While every divorce has unique considerations, there are certain issues that impact nearly every divorce. There are also legal formalities that every couple must adhere to. Whether you are considering divorce or the process has already started, this Blue Ash guide to divorce will give you a good base of knowledge so you can make an informed choice about your next steps.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our divorce attorneys exclusively represent women in family law matters in Ohio. We are deeply attuned to the difficulties women face during divorce proceedings, and our goal is for you to move on to the next steps of your life, feeling secure and confident.
Our attorneys are skilled litigators and can handle even the most complex cases, from high-asset property division to emotional child custody cases. No one should have to face divorce alone, and a Blue Ash divorce attorney from Woodford Sathappan McGee is there to guide you from start to finish.
When your divorce decree is served, you will face legal obligations that cannot easily be changed, and so it is essential that you can look back, knowing that you did everything possible for yourself and your family.
Our approach to the attorney-client relationship is unmatched. We take the time to understand what’s important to you and tailor our approach to meet your needs. We will quickly decipher what the key details are in your case and advise you so that you can act from a place of clarity. We use a holistic model which utilizes mediation and negotiation where possible while always being prepared to fight by your side in court if necessary.
Arrange a free consultation with a Blue Ash divorce attorney today at 380-212-3731.
In Ohio, you have two options when you file for divorce, you can either file for a no-fault divorce or an at-fault divorce.
In order to file for divorce in Ohio, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months. If you meet this criterion you can file in the County where either spouse has lived for the previous 90 days.
If you are pregnant then you will be prevented from finalizing your divorce until after the baby is born. However, you can still file and get the process started. Divorce can take up to two years to finalize, so your pregnancy may not impact how long your divorce takes.
You may choose to hire a Blue Ash divorce lawyer before you even file for divorce. This will ensure that you have support from a legal professional from start to finish, taking away a lot of the stress and ensuring that everything is done in the most efficient way possible.
In order to file for divorce, you will need to fill out forms with details of your income, debts, expenses, and assets. You need to take care to do this correctly, as any incorrect information could make the process more complicated later on. This information is required to file for a ‘Compliant for Divorce’, which is the first step in the divorce process.
As divorce can often take a long time to finalize, you may also want to file requests for temporary orders. These will place legal obligations on you and your spouse on things like who lives in the family home, how debts will be paid, and how child custody is divided. These orders are usually enforceable until your divorce decree is issued.
Once you have completed everything, you will need to take the completed forms to the Clerk of Court at the Domestic Relations Court, where you decided to file. You will also need to pay a fee to file for divorce, which is usually around $200 if you do not have children, and $300 if you do.
The court will confirm with your spouse that you have filed for divorce, which is known as serving the divorce. You can specify how you want the divorce to be served, usually via certified mail.
If you requested temporary orders, then your spouse will have 14 days to respond; they may agree or disagree. If they miss the deadline to respond, then the court may grant your requests if they agree with them. On the other hand, if your spouse disagrees and asks for something different then the court will decide based on the information you both provided.
If your case is complex, then the court could issue a hearing to decide what the temporary orders will be. You may have to wait four to six weeks for a hearing, and you must attend. Once temporary orders are decided, they are legally binding and must be adhered to.
Once one party has filed a ‘Complaint for Divorce’, the other spouse could file an ‘Answer and Counterclaim’. You may then enter a process known as the discovery process. This may involve serving written answers to questions, providing evidence of assets or bank accounts, or depositions where parities must testify under oath.
Either before or during the discovery process, you and your spouse will be asked to attend a pre-trial hearing to discuss the divorce terms. You may be asked to work with a mediator to come to your own agreement, which is often your attorney. You will need to prepare for this meeting by bringing evidence of your expenses, income, debts, and assets.
You will also provide evidence for grounds for divorce, whether that is incompatibility or something else. If you are filing an at-fault divorce you may need to provide witnesses and additional evidence to support your claims.
In this hearing, the Judge will need to know what you and your spouse agree on and what you don’t. If you agree to everything then you may provide your agreed plan to the Judge. If the Judge also agrees to it and they have all the information they need, then they could finalize your divorce straight away.
If you and your spouse can’t agree on all aspects of your divorce at this stage then you will be issued a new hearing date. You may require an additional hearing for every issue that you cannot agree on.
Your Blue Ash divorce attorney at Woodford Sathappan McGee can help you come to agreements wherever possible, which will save you time, money, and the stress of having to attend numerous court dates. We will also be there to litigate fiercely on your behalf if you cannot agree.
