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Columbus Divorce Law Blog

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt set to divorce

Movies would often have viewers in Ohio and across the country believe that once a couple falls in love and makes the decision to get married, a lifetime of happiness follows. However, as evidenced by the often well-publicized love lives of many celebrities, marriage is often hard work. Illnesses, children and other major life events can often play a toll on a couple's relationship. As a result, many couples decide that their best option is to seek a divorce.

Such appears to be the case for famous couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. In papers filed by Jolie with the court, the couple separated in mid-September, approximately two years after they married and over 10 years after their relationship reportedly began. The couple have six children together -- three biological and three adopted.

The changing approach to child custody

During a divorce, Ohio parents are concerned with protecting the best interests of their children. One of the most effective ways to do this is to ensure that a child custody agreement is sustainable and benefits all minor children, no matter the emotions and issues that exist between the parents. For many families, this means maximizing time spent with both parents, not just the mom.

Studies have found that children adjust more easily and navigate their parents divorce better when they are allowed to have a strong relationship with both parents. Traditionally, the mother was granted primary custody, and the dad was allowed minimal time during the weekends. However, this arrangement is becoming less frequent as many families and even state laws are changing in order to provide both parents with significant parenting time.

Child custody: Intervention is possible for parental alienation

On occasion, some divorced parents in Ohio and elsewhere seek to alienate their children from the other parent. This can occur with teenage children who are easily influenced and susceptible to coaxing by a vindictive parent. These parents sometimes convince themselves that they are not violating child custody orders, but only allowing the children to choose whether they want to see the other parent.

A custody order cannot be ignored. In general, judges will not tolerate parental alienation. In one case in another state, a mother received a suspended jail sentence for intentionally abrogating her custodial obligations by placing the children in the middle of her fight with their father by allowing them to choose when to see their father. Another mother failed to comply with a court order to facilitate psychological counseling for the child, and she was also given a suspended sentence with certain opportunities to avoid the sentence.

The ins and outs of mediation for marriage dissolution

The Hollywood version of divorce is the couple falls in love, they get married, and then something happens and they get divorced. It then proceeds to get ugly, and the uglier it gets the more entertaining it gets (although The War of the Roses may have crossed the line to unlikeable characters that ultimately deserved each other).

But in real life, irreconcilable differences may simply mean that. Different life goals, different priorities in regards to family or you find you have nothing in common once the passion cools. You don't hate each other - you just don't need to be married to each other.

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. 

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