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Columbus Family Law Blog

Fathers' rights include those of putative fathers

Fathers' rights are important and deserve to be acknowledged. However, paternity comes with certain responsibilities. On the one hand, should a man be deemed the child's father, he may be obligated to pay child support. On the other hand, he may also be entitled to seek custody of his child if he so chooses. Yet there may be ways for men in Ohio who believe they are a child's father, even if paternity is not established, to be contacted if the child's mother decides to put the child up for adoption.

In Ohio there is a Putative Father Registry, OPFR, administered by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. A putative father is a man who was not married to the child's mother prior to the child's birth, has not signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity prior to the filing of any adoption paperwork, or has not established paternity with an administrative agency or the court prior to the child's adoption date.

Don't forget about retirement accounts when dividing assets

Whether it is a "gray divorce" or a "conscious uncoupling," those going through a divorce in Ohio may have a lot on their minds, especially when it comes to property division. While spouses may immediately think of the family home and joint bank accounts when dividing assets, one asset often can go overlooked: retirement accounts.

Ohio girl's request to end visitation denied

Determining child custody can be a heated affair. After all, when both parents love a child, they may go to desperate -- even unlawful -- measures to stay with that child. All of this can have a detrimental effect on the child's well-being.

Children can emotionally thrive following a divorce

It goes without saying that parents in Ohio going through a divorce want to see their children weather the process in a healthy way that allows them to emotionally thrive. While there's no denying that divorce is a time of great change and upheaval, there are some signs parents can look for to see that their children are doing ok both during and after the divorce.

Facebook use may increase the likelihood of a divorce

Social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter have taken center stage these days when it comes to staying in contact with friends and family around the world. However, readers in Ohio may be interested to hear that some experts are claiming the more frequently one uses Facebook, the more likely it is they may face a divorce.

How being the primary earner can affect child custody

It seems to be the norm in Ohio these days for families to live in a dual-income household where both parents work outside the home. Yet these situations may be increasingly changing as more women become the primary earners and more fathers stay at home to raise the children.

Honoring the child's preferences when it comes to child custody

When it comes to child custody, it is only natural that the parents want their child to be happy with their custody arrangements and that their child continues to grow and thrive as time goes on. However, when actress Nicole Kidman and actor Tom Cruise divorced a number of years ago, residents of Ohio may have been surprised to learn that the couple's two adoptive children chose to live full-time with their father.

Ohioans should know their finances when going into a divorce

Many divorces in America, and in Ohio, are amongst older couples. These individuals have spent years, sometimes decades, building a life together, with their finances becoming ever more entangles. When these couples decide to file for divorce, it sometimes requires a lot of diligence, investigation, and legal know-how to ensure neither party is cheated out of his or her fair share of marital property.

The first step to ensuring a fair shake is to know the marriages finances up and down. Even couples who think they know each other may find that a spouse has a hidden bank account, over paid self-employment taxes, or has stashed away other property in an effort to obtain a sizeable return after the marriage is dissolved. Therefore, divorcing parties should be sure to collect all financial records, including tax returns, property deeds, pay stubs and account statements to ensure all marital property, that property which is acquired during the course of a marriage and is not inherited, is subject to equitable division.

State looking for new ways to collect delinquent child support

Perhaps one of the most difficult divorce issues for couples to settle is child custody. Yet, even when custody is determined, whether through an agreement or a court's ruling, child support determination remains. Meant to financially support a child's best interests, including everyday expenses and healthcare and education costs, child support is paid to the custodial parent by the noncustodial parent. However, many Ohio counties are struggling to collect these payments.

A recent case where a father, who owes more than $100,000 in back child support, was ordered by a judge to not have children until he catches up on his support obligations has shined a light on the problem of child support collection. The problem has become so prolific that the state is now considering garnishing portions of casino and racino winnings obtained by owing parents to satisfy delinquent payments.

Ways to prevent a divorce from taking a toll on children

Divorce, especially contentious ones, can be tough. Parties may become angered, frustrated and sad when they are forced into a dispute over family legal issues. Yet, those going through divorce that have children may be so wrapped up in their own emotions that it is hard to realize that their children are also going through the divorce, which can be traumatizing. However, certain steps can be taken to help children get through the process feeling loved and safe.

One step is to encourage the child to spend quality time with his or her other parent. This may help a child continue to feel as if both parents love him or her equally, and that each parent wants to spend time with him or her. Of course this may not be a good idea if there are safety concerns, but otherwise it may be worth considering.


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