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Columbus Divorce Law Blog

The intricacies of divorce later in life

The decision to end a marriage is a serious, life-changing step, no matter the age or financial standing of an Ohio couple. Many couples are now choosing to divorce later in life, which brings to light the complexities of this legal process for two people over the age of 50. Each divorce is different, but a grey divorce typically comes with unique financial challenges.

In a grey divorce, it is possible that the couple has been married for most of their adult lives. Decades of accumulated marital property and retirement savings can make property division particularly complex. With a limited amount of time left to rebuild financial security after divorce, it is critical that these matters be approached with a realistic view of the future in sight.

The tax implications of a high-asset divorce

The end of a marriage can be complicated, especially when it comes to matters such as finances and spousal support. While these matters alone can be difficult to navigate, it is particularly important for Ohio readers to consider the tax implications of any agreements made in a high\-asset divorce. The highly publicized divorce of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard illustrates this important point.

The famous actors have been the subject of headlines recently as they exchanged accusations against each other during their tumultuous divorce. Heard accused Depp of verbal and physical abuse while Depp has vehemently denied it. Just recently, they agreed on a settlement of a one-time payment from Depp amounting to $7 million. Immediately, Heard announced that she would donate the entire amount to charity.

Appropriately distributing marital assets during divorce

Financial concerns are among the most common cited by Ohio couples who are considering divorce. Post-divorce money worries are normal, especially for couples who have been married for a significant amount of time. Baby Boomers, older and closer to retirement, must be particularly vigilant regarding the division of marital assets and property during a divorce.

Retirement accounts, spousal support and business interests are the most common money-related concerns of older individuals during a divorce. Many assume that a divorce means that their retirement dreams are lost, but that is not always the case. As many gray divorces involve the division of marital assets that have accumulated over a long period of time, many find it beneficial to seek the help of a lawyer specifically experienced in these areas.

Exercising parental rights in Ohio child custody proceedings

Ohio parents who divorce typically remain united in their desire to do what is best for their children. However, child custody issues often create challenges for parents who must negotiate and compromise in order to develop an appropriate plan for their children's continued care and upbringing. When communication barriers exist, a parent may need guidance to determine how best to exercise his or her rights when seeking resolutions to custody-related problems.

There are several types of custody. Physical custody refers to where a child will actually reside on a full- or part-time basis. Legal custody, however, pertains to which parent has the final voice of authority in important life decisions concerning a child's health, education, faith or other matters. If a non-custodial parent has legal custody of a child, the custodial parent must seek that parent's approval before making any major life decisions that affect the child.

What should you bring to your first attorney meeting?

If you've decided to get a divorce, you may be wondering what's involved, and how long the process will take. The answer depends in part on how complicated your divorce is--divorces involving children, multiple properties and retirement accounts where the couple had been married for decades, for example, will likely take longer than a divorce where the couple had been married only a short time and didn't have many assets. 

Regardless of how complicated or uncomplicated your divorce proves to be, however, getting organized can help facilitate the process. Having your paperwork in order before coming to the office can speed up the process and help ensure that your lawyer can work on your case more efficiently. 

Unemployment and the impact on divorce

It is often assumed that financial trouble is one of the leading reasons that Ohio couples choose to end their marriage. While it is certain that money woes often contribute to the decision to end a marriage, studies have shown that finances may have little to do with why a person or couple actually moves forward with a filing. Recent research indicates that the employment of the husband plays a bigger role in divorce than even money disputes. 

Cultural and societal norms have shifted in recent decades, leading to non-traditional gender roles in the home, more women in the workplace and more women earning significant incomes. These changes were thought to contribute to why couples divorce; however, despite these changes in perspective, men are still expected to be the main income earners. When a husband is unemployed, it leads to a greater chance that the marriage will end, despite income and roles within the home. 

$1 billion art collection at stake in high-asset divorce

When people decide to dissolve a marriage, there are invariably many difficult issues they must confront, such as asset distribution. In a high-asset divorce, however, there are generally unique circumstances to consider that are not present in regular divorces. Readers in Ohio who are facing this type of dissolution may be interested in a recent article regarding the divorce proceedings of billionaires Harry and Linda Macklowe.

Macklowe began his career as a real estate broker, but quickly transitioned into a high-powered builder in New York City. His firm is currently building a residential tower on Park Avenue, which will be the tallest of its kind in world upon completion. Some sources have claimed that the total estate is worth a few billion dollars.

State laws may impact Ohio couples seeking divorce

Ending a marriage is never an easy situation, regardless if the separation is amicable or not. Most endeavor to find and marry their true love, but many times "real" life can get in the way and cause partners to consider divorce. Most believe that divorce laws are constant throughout the country, but many Ohio readers may be interested in the fact that laws can vary widely based upon the state in which a divorce is filed.

In a recent Forbes article, the author describes how much divorce laws can differ depending on the state. One of the first things that a court needs to determine is residency. While many states just consider the amount of time a person filing for divorce has lived in the state, Ohio requires a claimant to resident in the state for six months, and also to file the claim in the county in which he or she resides. Subsequently, the Court of Common Pleas will hear the case and verify that all facts presented are correct.

Safe child custody exchange sites may help Ohio couples

In Ohio and across the country, police departments and other organizations are creating safe zones, which provide a monitored meeting area for parents and children who are involved in difficult divorce situations. These areas create a safe place for parents and children to conduct visits or as a place where parents can exchange their children as part of a child custody agreement. While this concept has existed for some time, it is just recently starting to garner national support and popularity.

According to a recent article, a Sandusky agency named Joyful Connections has been in operation and supporting this purpose since 2008. The private organization originally began as the brainchild of a local judge and the civic leadership of Ottawa County. They recognized a community need to provide a safe and controlled environment for separated or divorced parents to exchange their children per their custody arrangement. Prior to this option, most parents were meeting at the police station, at a restaurant or in a parking lot in order to transfer the children. This resulted in frequent disagreements between the parents and/or guardians.

Recent focus on visitation may affect children after divorce

Historically, grandparents and other relatives have not had legal rights to see children after their parents seek divorce. It was generally considered an issue that the parents could decide upon, solely or collectively, but recent legislation throughout the country aims to extend legal powers to other family members. Ohio is one of the early states that allowed grandparents legal rights to visitation, though laws may not protect visitation rights to other members of the family, such as aunts or uncles. A recent article describes how another state is now passing legislation in order to allow grandparents and other family members to have court-sanctioned contact with children of divorces.

One state recently enacted laws that will allow grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles and aunts to seek reasonable visitation rights to children after their parents divorce. There are stipulations to this bill, specifically towards any relative who is not a grandparent. The court would have to find that the child or children would be significantly harmed if visitation was not allowed.

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