FAQ in a divorce
The questions I am most frequently asked in a divorce setting.
Do I need an attorney?Yes. It sounds self-serving for attorneys to say that but in the last several years, I have had several cases where the client signed a document they did not understand or agreed to something they did not realize they were agreeing to. Once a agreement is ratified by the Court - it is extremely difficult to change it. And most of the time, the person changing it bears the burden of proving why it should be changed. Thus, it costs more time and money to fix the problem rather than solving it the first time around. Most attorneys will work with you on a fee structure and you can always ask.
What is the most likely outcome of my case?People often give me a breakdown of their case. However, it is only from their perspective. We all have our perspectives in life and most of clients believe that they are in "the right". Normally, I cannot determine what the outcome of your case is until I speak with the other side and determine what their perspective is. After all, they think they are in "the right" to, or you would not be talking to attorneys! Only when the case is fully researched can an attorney determine what is the most likely outcome. However, that is only an opinion based on facts and circumstances we have encountered before. For example, just because a Father in a similarly situated situation got 50/50 custody with his Children - does not mean you will. There are far too many variables to determine that - until it is time for it to be determined. Just remember, everything is negotiable.
Do Fathers have rights?Yes! Section 3109.03 of the Ohio Revised Code states that couples share equal rights and responsibilities over a child born that is born during a marriage. The sharing of rights and responsibilities continues even after termination of the marriage by divorce, separation, annulment, or dissolution. For a father of a child born when the parties are not married, there must be a court order designating a parent to have residential custody of the child before courts will treat the parents are having equal parenting rights.
Do grandparents have rights?Maybe. The right of grandparents to petition a court for visitation is limited under Ohio Revised Code section 3109.12. If children reside with their married parents, the statute reflects the Supreme Court decisions respecting the rights of parents to limit or deny visitation in situations involving grandparents.
For a court to entertain a petition by Medina, North Canton, or Wooster grandparents for visitation under the statute, one of three circumstances must exist:
The parents of the child are unmarried
The child's parent is deceased
The child's parents are divorced, separated, or there is a court action pending for divorce, dissolution, annulment, or separation
If an unmarried woman gives birth to a child, the maternal grandparents may petition for visitation. The paternal grandparents of a child born out of wedlock cannot petition a court for visitation until after paternity has been legally established.
Grandparents can file a motion asking a court to grant them visitation if one of the three circumstances specified in the domestic relations statute exist. The motion can be filed in the same court in which a divorce, separation, dissolution, annulment, support, or paternity action is pending or in which such an action was previously heard. If the child's parents are not married, the grandparents can file their application in the Common Pleas Court in the county of the child's residence.