their name and pay off the other spouse for their share of the value.

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.