Westerville Family Law Lawyer for Women

As the only law firm in the Westerville area that exclusively represents women, WSM can offer a level of compassion and dedication that is unmatched.

Our divorce attorneys take a personalized and comprehensive approach to every case. We understand the unique challenges women, who are often anxious about what the future holds for them and their children, face.

WSM was formed in 2001 by Katie Woodford, Hari Sathappan, and Natalie McGee, thanks to a shared passion for empowering women to feel confident in their lives after divorce.

Our divorce lawyers are highly skilled in mediation, which will save you time and money on a lengthy court battle while protecting your children from hostilities. Where this is not possible we will be prepared to fight for your needs in court.

From the mediation room to the courtroom, we are here for you.

Contact our law office today at 380-212-3731 and arrange a free consultation with a divorce attorney serving Westerville, OH, who has the skills, experience, and resources necessary to care for your case.

Dealing With Family Law Issues in Westerville, OH

The family law attorneys at WSM can help you with all legal services that your divorce requires, including child custody, asset division, spousal support, and post-divorce issues such as contempt proceedings and divorce modification.

Our Westerville, OH divorce lawyers are skilled mediators. When you and your partner can come to an agreement with a professional negotiator, it will save you the time, money, and stress associated with a long court battle. It also helps protect children from the divorce process and helps you and your ex-spouse stay amicable.

Of course, it is not always possible for couples to agree on all issues, and in some instances, mediation might be off the table completely. Our divorce lawyers are equally skilled in the courtroom as they are out of it and will use litigation to protect your interests if necessary.

Domestic Violence in Westerville OH

We are proud to have created a space where women feel safe and supported. This is why many women who have suffered domestic abuse choose us to represent them. We are also female-led and have skilled female attorneys who can work with you if that is your preference.

We understand how difficult it is to move away from an abusive relationship and ask for help. We promise to dedicate ourselves to your case and do everything possible to protect you and your children. We will help you file for a court order to keep your ex-spouse away from you and will make sure that the court understands the extent of your experiences. We will ensure that they are considered when determining aspects of your divorce decree.

If you are in immediate danger, then you should either call 911 or the Ohio Domestic Violence Network at 1-800-934-9840.

Divorce Proceedings- in Westerville, Ohio

We advise people to seek representation from an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible. This will streamline the process and ensure that everything is carried out in the correct manner from the get-go, saving time money, and hassle.

There are different ways to end a marriage, such as an annulment, legal separation, uncontested divorce, and contested divorce. Your divorce attorney will take the time to understand your situation and figure out which is right for you.

Decide If You Can File For Divorce

In order to file for divorce in Ohio, you must have resided there for at least six months. Additionally, if you are pregnant you will not be able to finalize your divorce until after the baby is born, but that doesn’t stop you from starting the process.

Gathering Documents

The first step is to file a Complaint for Divorce, which will include details about your finances and debts. It is important that the information you provide is accurate, otherwise, it could make your case more difficult further down the line.

If you are filing for a no-fault divorce then the Complaint must be filed jointly. However, if you are filing for divorce singularly then your ex-spouse will be required to submit an Answer and Counterclaim within 28 days.

Temporary Orders

Divorces can take as long as two years before they are complete. In the meantime, it may be necessary to have legal guidance about key issues such as child custody.

When you apply for temporary orders, your ex-spouse will have 14 days to respond. If they fail to respond, usually the judge will grant your request. However, if your case is complex, then you may have to attend a hearing to determine temporary orders.


The first hearing you attend will be the pre-trial hearing, where you will provide grounds for divorce and present, to the judge, the details of your case.

Following that, each contested issue will require an additional hearing. That is why it is beneficial to use a mediator, as it limits the need for court hearings.

Finalize the Divorce

If you formulate an agreement, then the judge will review it and if they believe it is in line with Ohio law, then they should approve it. If there are disagreements then the judge can make final decisions.

When the judge approves the divorce, they will sign the “Judgment Entry for Divorce”, and you will receive your papers, finalizing the divorce.

Divorce Considerations in Westerville, OH

A family law attorney at WSM is here to guide you through all issues. The outcome of divorce cases can have an impact on those involved for the rest of their lives, and so it is essential that you have quality legal representation.

Property Division

One of the most important roles of a divorce lawyer in any divorce is helping you divide your assets.

While personal property, which includes inheritance, gifts, and anything you owned before you were married will continue to belong to you, anything else – anything acquired during the marriage is considered community property and is subject to division.

Ohio is an equitable distribution state, which means that community property or marital property must be split in a just and fair way. Rather than splitting property down the middle, in Westerville, OH, many factors go into consideration such as:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • The needs of each spouse.
  • The ability of each spouse to earn.
  • The primary caregiver of the couple’s children.
  • The contribution of each spouse to their shared assets.

Spousal Support/Alimony

You should be able to maintain the same standard of living after divorce, which in some cases may require your ex-spouse to pay spousal support.

It is common for women to make sacrifices in their careers to look after children and care for a house. A divorce lawyer will make sure that this is considered when determining how much alimony you are owed. If your spouse has any hidden assets such as stocks and bonds or offshore property, then these should also be taken into consideration.

Child Support

If you are the primary caregiver of your children, then you should be able to claim child support from your ex-spouse. A child’s parents are each required to financially contribute to their upbringing.

Child Custody

Any family law case involving children has unique complexities. In Ohio, parents are awarded ‘Parental Rights and Responsibilities’. These cover the right to make decisions in a child’s life, and how much time they spend with each parent.

A child custody lawyer will help you create a plan that works for your family. The judge should approve it if it is in line with Ohio law, which states that child custody decisions must be in the best interests of the child.

That usually means creating as little disruption to a child’s life as possible and ensuring they have frequent and regular contact with both parents. However, if one parent poses a risk to the child, then it may be possible to limit their contact. To do this, you will need a robust case and strong evidence that they are a risk.

At WSM, our family law practitioners always put the needs of children first. Committed to serving women, our goal is for you to move forward in your life as a single mother with confidence.

Family Law Matters Post-Divorce

WSM handles all domestic relations law, which means that we can support women throughout their divorce and beyond.

Divorce Modification

A divorce decree places legal obligations on you and your ex-spouse. However, sometimes aspects of it become difficult to adhere to or it no longer serves you or your family.

It is possible to apply for a ‘Motion for Modification’, however, you will need to show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that any changes are still in the best interests of your children.

Contempt Proceedings

If your ex-spouse continually fails to meet the obligations set out in your divorce decree then you can file for contempt proceedings. A judge may seize their property, change a custody order, or threaten a jail sentence.

It is important that you do not try and handle such matters on your own, if you try and punish them by failing to meet your obligations, then you will also be guilty of contempt.

An Introduction to Our Female Attorneys

At WSM, we are proud to be led by skilled female attorneys. Some women prefer to work with another woman, and we are more than happy to accommodate.

Some of our attorneys have shared experiences of divorce and motherhood and understand what you are going through. Every member of our team has the skills, resources, and experience necessary to help you, as well as the backing of a strong team.

Here is a quick introduction to a couple of our female divorce lawyers.

Natalie McGee

Attorney Natalie McGee studied at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where she worked for the Franklin County Public Defender’s Office and was emersed in courtroom dynamics early in her career.

Natalie has a passion for helping women, particularly mothers, and those who have suffered domestic violence.

Katie Woodford

Attorney Katie Woodford studied at Capital University Law School, where she participated in Law Review and was chosen to serve on the associate board.

She has been dedicated to family law throughout her entire career and is committed to the needs of women. She is particularly adept at high conflict and high asset divorce. Her skills in both mediation and litigation mean that she is confident in tackling even the most emotional or complex circumstances.

Contact WSM Law Firm in Westerville, OH.

Some law firms try to do it all including family law, criminal defense, and personal injury.

WSM is committed solely to representing women in family law. We believe that our laser focus and dedication to women give us a clear advantage.

We are prepared to guide you through your divorce and protect your future so that you can move forward as a single woman with newfound confidence.

Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation.

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