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Dayton Divorce Law Blog

Does making divorce more difficult slow divorce?

Or does it simply prolong the unhappiness and worse? Politicians throughout the nation feel it is there business to prevent divorce. They see divorce as problematic and believe by creating more obstacles to obtaining a divorce, there will be fewer divorces and many problems resulting from them will be prevented.

But is this really true? The underlying assumption seems to be that many people who file for divorce, do it on a whim. The politicians impose waiting periods and requirements that parents attend "parenting education" classes. Could these programs really make people reconsider their need or desire for a divorce? As if property settlements, child support and custody and other issue do not already make it sufficiently painful.

Complex property divisions demand scrutiny

During the property division segment of a divorce, the spouses are required to account for all marital property and then determine an equitable distribution of that property. What is equitable can vary greatly.

A young couple, both working, only married for five years, and who had no children may have a fairly straightforward property division, with only a few accumulated assets and limited bank, investment and retirement accounts to divide. 

What others will think of your divorce

Divorce often comes as a shock to your friends. Or they may be surprised (such a great couple) or maybe they had seen some of the signs. They may be protective and want to provide all manner of advice and counsel. Those who have been through a divorce may feel they have to inform you of what you should do, or everything you should not do.

And while your friends may be trying to help, either with your divorce or to help "save" your marriage, you need to keep their advice in perspective. Even those who have experienced divorce, while their experience may be helpful, it was just their experience. It is not chiseled in stone that it was the one, true and only way of divorce. 

Swedish study finds less child stress with joint custody

The debate concerning child custody arrangements is one of the more challenging areas of family law. Determining the ideal custody setting for a child or children of divorcing parents has grow contentious, as fathers' rights advocates push for shared parenting arrangements.

They point to studies that show the psychological benefits of spending equal or nearly equal time with both parents. At the same time, it is sometimes difficult to separate those advocates from those who merely seem to be interested in reducing the financial burden of child support obligations on fathers, and less interested in the best interests of the child.

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.