If you and your spouse have come to an agreement on all issues, then the judge will decide if it is in line with Ohio family law. If it is they may approve and sign it. If not, the judge will usually take time to review all the evidence and make a decision.
Your divorce is finalized once the judge has signed a “Judgment Entry for Divorce” and filed it with the court.
The terms of your divorce decree will have a big impact on your future. Therefore, it is important that you seek high-quality representation from a divorce attorney who truly cares about your future.
Some of the important considerations in your divorce could include:
Divorce can be incredibly difficult for children, so it is important that their needs are prioritized and protected from the process as much as possible. The court is required to make decisions with the child’s best interests at heart, which usually means keeping both parents in their life and protecting a sense of stability.
In Ohio, parents are granted “parenting rights and responsibilities”. Parental rights, or legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions in the child’s life, such as those relating to school, medicine, and religion.
Parental responsibilities or physical custody refers to the amount of time the child spends with each parent. Usually, they will have a primary custodian who they live with the majority of the time, while the other parent is awarded visitation rights.
Usually, both parents are expected to contribute unless one parent poses a risk to the child’s wellbeing. If you believe that your spouse should have limited access to your children, then you should speak to a Blue Ash divorce lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you to evidence your claims and protect you and your children.
If you are the primary custodian, and the child’s other parent earns more than you, then they will need to pay you child support. We can help you secure an amount that is fair and consider all of their assets and your child’s needs.
Spousal support or alimony is not guaranteed; it is only awarded if you can show that you need alimony to maintain the same standard of living. The court will consider your needs and your ability to earn.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we have worked with many women who sacrificed job opportunities to care for a home and children. We believe this should be considered when determining if alimony is owed.
How property is divided upon divorce will greatly impact your future. The first job of your divorce attorney will be to help you divide your property into separate and marital.
Separate property includes inheritance, gifts, and anything owned by either party before marriage. These assets will continue to belong to each individual post-divorce.
Marital property is everything else, including anything gained by either party over the course of the marriage. Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property must be split in a ‘just and fair manner’. This does not always mean an equal split, instead, the court can take many factors into consideration including:
Woodford Sathappan McGee is the only law firm in the Blue Ash, OH area to represent women exclusively, this means that we have created a safe space for women to share their experiences, somewhere they feel heard, understood, and cared for.
We understand how difficult it is to make those first steps, but we promise to support you every step of the way. We will file for an injunction with the court to keep your spouse away from you, which will create space for you to handle your divorce in a way that best serves you and your children. We will also help you evidence your claims and ensure that the court considered them when making decisions in your case.
No Blue Ash Women’s guide to divorce would be complete without information about how to find an attorney. If you have never needed legal representation, you might be wondering where to begin.
Navigating family law matters requires an understanding of both federal and state law. Therefore if you are looking to divorce in Blue Ash, you should find a local Ohio law firm. This will ensure that they understand the state law that surrounds your case. They may even know the judge overseeing your case, which will help them tailor their advice.
You should also find a law firm that specializes in family law. This will ensure that they can handle your divorce with all the tools at their disposal, including mediation, litigation, and collaboration. If a law firm does everything from personal injury to criminal defense, then you may question if they can truly have the skills, experience, and resources necessary to do everything possible for your case.
It is important that you feel supported throughout your divorce proceedings. While the best divorce attorneys in Blue Ash will probably have a full caseload, they should still be prompt to answer your questions and should take the time to keep you informed about your case.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, our narrow focus – helping women to navigate family law matters in Ohio, gives us a clear advantage. We are proud of our approach to the attorney-client relationship and are committed to keeping our clients informed and being prompt in answering their questions. We have successfully litigated hundreds of divorce cases for women, including those involving complex assets, abuse, psychological evaluations, and cross-country co-parenting.
While these are all important factors, another thing to consider is if you like your attorney. You should be able to speak openly with them without feeling judged. Most family law firms will offer free consultations. This is an opportunity for both you and your attorney to decide if you are the right match.
When you arrange a free consultation, it is helpful to be prepared with questions to ask your potential attorney:
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we believe that the key to our success is that we take the time to understand what’s important and then empower women to understand their rights surrounding divorce. This allows women to communicate more effectively with the other parent and keep records in a way that will benefit their case.
With a firm grasp of law, creativity, and dedication to women, we will guide and support you from the beginning until the end of your divorce.
Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation.