Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!

We know you’ve got questions and hopefully, you’ll find most of the answers in the FAQ below. They are presented in a series of very short FAQ video clips, so please browse the questions below and watch the videos for the answers! And of course, if there are still some questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to call us or submit your additional questions below.

Can the Juvenile Court order a father to pay past care expenses?

What is a psychological evaluation?

How does the Court decide if there is going to be spousal support?

Can my current spouse adopt my child?

How is child support determined?

What is the difference between a Dissolution and a Divorce?

 

A: Both a divorce and a dissolution will result in a termination of your marriage, but there are many differences between the two proceedings. In a dissolution, the parties work out all of their differences regarding division of property, parenting and support prior to filing any documents with the court. The agreement is set forth in a document called a separation and property settlement agreement, which is filed with the court along with a Petition for Dissolution. A dissolution is often the fastest and most cost-effective way to terminate a marriage.

A divorce is generally a more adversarial proceeding. In a divorce, one spouse files a complaint for divorce against the other party, seeking a termination of the marriage and asking the court to resolve the issues regarding division of property, parenting and support. A divorce is generally a more lengthy and expensive process than a dissolution, and requires more court involvement. However, a divorce offers protections not available through a dissolution, including temporary restraining orders and temporary child and spousal support orders. Our family law attorneys will discuss both divorce and dissolution with you, and will help you decide which proceeding is appropriate in your particular case.

Can the Court issue an Order of temporary support while my divorce is pending?

Can the Court order my spouse to pay for my attorney fees?

If my spouse/former spouse violates an order of the Court, what recourse do I have?

What rights does an unmarried father of a child have?

What is the difference between shared parenting and sole custody?

A: There are two custodial arrangements for children in the state of Ohio: sole custody and shared parenting. The difference between the two, is the decision making rights that the parents have. In sole custody, one parent makes the final decisions for the children in all matters such as education, medical care, and extracurricular activities. The other parent would have parenting time with the children. The children would make their primary residence with the sole custodian. If parents are unable to agree on which custodial arrangement is appropriate in their case, the court will look at the best interest of the children to determine whether sole custody or shared parenting is appropriate.

In a custody case, can a child decide which parent he/she wants to live with?

A: This is a question I get frequently, because in years past, the state of Ohio allowed a child to decide which parent he or she wanted to live with at the age of 13 in a custody matter. However that is no longer the law in the state of Ohio. Ohio law does not specify an age at which a child can choose his or her own living arrangement. A court will look at the custody issue on a case by case basis and will base its custody determination on a number of factors. Those factors include the wishes of the parents, the wishes of the child, the child’s adjustment to home, school and community, and several other factors. While the court does consider the child’s wishes in making this determination, the child’s wishes are just one factor that the court will consider. If the child voices a desire to live with one parent over the other, the court will take that into account, but the court would not make a determination based solely on what the child wants. There are several reasons that this is the case. First of all, the court does not wish to put a child in the position of choosing one parent over the other. Secondly, children tend by nature to be somewhat manipulative. That is the case in intact families as well as divorcing families and the court recognizes that and wants to avoid a situation where a child plays one parent over the other in a custody case.

What is a guardian ad litem?

 

A: A Guardian ad Litem is an individual appointed by the Court to represent the best interest of a child in the domestic case, or a juvenile court case. A Guardian ad Litem is specifically responsible for protecting the interests of the minor child who is involved in a lawsuit. Guardians ad Litem have specific training in connection with their role in representing a child’s best interest. They get their training through the Supreme Court of Ohio and have to take continuing legal education classes as well. The Guardian ad Litem is appointed by the Judge or Magistrate overseeing the case. The job of the Guardian ad Litem is to represent the child’s best interest and to make a recommendation to the Court.

Does a grandparent have visitation rights in Ohio?

A: In the state of Ohio, if parents are married, and they make a decision together to deny contact between their child and either spouse’s parents, they have the legal right to do so. However, a Court can award visitation rights to a grandparent during or after a domestic relations proceeding, if it finds that visitation is in the child’s best interest. The Court can also award visitation rights to the grandparent if one of the parents is deceased or if the parties weren’t married at the time the child was born. However, before an Ohio Court will award grandparent visitation rights, the Court has to consider all relevant factors including all of the best interest factors that are set out in the statute.

What do I do if my child refuses to go to his other parent's home for visitation?

 

A: This is something that can happen in a case where a child is going back and forth between parents’ homes. Sometimes a child feels overwhelmed, or has difficulty adjusting to the visitation schedule. The thing to remember is if there is a court order in place requiring that visitation take place, then it is the residential parent’s job to make sure that the child goes for the visitation and to facilitate a positive relationship between the child and the other parent. While it is important to listen to a child’s feelings and opinions, the child needs to understand that spending time with the other parent is not optional. This is not a decision you want to leave to a child; it is an adult decision, and the parents need to discuss problems when they occur and come to a consensus on how to address them so that the child is comfortable and has continuing contact with the other parent.

Still Have a Question?

Let us know if you still have a question after viewing the video’s above. If so, submit your questions below, or call us to discuss your legal needs.

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