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Will I lose custody in Ohio if I get deployed?

In this video, Sarah answers the common question of “Will I lose custody in Ohio if I get deployed?”. Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!

Transcript: Person Speaking: Sarah

Deployment cannot be the basis for a change in circumstances for a child custody modification. The court can issue a temporary order or a temporary modifying parenting provision. This must contain termination provision that terminates 10 days after the deployment of the parent. The deployment must be issued as a reason for the modification. ​

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TIBBS LAW OFFICE
1329 E. Kemper Rd. #4230
Cincinnati, OH 45246
P: 513-793-7544
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Will my spousal support be terminated if my spouse remarries?

In this video, Daryle answers the common question of Will my spousal support be terminated if my spouse remarries? Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!

Transcript: Person Speaking: Daryle
In Ohio, there are no statutes that provide for automatic terminated of spousal support. If a decree specifically includes language that spousal support will be terminated upon cohabitation and/or remarriage, then it can be terminated under those specific circumstances.

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Parenting Schedules: How to Avoid Being Stuck with a Default or “Standard” Parenting Schedule

When parents with minor children separate either before or after a divorce action has been initiated, one of the most pressing and important items to address is a parenting schedule. If parents are unable to agree, Courts will often issue a default “Standard” parenting schedule that may remain in place throughout the pendency of a divorce action, until a hearing has been held, or even indefinitely after your divorce has been finalized. Which “Standard” parenting schedule you may be ordered to follow depends entirely on the county you are divorcing in. (A link to each local court’s standard schedules can be found under “Resources” below.) However, your family is not “one size fits all.” It is highly likely that a Court’s “Standard” schedule is entirely impractical for your family. The only way to avoid the Court deciding a schedule for your family is to agree upon a schedule with your spouse – either on your own, or with the help of an experienced family law attorney, mediator, parenting coach, or co-parenting counselor.

Flexibility with any parenting schedule is always encouraged, ensuring that a parenting schedule does not negatively limit the children’s opportunities and experiences. For example, a child should not have to miss out on a cousin’s birthday party on Parent A’s side of the family, just because it is Parent B’s time. Parents are free to modify the parenting schedule as needed, so long as they both agree (which should be properly documented). However, if you find that schedule modifications are causing more harm than good because of parental conflict, parents should keep to the schedule as written, until co-parenting communication has improved to allow flexibility. Overall, the best parenting plan is the one that fosters a healthy relationship between the children and both parents and minimizes the conflict your children are exposed to. An experienced family law attorney can help you come up with a schedule that works best for your family.

Factors to consider while preparing a parenting schedule:

  • The amount of time your children have historically spent with each parent.
  • Work and school schedules: Parents should maximize the amount of quality time they will be able to spend with the children, rather than focusing on the number of hours they have “on paper”.
  • How many exchanges per week is practicable, keeping in mind the level of difficulty in keeping items with the child (clothes, homework, sports equipment, etc.)
  • Parents’ proximity to children’s school/daycares.
  • How much time is acceptable for children to spend in the car each day.
  • How many consecutive days a child can emotionally cope with being away from each parent.
  • Parents’ availability to take children to school, daycare, appointments, or extracurricular activities.
  • Whether exchanges should be done in person (allowing kids to transport all of their items more easily between homes), or naturally through school/daycare (Parent A drops the child off at school, and Parent B’s time begins when they pick the child up from school). In high-conflict situations, in-person exchanges should be limited to avoid the children’s exposure to conflict.
  • Exchange locations and transportation responsibilities
  • Whether a child’s school bus can pick up and drop off from two homes
  • Parameters for phone/video calls: whether communication between the child and the parent they are not with should be (a) unrestricted and “reasonable” or (b) establish designated scheduled times for calls.

 

RESOURCES

  1. Sample parenting schedules:
  2. Local Court’s “Standard” Parenting Schedules:

If my decree includes language that allows spousal support to be modified…?

