Family law encompasses a broad array of legal actions, many of which involve divorce. Divorce, however, is not the only legal help that Ohio family law attorneys can render. For instance, Family law attorneys also help couples adopt children and draft prenuptial agreements, although it remains true that the majority of our practice is devoted to the process of divorce. In this article, our Lorain County Family Law Attorneys will discuss the various factors that are involved in family law and ensure that you have a complete overview of the types of services that family law attorneys can offer.
Once you and your soon-to-be-former spouse have agreed to part ways, there will be a process during which the two of you separate your assets and, when there are children involved, determine the best way to arrange custody. This process can either be decided on by the courts or it can be determined in mediated negotiations.
Ohio allows for both no-fault and fault-based divorces. Some states only allow no-fault divorces and, up until recently, there was only one state that required married couples to file fault-based divorces. New York has since repealed those statutes.
Determining whether or not you want to pursue a fault-based divorce is a complex decision. You will certainly want to discuss this choice with your attorney.
In terms of child custody, agreements can be reached between the individual spouses, but the court will be required to sign off on them. In other words, dividing the children is not as simple as dividing property.
In Ohio, property is divided equitably but not necessarily equally. The court will make a determination based on the earning power of both spouses as well as their obligations to their children and their future financial prospects. In cases in which the earning power of one spouse is far in excess of the other, the court will favor that spouse in the divorce.
There are other factors that the court can also weigh. These include the behavior of each spouse in the marriage. When a court determines that there are grounds to pursue a fault-based divorce, the at-fault spouse can lose property in the divorce.
The process of adoption is often complex. For couples who want to adopt, there is a legal bureaucracy to navigate and several tests that must be passed. An attorney can help couples prepare for this and handle the paperwork and petitions that are required for the adoption to succeed.
Prenuptial agreements can often be used to protect assets or income that are acquired during the marriage. Assets acquired before the marriage are, by default, the property of the individual who acquired them under Ohio law.
In most cases, so long as the prenuptial agreement does not harm one of the spouses, demand that they waive their legal rights, or is incredibly unfair, the courts will respect and enforce it in light of the other spouse agreeing to its terms. In some cases, both spouses may benefit from a prenuptial agreement.
At Kryszak & Associates, our Lorain County Family Law Attorneys help couples disentangle their assets in a divorce. We also help couples adopt children and draft prenuptial agreements. Give us a call or contact us online to set up an appointment today.
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