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Newark OH Divorce Law Blog

Child custody dispute for Madonna over teen son

Ohio fans of singer Madonna may be surprised to learn that her 15-year-old son has expressed the desire to remain with his father rather than returning to his mother after the Christmas holidays. Madonna lives in New York, and her ex-husband, film director Guy Ritchie, lives in London. The teenager initiated litigation on Dec. 21 regarding his desire to remain with his father, but he did so in the United Kingdom. A New York Supreme court justice has said that New York has jurisdiction in this case.

On Dec. 23, Madonna and her attorney attending a hearing in New York in which the justice said that the teenager had to return to the United States and to his mother. Once he arrives, he will have access to a court-appointed attorney.

NBA star balks at request to double child support

Parents in Ohio who are raising their children on far less than $6,000 per month might agree with Lance Stephenson, an NBA player for the L.A. Clippers, who is fighting an ex-girlfriend's claim that she needs $12,000 a month in child support. The mother of his two children, ages 4 and 1, already receives child support in the amount of $6,000 every month, but she filed a request with a family court asking for an increase.

According to her court filings and testimony, she wants additional funds in order to move her family to another location. She believes her neighborhood to be dangerous after a recent shooting near her apartment. She also explained that she needed additional funds to pay for child care so that she could go back to school.

How bankruptcy and divorce can affect one another

An Ohio resident who wants a divorce and is also considering the possibility of filing for bankruptcy should be aware of several potential issues the two different cases may cause with each other. As an example, the timing of the filings could have an effect on the property division phase of the divorce.

Several different scenarios may also affect the best timing for filing the bankruptcy petition. If the spouse who is thinking about bankruptcy is married to a person who has a significant income or assets, the couple may not qualify for relief under Chapter 7 if they file a joint bankruptcy petition before filing for divorce.

Protecting children from domestic violence

Ohio residents might agree with those who work with domestic violence victims as they note that this issue undermines the fabric of society in the nation. Although it would be ideal for all children to benefit from loving home environments, the reality is that an estimated 15 million youngsters in the nation experience exposure to domestic violence on a routine basis. The emotional and mental health consequences can be quite severe.

Experts indicate that the emotional impact of exposure to domestic abuse can be more damaging than the physical abuse itself. Additionally, research has demonstrated that familiarity with domestic violence can cause damage to young children's brains. Although many believe that an abused parent bears responsibility for staying in a relationship, the reality is that leaving a violent relationship can be one of the most dangerous periods for an abused partner. In many cases, homicide results due to a partner's obsession with control of the other party.

Guns and domestic violence

Seemingly every day in the United States there are reports of mass shootings. A mass shooting is defined as any shooting which involves four or more victims, regardless of if the victims survive. The majority of these shootings have not been nationally broadcast by the media. An Ohio resident is much more likely to hear about events taking place in Newtown, San Bernardino, Charleston and Aurora.

The public at large has an avid interest in those events because each incident encroached upon what was once considered safe zones. Churches, schools and movie theaters have now become potential war zones in the minds of many. According to a gun safety advocacy organization, 50 percent of fatal mass shooting victims between January 2009 and July 2015 were women. This statistic is rarely mentioned by the media. It provides a less sensational headline due to the startling fact that most mass shootings are related to domestic violence occurring within the privacy of the victim's home. Domestic violence was been found to have been linked with 76 percent of all mass shooting incidents during the aforementioned period.

States working to help parents reduce child support debt

Ohio parents may be aware that the amount of child support that is owed has risen to approximately $113 billion. While states were initially attempting to collect the money, many law enforcement agencies have stopped because many parents who owe child support cannot afford it.

The state of Maryland found that more than 4,500 people in West Baltimore owed more than $30 million in child support. However, any money collected from these parents would have gone back to the state and not to the parents' children as a way to repay taxpayers for welfare that was collected for the children. The state found that the parents who owed back child support often didn't have the money as most earned less than $10,000 per year.

Custodial issues complicated when child taken out of the country

One of the most difficult parts of any divorce may be the question of custody arrangements. Family courts in Ohio may try to set up custody so that both parents get relatively equal time, but there are practical issues that may make even division impossible. A high-profile case in Texas illustrates the difficulties of maintaining split custody when one of the partners decides to relocate.

In this instance, the mother of the child chose to take the child out of America and to Brazil. She told the father that she was taking their son to a family wedding in 2013, but they never returned. The boy has been enrolled in a school in Brazil and a judge in that country's federal court ruled that he was "well-settled" there.

Ohio county commission president charged with domestic violence

On Nov. 4, the Lawrence County commission president was arrested for alleged domestic violence in Coal Grove. It is the second time he has been charged with domestic violence in less than three years.

At approximately 10:45 p.m., the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from a woman claiming to be the victim of domestic violence. The woman told responding officers that she and the defendant, who have a child together, got into an argument over text messages at the defendant's home. During the fight, the defendant allegedly grabbed her by the arm, shoved her onto the bed, attempted to choke her and struck her.

Tracking a spouse's hidden assets in divorce

Property division can be a challenge if an Ohio divorce becomes antagonistic. Although some couples are able to part ways without much acrimony, many face major battles over assets and debts. If there is already a significant amount of distrust of one's spouse, it may be difficult to believe that they are being honest about their financial situation. However, there are some options available for investigating further if there is a belief that assets have been hidden.

The principle of equitable distribution involves the fair distribution of assets that have been obtained during marriage. Additionally, liabilities are considered during this process. Hidden debt in both names could come back to haunt an unaware individual in the future. Hidden assets, meanwhile, could leave one individual with less than the amount to which they are entitled as they leave the marriage. In some cases, a belief that the other party is being dishonest may warrant the involvement of accounting professionals.

Rapper Scarface arrested over back child support payments

Ohio music fans may be interested to learn that rapper Scarface was taken into custody in Atlanta on Oct. 9 for allegedly failing to pay child support. He was released from the Fulton County Jail on a $482,000 bond on Oct. 16. A lawyer for the mother seeking collection of the debt said that Scarface was released after an agreement was reached to pay "a good portion" of the back child support owed. According to media reports, a lump sum payment was made prior to the 44-year-old hip hop star's release.

Scarface, a former member of the Geto Boys, released a statement on Oct. 20 saying that he has "resolved the issue" and thanking fans for their support. He also claimed that the amount of the debt owed was misreported by the media and he had no idea there was a warrant out for his arrest. He said he would have no further comment because the case involves his minor son.

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The office of Carl McCoy, Attorney at Law, in Newark, Ohio, serves residents throughout central Ohio, including residents of Alexandria, Pataskala, Etna Township, Buckeye Lake, Johnstown, St. Louisville, Coshocton, Granville, Heath, Hebron, Kirkersville, Hanover, New Albany, Reynoldsburg and Zanesville. We assist residents of all cities and towns in Licking County, Coshocton County, Knox County, Perry County and Muskingum County.