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Mary Margaret Sherman

Mary Sherman’s Answers

5 total

  • Can a child have their step-father's last name without being adopted by him?

    My step-daughter's last name is currently her mother's maiden name. My husband wants to go through the process of giving his daughter his last name hyphenated with the mother's maiden name, because her mom won't agree to it solely being my husban...

    Mary’s Answer

    If your husband does not agree and this goes to court, the court's decision will depend on the individual circumstances - for example, if the child is old enough to know her last name, and especially if she is in school and known by her current surname, the court may be reluctant to change her name without everyone's agreement. It also depends on how long the stepfather has been in her life - if the marriage is fairly recent, the court may not feel that he has been a part of the child's life long enough to warrant such a name change. These are all factual issues that the court will look at when making a decision.

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  • If my husband is having an affair and wants out of our sixteen year marriage what are my options?

    Been married sixteen years, he is the sole provider for the last sixteen years, i'm a at home mom

    Mary’s Answer

    You can file a complaint for divorce and request temporary spousal support (alimony) and child support (if you have minor children) once you are physically separated. If the two of you are still living together, your best bet may be to find an attorney who can try to negotiate a settlement with him and/or his attorney. There are certain things you are entitled to under Ohio law (equitable distribution of marital assets, support, etc), and only an attorney can best advise you as to your own situation.

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  • Can my 17 year old make his own decision in ohio

    my 17 year thinks he can make his own decision

    Mary’s Answer

    In Ohio, a child cannot make any decision about parenting issues until he or she turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. However, a court may take a child's wishes into account when rendering a decision. And generally, the older the child, the more weight the magistrate or judge will give to that child's wishes.

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  • We have had legal custody of our great niece for the past 7 years and would like to adopt her.

    My niece has had a total of 9 children. All but the last one have been removed from my her. 3 of the children have been adopted. The oldest 5 are with family. There is no known father for the little girl we have custody of. My niece has had very l...

    Mary’s Answer

    As the other attorneys have mentioned, your niece's consent will not be required as long as there has been little to no contact with the child in the past year, or little to no support paid. You will have to get another home study done once the petition for adoption is filed, but your attorney can guide you to an agency that can provide one that will be acceptable to Hamilton County Probate Court. Fees for home studies vary, so it makes sense to call a few different ones. Your next step should be to contact an attorney that is familiar with adoption law to file your petition in probate court. In Ohio, prospective adoptive parents must be represented by an attorney, unless it is a step-parent adoption.

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  • I want to adopt my great nephew but if I can find the parents I know they won't sign for me to adopt what can I do

    I have had him since he was 4 days old and I was given custody when he was 16 months old he is now 4 years old neither parent has nothing to do with him. I Don't know where either parent is living. would I be able to adopt him?

    Mary’s Answer

    Yes, Ohio law allows non-parent adoptions even when you don't know the current addresses of the parents. In fact, it makes it somewhat easier since you don't run the risk of them showing up and contesting the adoption. Even if they did find out, their consent is not needed if they haven't seen him or helped support him for over a year.

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