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Ohio family law: Think twice before posting to social media

Social media is a part of everyday life for most people. Numerous Ohio residents turn to sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share details of their lives with family, friends and strangers. While these sites grant people connections with others, what one posts on social media can have severe consequences if one is not careful. A woman in another state found this out the hard way when she aired her family law issue on Facebook in a way that some found offensive and cruel.

According to a news report, a 27-year-old female post a picture of her son on the father's Facebook page. While that would normally be nothing out of the ordinary, the picture was of their child bound in duck tape with a ransom request for $7,000. The woman said it was a joke, but other people who saw the post did not take it that way. Police were alerted and the woman -- who was wanting child support paid to her -- was arrested for her actions.

Ohio family law: Lessons from the Jolie-Pitt custody case

Trying to figure out child custody arrangements when in the midst of dissolving one's marriage can be a challenge. Two parents can have widely different ideas on what they think is best for their children. When all is said and done, family law courts in Ohio and elsewhere understand that the child custody issue is not a one and done kind of thing. Modifications to initial custody plans may be necessary and have the ability to benefit everyone involved.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been fighting out their divorce case for nearly two years. When it all started back in Sept. 2016, Ms. Jolie was granted sole physical custody of the couple's six children. Pitt was granted visitation time -- time he feels is insufficient to maintain good relationships with his children.

Family law approach to divorce can affect timeline

Divorce: an issue that will strike numerous Ohio couples this year. When it does, it is understandable that both parties would want to get it over as quickly as humanly possible. Is there such a thing as a swift divorce? At the end of the day, the family law approach taken to address the matter can affect the divorce timeline. 

What are the different ways Ohio couples can get through the divorce process? The three most common ways are settlement negotiation, mediation and litigation. Settlement negotiations are often left to legal counsel. Each party tells their legal counsel what they want, and it is their attorney's jobs to try and get that or at least work out terms with which each party can walk away satisfied. Depending on the issues at hand, this can result in a fast settlement or it can take a while. 

Ohio personal injury: 5 hurt in recent crash

Police in Ohio recently arrested the woman accused of purposely causing a car crash that left her and four other people injured. This event occurred in the Warren area on Sunday, May 27. The victims who suffered personal injury in this collision may have legal recourse.

According to reports, in the early morning hours, several people got into an argument at a local grocery store. When one group of individuals tried to leave in their car, the other group got in their vehicle and followed them. The pursuing car allegedly struck the back end of the other car, causing it to go off the road and hit a tree. Both drivers and all of their passengers suffered injuries in the wreck and were transported to area hospitals for treatment.

Ohio personal injury: Injured in a car accident?

You were going about your day, minding our own business when -- while out and about in your car -- your vehicle was struck by another automobile while in an intersection. You were hurt and had to be transported to a medical facility for treatment. Your life has just not been the same since. If the other driver is believed to be even partially responsible for your losses, you may be entitled to seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim against him or her in an Ohio civil court.

Car accidents happen every single day. Some of them are only fender benders with no injuries, some result in minor to moderate injuries, and then there are those that have serious or even fatal outcomes. You feel lucky to be alive after your accident, but you are now left dealing with emotional, physical and financial losses that are taking a significant toll on your daily life and on the lives of your family members. It is amazing how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye.

Ohio family law: a case for prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements are only for rich people, right? That is what a lot of people tend to believe. The truth is, they are for anyone with assets that they want to protect going into their marriages. Ohio residents who are on the fence about prenups can turn to a family law attorney for guidance on the matter.

Why consider a prenuptial agreement? One who is getting married for the first time may think a prenup is unromantic and is not the right way to start off the marriage. However, with this attitude, any property brought into the marriage that ends up being commingled with one's spouse can later be considered shared property and subject to division if the marriage ends in divorce, unless there is a contract in place protecting that separate property.

Ohio criminal law: expungement, what is it?

Ohio residents who have been arrested and/or convicted generally hate having criminal records. Having to share this information with employers or having this information get out to the public can hurt a person both professionally and personally. Under Ohio criminal law, there are circumstances in which one's criminal record may be erased. The process to do this is called expungement. 

Every state has different standards and procedures when it comes to expungement. It is not available to everyone and for every crime. Seeking to have one's criminal records expunged involves going to court. A judge will look at the crime, jurisdiction and how much time has passed before deciding whether to expunge the record or let it be. 

Ohio family law: sole custody

Right now, joint child custody is all the rage. It is believed to be best for children and their parents, as it allows for the continued growth of parental-child relationships even after marriages fail. While there is a shift in family law circles to push for shared custody, sometimes, sole custody is still the best option for some Ohio families. 

Why seek sole custody? There are a number of reasons to do this. If one's spouse has a history of domestic violence or drug/alcohol abuse, it is reasonable to want to keep one's children out of harm's way. If one's spouse has a job that requires a lot of travel or frequent relocations, it is okay to want to offer children stability in one home. These are just a few examples, and the list of acceptable reasons to seek sole custody can go on. 

Ohio family law: My spouse used me for my money

When getting married, no one wants to think about everything that can go wrong. No one wants to think that their soon-to-be spouse has an alternative reasoning for getting married. Unfortunately, in family law circles in Ohio and elsewhere, it is not uncommon to see instances where one spouse took advantage of the other and then filed for divorce. It happens. The question, then, is what will one do about it to try and make it right during divorce proceedings?

A man in another state recently asked for some advice after receiving a divorce request from his spouse. According to this individual, he and his wife were married for only two years when she sought to end the marriage. During that two years, he worked hard and used his income to pay off her student loans. As part of the divorce settlement, she seeks access to his retirement funds and wants to keep the house.

New family law trend: splitting up but staying together

The whole point of getting a divorce is to free oneself from a toxic relationship. Ohio couples who have tried to make their marriages work but who have been unsuccessful at doing so just want to move on with their lives. When children are involved, though, or finances are not in a good place, moving on may not be as easy as people think. This is why the new family law trend of splitting up but staying together is gaining traction. 

This concept is being showcased in a new television show on ABC. Splitting up Together follows the life of a couple who decides to divorce but remain living on the same property -- each adult taking turns living in the house for a week, while the other stays in the garage apartment. They opted to do this for two reasons: it keeps the children in their home, and gives them time to pay down their mortgage and wait for a better time to sell.

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John D. Smith Co., L.P.A.
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Springboro, OH 45066

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