Family law cases that involve child custody, property division, spousal support, child support, or domestic violence require an experienced family law attorney.
How these matters are settled will have a big impact on your future and the future of your children, if you have any.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our goals align with those of our clients. When it comes to family law cases, this means prioritizing the children and making decisions that are in the child’s best interest as well as empowering women to move forward with their life feeling confident and supported.
When you secure legal representation from our family law practice, you ensure that you are supported by an attorney who truly cares about your future.
We are skilled mediators and will minimize conflict. This means we strive for a collaborative law process wherever possible.
When this is not possible, we are also prepared to go the distance and stand for your rights in front of a family law judge in court.
As the only law firm in Blue Ash, OH, to solely represent women, we are able to create a safe and supportive space for women to share their experiences. We know how scary it can be to seek legal services for your family law issues, but we are here to guide you from start to finish.
To arrange a free consultation with a Blue Ash family lawyer, call our law office today at 380-212-3731.
Ending a marriage is never a straightforward decision. It can cause a lot of stress and emotion. When you speak to our legal team, we can guide you through the process, making sure that your interests and your rights are protected.
Your divorce decree will place legally binding obligations on both you and your ex-spouse, so it is important that you have the support and guidance you need.
To file for divorce in Ohio, you or your ex-spouse must have lived in the state for a minimum of six months.
If you are pregnant, although you can still start divorce proceedings, they cannot be finalized until after the child has been born.
The next step is filing a Complaint for Divorce, including initial paperwork and details about your assets and debts. If you are the filing spouse, then the other party will have 28 days to submit an Answer and Counterclaim.
It is not uncommon for divorces to take over a year to finalize, and in the meantime, you may need legal guidance on key issues such as child custody.
An attorney can help you apply for temporary orders. Your spouse will have 14 days to respond, and if they fail to do so, you may be granted them by default. If your case is complex, you may have to attend temporary order hearings.
Although temporary orders do not last forever (they usually end when your divorce decree is issued), they are still important. They may influence the judges’ final decisions, especially where children are involved. This is because it is usually in their best interests to limit the disruption to their life.
You will need to attend a pre-trial hearing where you will provide grounds for divorce and provide the details of your case to a judge.
Most divorces are filed as no-fault divorces, which use incompatibility as the main cause.
However, if one spouse committed adultery or abuse, you may file for an at-fault divorce.
Divorce cases usually require decisions to be made about property division, child custody, alimony, and more.
The judge will expect you to at least attempt to come to agreements on your own. In this regard, a trained mediator, such as the ones found at Woodford Sathappan McGee, could prove invaluable.
Any outstanding issues will be heard in front of a judge. However, each contested issue will require its own hearing, which will cost time and money.
If you come to an agreement with the help of collaborative professionals, then the judge will review it and make sure it is in line with Ohio family law. If there are any remaining contested issues, then the judge will have the final say.
Once the judge approves the divorce, they will sign the “Judgment Entry for Divorce”, and you will receive your divorce decree. Your divorce decree is a legally binding document, and you will be required to adhere to any obligations placed upon you.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our narrow focus: To provide legal assistance and support to women in family matters, means we have the skills, experience, and resources necessary to support any woman throughout the entire process.
Some of the family law issues we cover include:
Following a divorce, many women find they feel a sense of relief and excitement about the prospect of their new life. However, if their ex-spouse doesn’t meet the obligations laid out in their divorce decree, such as paying child support or alimony, then it can be incredibly stressful.
What they owe you never disappears, and they will owe you every last cent of the payments they have missed. Family lawyers will help you file a contempt proceeding. The judge can then garnish their wages, seize assets or even enforce a 6-month jail sentence if they do not comply.
Life is rarely straightforward, and it is common that agreements made in a divorce decree become unviable or unsuitable for those involved further down the line. When this happens, you cannot decide to stop meeting your obligations. Instead, an attorney can help you file for a divorce modification.
Under Ohio family law, you may seek modifications to your divorce decree if one party has experienced a substantial change in circumstances. For example, if your child starts school, then they may require more financial support. Other examples include a change of job or the discovery of hidden assets. Whatever the reason, changes should still be in the children’s best interests.
Cases involving domestic violence must be treated with care and dedication. We understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help, but we have the skills and resources necessary to help.
We can advise you on how to get to a place of safety and will assist you if you wish to file a protection order to keep your ex-spouse away from you and your children. If mediation is not possible in your case, we are prepared to use litigation and we will ensure that the court is made aware of your experiences.
If you believe you could be in immediate danger, then call 911.
Parents are legally required to support their children, both emotionally and financially. That means that if you are the primary custodial parent, you may qualify to receive child support from the other parent.
Child support can pay for basic needs such as clothes, food, toys, shelter, child care, and more.
In Ohio, parents are awarded “parenting rights and responsibilities”. These cover who gets the right to make decisions on behalf of the child and how much time the child spends with each parent.
Parental rights cover the decision-making rights of each parent on behalf of their child. That includes decisions about where they go to school, if they practice a religion, and what medical care they receive.
Usually, both parents will have the right to make decisions on behalf of their children unless it is evidenced that they could negatively impact the child’s wellbeing.
