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Cleveland Divorce And Custody Law Blog

Choosing the right method: Collaborative divorce vs. mediation

If you are contemplating divorce, you and your spouse may be thinking about your options, such as how to avoid litigation and whether you should pursue mediation or collaborative divorce. Both approaches have their respective advantages and disadvantages, so the method you choose should depend on your unique circumstances. Here is some information intended to help you make the right choice for you and to distinguish between the collaborative approach and mediation.

What is collaborative divorce?

In a collaborative divorce, lawyers will represent you and your spouse. The attorneys and both spouses will need to sign a "no court" agreement, which means the attorneys will need to withdraw if an agreement cannot be reached and the case ends up going to court. The collaborative process involves four-way meetings between the two spouses and the two attorneys. In some cases, the attorneys will recommend hiring collaborative professionals. A collaborative divorce is also flexible and informal. Compared to litigation, a collaborative divorce is more efficient and less expensive.

Answers about common child support questions

Child support can be a matter of some contention between ex-spouses with children. It is regarding the financial help that one parent is required to give the other in order to help support their child. Though the laws vary from state to state, they are typically focused on what is fair and what is in the best interests of the children involved. If you are interested in learning more about how child support laws work in Ohio, read on.

Who has to pay child support?

Both parents are obligated to financially support their child. However, only the parent who does not live with the child (known as the noncustodial parent) makes support payments. It is presumed that the residential or custodial parent is spending around the same amount of money on the child's care. Generally, the noncustodial parent, or the one who has a higher income, is the one who pays child support to the other parent. In cases of shared custody, child support amounts may be reduced, unless there is a large difference in income between the parents.

How to talk to your spouse about collaborative divorce

When a marriage is ending, discussing divorce with your spouse can seem an insurmountable mountain to climb. The different options to traditional litigation, like mediation or collaborative divorce can be a less adversarial and supportive to a long term relationship; yet the topic is very difficult to bring up and have an honest discussion about with your soon to be ex-spouse. Here are some tips on opening up a dialogue about some of the benefits of the collaborative process. Hopefully, some of these ideas will make an insurmountable mountain seem easier to climb.

Benefits of the collaborative process

When bringing up the idea of collaborative divorce it can be helpful to stress the main benefits, such as:

Frequently asked questions about prenuptial agreements

What is a prenuptial agreement?

Though the term, prenuptial agreement, is often viewed solely as legal protection against potential divorce, it is much more than that. It is a binding agreement entered into before marriage by both parties that details how assets and income will be assessed should that marriage end in separation, divorce or death.

Why have a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement was once almost solely for the wealthy or people entering a second marriage. The reason was that a divorcing couple often had children and had accumulated more assets than a couple in a first marriage.

Divorce and property division: What you need to know

Going through a divorce is more than difficult. Raised emotions, complicated histories and a spider web of laws and regulations make divorce proceedings one of the most difficult experiences you may have to manage. One of the most complicated aspects of the process is splitting everything between you and your spouse. Here is what you need to know about property division in Ohio.

Control over property division

In Ohio, courts recognize couples' rights to settle property division on their own. When both parties are able to come to a mutual agreement, they can fill out a separation agreement. Any terms settled within the agreement will be upheld by the court, giving the divorcing couple complete control over the property division. When circumstances are not so agreeable, then there is a system in place to enable the legal system to mediate the settlements.

Common questions about visitation rights

In Ohio, the custodial parent is the person who retains physical custody of the child. Visitation rights are usually granted to the noncustodial parent and grandparents may be given visitation rights under certain circumstances. Here is a discussion of some commonly asked questions related to visitation rights.

Visitation rights: Basic Q and A

1. Are there situations when a parent would not be entitled to visitation with his or her child?

Ohio courts typically encourage child visitation rights for both parents in the case of divorce, separation or annulment. However, the main factor courts look at when deciding custody and visitation rights is the welfare of the child. If it is not in the best interest of the child to spend time with the noncustodial parent, visitation rights may be denied or restricted.

How is spousal support determined in Ohio?

Traditionally referred to as maintenance or alimony, spousal support is intended to help one spouse or the other if they have the financial need. This can occur due to being out of the workforce in order to raise children, inequitable earnings between spouses, or other factors. It may be granted to either spouse and is not dependent on gender.

Factors considered by the court

During your divorce or separation, you petition a judge for spousal support with the help of your attorney. The judge will consider certain factors before granting or denying a request for spousal support. In accordance with Ohio Revised Code section 3105.18, there are various components commonly considered by the courts when awarding spousal support:

Five frequently asked questions regarding child custody

When going through divorce litigation, couples can become ensnared in the emotions of the situation and feel like two battling opponents. It is easy to lose sight of what is really important, your children and preserving an amicable relationship with your spouse to co-parent your children post divorce. In order to do this, it is important to approach custody disputes with the mindset of "what is in the best interests of my child?" and "how can we reach an agreement while making this as easy on the kids as possible?"

At Rieth Antonelli & Raj, we keep these interests at heart while navigating the divorce process and helping our clients reach an amicable custody solution whenever possible. In addition to questions parents should ask themselves when seeking a custody solution, here are some answers to five common questions related to the child custody process.

Are there benefits to filing for divorce first?

Contemplating ending a marriage is a daunting prospect. It is emotionally stressful and overwhelming; it means changing most aspects of how you live your life. Often, when a couple is facing divorce, both spouses have known it was coming for quite some time. The breakdown of a relationship is often a long journey before dissolution becomes an option. Once a marriage reaches this point, there are many questions about when to file, who should file first and what steps to take before filing for divorce.

There may be some potential advantages to being the first to file for divorce that should be considered before taking that step. There should not be a rush to file first. It is important to know that whoever initiates the divorce proceeding is not the "winner" and that should not be the motivation when deciding when it is the right time to file. However, there may be some legitimate reasons to file first; here are some potential benefits to contemplate.

The financial benefits of collaborative divorce

Collaborative divorce is a way for couples to divorce in a non-adversarial environment. Unlike mediation, which employs a neutral party to help couples resolve differences and legally end their marriage, collaborative divorce involves four parties. Each spouse is represented by an attorney who has their best interests in mind and has also agreed not to go to trial.

Because collaborative divorce requires the voluntary presentation of financial information and the mutual agreement of process, property and asset division become straightforward.

Solutions To Family Conflicts

Rieth Antonelli & Raj is a highly regarded boutique law firm focused on the practice of divorce and family law in
the greater Cleveland area. We successfully resolve property division, child custody, spousal support, child support and related problems.

Although we resolve many cases through collaborative negotiations and other out-of-court methods,
our skilled lawyers are fully prepared to protect clients' interests in courtroom proceedings when necessary.

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