In this video, Daryle talks about “If my decree includes language that allows spousal support to be modified, does the court have to modify it if it is requested?”. Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!

Transcript: Person Speaking: Daryle
In order to modify spousal support, the Court must find a substantial change in circumstances. If the court does not find a change in circumstances, it does not have jurisdiction to modify the spousal support.

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Rosa Parks: An Advocate to End Violence Against Women

Many people think of Rosa Parks as the strong-willed woman who refused to give up her seat, however, Parks was an advocate for change even before that. Parks was a secretary for the NAACP long before this and helped investigate acts stemming from racism and sexism.

In 1944, Parks was sent to investigate the gang rape of Recy Taylor, a black woman from Abbeville, Alabama. Parks ended up founding the “Alabama Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor,” based on Taylor’s story. The white perpetrators were never arrested nor indicted for any crimes stemming from this act despite one of the men coming forward and admitting that he was involved.

Parks and Taylor continued to speak out against these acts of hate and the Committee drew national attention to the violence towards black women. Both women continued to advocate for survivors of violence until their death.

 

Sources:

Rogers, Laura. “National African American History Month: Remembering Rosa Parks’ Work to Address Sexual Assault.” The United States Department of Justice, 20 Jan. 2021, www.justice.gov/archives/ovw/blog/national-african-american-history-month-remembering-rosa-parks-work-address-sexual-assault.

“Mrs. Recy Taylor (1919-2017).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/people/mrsrecytaylor1919-2017.htm.

 

Can my spousal support order be modified?

In this video, Daryle answers the question of “Can my spousal support order be modified?”. Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE!

Transcript: Person Speaking: Daryle
In Ohio, the court lacks jurisdiction to modify a prior order of spousal support unless the decree expressly reserves jurisdiction to make that modification. You will need to look at your decree and the specific terms of the document to determine if the spousal support can be modified.

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What Is “Nesting,” and Will It Work For My Family In Transition?

Nesting is a transitional arrangement for parents to consider when starting the separation/divorce process. Nesting means that your children remain in the marital residence, and the parents take turns being in the home with the children and acting as the “on-duty” parent. The parents follow a specific parenting schedule outlining when each parent will be in the home with the children. Nesting requires that each parent has another place to stay when it is not their parenting time, such as a family or friend’s home, or a second residence. While parents may find the concept of moving back and forth cumbersome, it does allow parents to experience firsthand what the children are expected to start doing once the nesting arrangement ends.

The nesting process can be done for as long as it is feasible and makes sense for your family. Even if this arrangement only makes sense for a short period of time, it can still be valuable in helping your children with the initial shock and confusion of their parents separating. How long the nesting arrangement lasts may depend on whether one parent is keeping the home, and how long it will take the other parent to obtain a new residence.

An attorney can help you prepare a detailed, thoughtful nesting agreement that will allow you and your spouse to start the separation process on your own terms. This can be especially helpful if the parents are not ready to legally initiate a divorce or dissolution action. Certain topics that should be discussed and agreed upon before implementing a nesting arrangement include:

  • Specific parenting schedule
  • Where the other parent will be when it is not their parenting time
  • How the household bills will be divided and paid
  • Duties related to maintenance of the home during each parent’s time (groceries, cleaning, etc.)
  • Whether the parents want to allow for times when both parties may be at the home together (weekly dinner, family meetings, birthday parties, etc.)
  • Whether dating will be permitted during a parent’s parenting time
  • How long the nesting arrangement will last. This may depend on whether one party is retaining the home, whether a refinance is required, or if the parties decide to sell.

Resources:
1. The Parent’s Guide to Birdnesting: A Child-Centered Solution to Co-Parenting During Separation and Divorce, by Ann Gold Buscho, PH.D. https://drannbuscho.com/
2. “Are You Getting a Divorce and Thinking About Nesting?” by Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/contemplating-divorce/201902/are-you-getting-divorce-and-thinking-about-nesting

How To Find Hidden Money In A Divorce

When couples get divorced, one party may feel that the other is hiding money, whether it be in an undisclosed bank account, a safe deposit box, or in an offshore account. When this occurs, attorneys have tools we use to identify undisclosed or hidden money.

