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Dayton Divorce Law Blog

Brangelina divorce follows standard no-fault format

Ohio has its share of high asset divorces. However, they are not likely to be as glamorized, breathlessly dramatic and filled with "star power" as some of those in other jurisdictions. For example, a case in point would be the divorce that has reverberated worldwide recently, i.e., the parting of the ways of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The case contains, however, some basic issues that could show up as easily in an Ohio family law court or any other similar court throughout the country. The rather sordid story starts with reports of adulterous cheating by Pitt. It has been widely reported that Jolie hired an investigator to see if her suspicions about his cheating were true.

Shared custody prevents alienation in child custody cases

In Ohio and all other states, a significant byproduct of divorce and broken relationships – something called "parental alienation" -- has remained entrenched as a factor affecting about 13 percent of all parents. This refers to the phenomenon where one parent, usually the one with child custody, plants a false and negative picture of the non-custodial parent in the child's mind. This is essentially a brainwashing technique that will often be fueled during highly contested divorce and child custody proceedings.   

Experts who have studied the phenomenon have concluded that the denigrated parent generally becomes alienated from the children. It is not an easy strategy to combat for the parent whose visitation time is limited by a traditional sole custody order. In those case, the parental platform is almost always exclusively occupied by the custodial parent.

Convicted official seeks early property division distribution

In Ohio, as in other states, the usual cases of political corruption periodically dot the political landscape. The problem, however, has been particularly crushing in a neighboring state, which recently saw the public spectacle of its attorney general being convicted of perjury and other crimes. Her conviction and resignation from office was not directly connected to her divorce and property division litigation that has been raging rather bitterly since 2014.

The two issues have now become related due to Kathleen Kane's admitted need for funds to pay her substantial legal fees. She therefore recently stepped up the attack on her husband, a successful businessman, by filing a petition for an emergency partial distribution of marital property. She agrees in the petition that Mr. Kane will get credit back when the case is settled.  

How can retroactive spousal support be obtained?

It is not uncommon for the dissolution of some Ohio marriages to take months or even years to finalize. If a divorce is contentious, every aspect may end in a legal battle, leaving all the parties in limbo for a long time. Some couples can continue a relationship that allows negotiation through communication -- and even compromise when necessary. However, a spouse who had exited the workforce years earlier to take care of the children and the household may be destitute without an income if no spousal support is paid during this time.

For this reason, it may be advisable to ask for temporary spousal support at the onset of the divorce discussions. This may bring financial relief during the many months of battles over child custody, parenting and visitation, property division and everything else that needs to be agreed upon before a final divorce decree is obtained. If a motion for temporary spousal support is not filed, and spousal support is only awarded at the time of the finalization of the dissolution of the marriage, it may be possible to get retroactive payments.

Celebrity divorce continues to heat up despite settlement

Two wealthy celebrities jockeying for public support during and after a divorce is a relatively rare kind of phenomenon. It does, however, occur more and more these days. The power of social media, here in Ohio and elsewhere, continues to place most peoples' lives under an ever-probing communal spotlight. For example, it seems that the intensive negative glare of the social media may be behind actress Amber Heard's announcement to donate her full $7 million divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to two prominent charities.

She stated that money was never an object in her decision to get a restraining order against Depp. This is seemingly a defensive attempt by her to defuse what appears to be widespread social media condemnation of her accusations of abuse against Depp. The Depp team quickly put Heard's statements to the ultimate test.

High-asset divorce can benefit from expert financial input

It may sometimes be appropriate and helpful for the person seeking a divorce to use the services of a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). Such an expert would work with one's divorce attorney to provide specialized expertise where the financial assets are substantial and complicated enough to warrant it. For an Ohio divorce, it would be best to seek an expert that is certified here and not in some other state.

The CDFA is a certified financial planner who has received special training in the issues that come up in high-asset divorces. In particular, such divorces often raise tax issues that can be important to the divorcing parties. It is especially helpful to know when to offer a tax benefit to the other side under circumstances where it will actually benefit both spouses.

Divorce negotiations could promote realistic property division

While undergoing a divorce in Ohio, some people are shocked to learn that they are not worth as much financially as they thought. Where the other spouse controlled accounts and was somewhat secretive, the person could easily function for years on mistaken perceptions of financial security. The divorce process brings all of that out in the open, encouraging a more realistic perspective on one's property and a more complex consideration of property division negotiations.

A spouse's ignorance of marital finances is not always bad, especially where the divorce represents a path to independence. It becomes a learning process, and the individual may find a sense of empowerment for the first time. Of course, it is not always a smooth transition, and learning the ugly facts by dribs and drabs can lead to an emotional challenge or two.

Child custody goes to mother after battle with grandparents

A fairly common family law problem in Ohio and elsewhere is a dispute between a natural parent and the grandparents for custody of children. This happens when the grandparents must step in to raise children whose parents cannot take care of them. When one or both of the parents are rehabilitated or recuperated, they may intensify their involvement with the children and demand child custody from the grandparents.

If the grandparents do not agree, the case will likely head to a family law court for a child custody determination. This happened in a recently reported case in another state. After a custody trial, the judge issued a decision giving custody of two children to the mother as opposed to the grandparents who essentially helped significantly to raise the children.

Divorce can be easier on the children when teachers are informed

Divorce between Ohio residents is generally more demanding when there are minor children involved. Young children who are in school will be affected by divorce in a variety of ways that may be unpredictable for the parents. Much of this may depend on the age, maturity level and temperament of the child.

Some of it may have to do with how long the divorce process has been lingering and, critically, how the parents are presenting the situation to the child or children. One important step that conscientious parents can take is to meet with the teacher to give him or her the background and general information regarding the child's situation. The parents can do this separately or together and they may also take advantage of the psychology and counseling resources made available by the school district.

Ohio property division may take some advanced preparation

One of the biggest fears in a divorce is how one will manage in the future. After property division, a person in Ohio needs to be sure he or she can survive. While a divorce settlement is meant to provide as much security as possible for both spouses, having a good understanding of one's financial status beforehand may alleviate some of the uncertainty.

An important thing to determine before the divorce process begins is the amount of money one will need to meet expenses. Most people understand that their standard of living may not be the same after the divorce, and they should also account for inflation as they calculate their needs. It may be necessary for some people to reevaluate their income or perhaps find ways to increase that income.