Parental responsibilities assign parenting time to each parent in a way that prioritizes the child’s needs. That involves creating a sense of stability while also ensuring that both parents are heavily involved in the child’s life. A common schedule will include every other weekend and a single weekday with one parent, and the other will have the child for the rest of the time.
If you believe that your ex-spouse poses a danger to your child, then you will need an attorney to help you evidence why. Even so, the court may still choose to award supervised visitation, and you may be required to accommodate it.
Property division is an essential aspect of any divorce, and it is important you have guidance from a Blue Ash family law lawyer who has your best interests at heart, especially if your case involves high-value assets, personal businesses, or offshore assets. Your attorney will ensure that your marital property is split fairly.
They will also make sure that any hidden assets are considered.
The first step is to split the property into separate and marital:
Alimony or spousal support is not awarded in every divorce case. When it is awarded, it will help the receiver maintain the standard of living they have been used to while they were married.
For some women, spousal support allows them to feel confident about their future. It is common for women to make many sacrifices during their marriage. They may have left jobs, turned down promotions, or dropped out of education to care for their children and home. If this applies to you, then we will make sure that your sacrifices are taken into consideration in your divorce decree.
Some people who come to us for help cannot imagine sitting down and being friendly to their ex-spouse. We understand how stressful these situations can be. However, you might be surprised by what you can achieve with our help.
Our family law lawyers are trained mediators and are prepared to navigate even the most complex or high-conflict situations. We believe that mediation should be prioritized wherever possible; here’s why:
When couples cannot agree on key issues, a judge will step in and decide on their behalf. This could result in arrangements that are difficult to follow. For example, you might have childcare responsibilities during your work hours. When you come to your own arrangements, you can ensure that your divorce decree meets your needs and those of your family.
We will create a space where everyone feels heard and help you and your ex-spouse to come to amicable agreements. This will limit future conflict, which is especially important if you have children.
If a lot of contested issues remain, then you will rely on the court to make decisions on your behalf. They will set a hearing for each contested issue, and you may be asked to bring back more evidence, or you may have to wait for further decisions and court dates.
Litigation is time-consuming and expensive. A skilled mediator will limit court involvement and ensure your draft divorce decree is one that the judge is likely to approve the first time around.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our priority will always be the needs of children. When parents can stay amicable, it protects them from a lengthy court battle and ongoing arguments. Divorce is always difficult for children, but we will strive to protect them as much as possible.
We are proud of every member of our team, and we have faith in all of their abilities. When you seek representation from us, we will assign an attorney to you who has the most experience and knowledge about the key issues of your case.
Most of our attorneys are female, and if you have a preference to work with a female attorney, then we will make it happen. Whatever the reason, if you are seeking representation from a skilled female lawyer, you have come to the right place.
In Ohio, it is possible to divorce without a lawyer. If you have no contested issues, there are no children involved, and you don’t have prime assets to divide, then this could be a good decision for you.
However, considering the far-reaching implications of your divorce decree, if there are any contested issues or you are unsure about any aspect of your divorce, then you should at least seek some initial advice from an attorney.
The number of contested issues and how busy the court is when you apply will have a significant impact on how long your divorce takes. It could take several months, two years, or possibly even longer.
While you may be eager to finalize your divorce as soon as possible, it is important that all contested issues are settled correctly. By utilizing our mediation skills, we will strive to move everything along as quickly as possible without sacrificing or giving way to any important issues or aspects of your case.
In Ohio, both parents are legally required to financially contribute to the upbringing of their children. If one parent is ordered to pay child support, they will need to pay that support until the child is at least 18.
They may be required to pay it for longer if the child is still in education, has a physical or mental disability, or if it is agreed that continued child support payments are necessary.
You cannot refuse visitation if your spouse misses child support payments. Any money that your ex-spouse is ordered to pay to you, including child support and alimony, are separate issues from child custody and visitation.
If you try to use your child against your ex-spouse in this way, you could also be guilty of contempt. The best thing to do is to contact a Blue Ash family law attorney so that they can guide you through the proper legal procedures.
The cost of a divorce depends on many things. Most important is the number of contested issues and how much court involvement is required. We offer a free consultation so that you can get an idea of what your case could cost and make an informed decision.
Our family law attorneys are highly skilled mediators. We are prepared to support clients through even the most complex and high-conflict situations.
On the flip side, we are talented litigators and are prepared to stand for your best interests in court if necessary. We will never step away from a challenging case and are prepared to go the distance to secure you the future you deserve.
Woodford Sathappan McGee is the only law firm in Blue Ash, OH, to represent women exclusively. This allows us to meet the needs of women in a unique way and create a space where they feel empowered to make difficult decisions.
Our main goal is to leave women feeling confident and ready to move on with their lives. We have achieved this for many women, and we want to do the same for you.
Woodford Sathappan McGee was founded in 2001 by three esteemed family law attorneys, Hari Sathappan, Natalie McGee, and Katie Woodford. They shared a passion and drive to help women navigate domestic relations in a way that leaves them feeling secure.
To arrange a free consultation with a Blue Ash Family Law Lawyer, contact 380-212-3731.