During a divorce, the parties have the opportunity to engage in a process generally called “Discovery.”  During this phase, we issue what is called “interrogatories and request for production of documents” to one another. Interrogatories are essentially questions that are propounded upon the opposing party.  It is the opportunity for the parties to ask each other questions to get information that might lead to the discovery of hidden funds. The request for production of documents is exactly what it sounds like.  It allows the attorney to ask for documents that may be used to help identify marital assets. Both forms of discovery are commonly used because it is an efficient way to get information. Both parties are under oath when responding to these requests, so lying can carry harsh penalties.

Once an attorney gets the names of the companies that hold financial accounts, an attorney may issue what is called a “subpoena.” A subpoena allows an attorney to request documents or testimony from a person/company for the case at hand. If there is thought to be missing monies, an attorney would subpoena the financial account statements then look at these statements to see where the money went. If the money is going to another bank account that the party has not disclosed, the attorney could subpoena the statements of THAT account.

Continually issuing subpoenas is not always the easiest way to find money. Often, attorneys hire a forensic accountant, who traces the money and can be used as an expert in court to testify about money that a party has hidden. This can be useful in contentious divorces between high earning parties.

Annulment: Is Sexual preference for the other sex grounds for an annulment in Ohio?

In this video, Sarah continues sharing about Annulment laws. Make sure to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE! Transcript:

Person Speaking: Sarah

No, Ohio takes the stand that just because someone has a sexual preference for another, this does not mean that it affects the marital relations between the parties and is, therefore, not a ground for an annulment in Ohio.

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Does My Child’s Opinion on Custody and Parenting Time Matter?

Parents often believe that their child can decide where they would like to live but this is not true.  Children have a voice but not a vote in custody and visitation matters.

How much weight does their opinion have?

The court looks at a series of factors to determine the custody or parenting time of a child. There are no bright-line rules as to which parent will get custody and what the parenting time will be, so the court uses these factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child. A child’s wishes and concerns are one of eight factors that the court considers when determining the best interest.

How do I get the court to consider their opinion?

Presenting a child’s wishes in court is more difficult than a parent testifying that their child wants X, Y, or Z. The parent asking for the child’s wishes to be taken into account can enter this into evidence using a few different methods. First, the parent can file a motion asking the court to conduct an in-camera interview with the child. These interviews are typically conducted in private between the judge and the child only. It prevents the child from being forced to testify in front of their parents and in front of their parents’ attorneys. Second, a parent could ask for a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) to be appointed. The GAL’s role is to do an investigation and to report to the Court what they believe to be in the child’s best interests.  Sometimes children will express their wishes to the GAL who may be able to present those concerns in court. While the GAL must also consider the child’s wishes in determining the child’s best interests, the GAL does not have to advocate for that position, if the GAL does not believe that position is in the child’s best interests.  Third, the child could be called as a witness at trial.  While calling a child as a witness is not preferred, there may be circumstances under which a parent might choose this option.

My child is mature enough to decide, why can’t the court just listen to them?

Family dynamics can be complicated especially to a child who is more impressionable than a grown adult. Unfortunately, some parents do not have their child’s best interest at heart and would rather do anything to sabotage the child’s relationship with the other parent rather than encourage a healthy relationship. Alienation is commonly seen in these situations and can have a big influence on what the child wants. If the court were to solely honor the child’s wishes in these situations and ignore the other factors, then the alienating parent would be able to continue to sabotage the relationship with the other parent. If you would like to know more about parental alienation, click HERE. (https://tibbslawoffice.com/1837-2/)

Using all of the best interest factors, the court sees a broader picture of the family dynamic and is able to make a decision as to what is in the best interest of the child.

If you would like to read the factors considered in determining the best interest of the child, they are found in Ohio Revised Code 3109.04(F)(1).