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Newark OH Divorce Law Blog

Same-sex marrige legal for military couples nationwide

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states do not have the legal authority to prohibit or refuse to recognize a same-sex marriage. This means that civilian and military same-sex couples now have the right to marry in Ohio and nationwide.

The case of a same-sex military couple was among those the Supreme Court reviewed before making its decision. An Army Reservist married a man in New York, but the marriage was not recognized in Tennessee, where the couple lives. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy noted that the couple's marriage rights were "stripped from them whenever they reside in Tennessee, returning and disappearing as they travel across state lines." The high court's ruling now allows that couple and all married same-sex couples to retain their marriage rights nationwide.

Deadbeat dads do contribute to their kids

A new study found that fathers in Ohio and the rest of the country are actually contributing more to the financial support of their children than the reports from the child support system show. While only 61 percent of the total amount of child support owed to custodial mothers was paid in 2011, more than half of the men in the study gave either cash or goods directly to the mother of their children.

Of the 367 fathers in the study, only 23 percent of them were paying child support through the court system. However, 46 percent did contribute, on average, approximately $60 per month in in-kind support. Although these gifts didn't count toward official child support, the diapers, school clothes and food they provided helped foster a connection between them and their children that is often absent when money is simply paid to the Child Support Enforcement Agency.

Service members and child custody protection

Ohio parents who are in the military often have concerns about how their service may impact their child custody matters. In order to provide protection to the child custody rights of service members, Congress passed a law specifically providing protections for them when their cases go through the family court system.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act prohibits judges from considering the deployment or the potential for deployment as the sole factor in determining what is in the best interests of the child. If a temporary custody order is granted during a deployment, it must in general expire upon the expiration of the soldier's deployment.

Public disagrees with formulas for calculating child support

Although Ohio takes the income of both parents into account when calculating child support, many states do not, and a study published on June 1 indicates that the public in both the United States and England thinks the income of the custodial parent should be a factor. The researchers say that this view may have an effect on how lawmakers approach policy in places where child support law is not in line with popular opinion.

Most states look at the income of both parents while nine states and the District of Columbia consider only the income of the noncustodial parent. People surveyed felt that child support amounts should go up or down depending on the income of the custodial parent, and respondents agreed about this regardless of their political alignment, gender or income.

Kelly Rutherford child custody case continues

Ohio fans of the television show 'Gossip Girl" may be following the activities of Kelly Rutherford, one of the show's stars. Rutherford married her ex-husband in 2006 and divorced him in 2008. Following their break-up, the couple shared joint custody of their children. Since 2012, Rutherford has been fighting to have her children returned to the United States from Monaco and France where they have been living with their father.

Recently, a judge granted Rutherford temporary sole custody, and the couple was ordered to have a custody hearing in the United States. The hearing was to be held in Los Angeles on June 15, and the children were to have been flown to the U.S. A family court judge halted that order in order to give the father a chance to have a hearing on the matter in Monaco.

Jon Gosselin reported to be considering unusual custody action

Reality television fans in Ohio may know Jon Gosselin for his starring role on "Jon and Kate Plus 8." A contentious 2009 divorce led to Gosselin being dropped from the program, but that has not stopped the 38-year-old from appearing regularly in gossip columns. Now, reports indicate that he may soon be involved in a custody dispute with his former wife. However, Gosselin is said to be contemplating a legal action to seek custody of only one of his children, all of whom currently live with their mother.

According to reports, Gosselin is considering the child custody action because of allegations of cruelty made by his 11-year-old daughter during a visit. The girl is also said to have told her father that she no longer wished to appear on the popular television show, which was renamed "Kate Plus 8" after the couple split.

International abduction can be a complicated issue for parents

Because divorces involving children can often be contentious, Ohio parents who are going through one may have numerous concerns about custody decisions. This can be even more pronounced if one of the parents has ties to another country. The potential for abduction might be discussed during the divorce and custody proceedings. However, the issue could arise even in cases in which such an abduction is not necessarily a concern.

International law impacts officials as they deal with international custody situations. A Hague conference tackled the issue in 1980, and 93 nations have become signatories to the resulting treaty. However, international legal battles can be costly and difficult to pursue. It is estimated that approximately 1,000 abductions of American children in violation of a custody order take place each year, but only 50 percent are actually returned to the U.S. successfully.

Father ordered to provide support for 1 twin only

As some Ohio parents may know, decisions on child support are made based on several factors, one of which is evidence of parentage. DNA may be used to determine who is the biological father of a child unless the parents agree on the matter.

One case in New Jersey recently added another dimension. A decision on whether a father should pay child support for two children as requested by the mother was handed down on May 4. According to court records, the mother requested that the man pay support for twins she said he fathered. DNA testing showed that the man was the father of only one twin.

Incidence of health issues associated with custody arrangements

Some Ohio parents may be interested in a study that sought to answer the question of whether sharing time with both parents each week is disrupting to a child's life. The study questions if routinely moving between two different homes puts additional stress on the child.

The study looked at students in Sweden aged 11 and 15 in various living situations. About 69 percent were in a traditional home with their parents while 13 percent lived with only one parent. Nineteen percent of the children shared living time with both parents. The 150,000 students were polled to determine the incidence of psychosomatic health difficulties.

Parents who cannot pay child support end up in jail

If Ohio parents decide that they want to get divorced, it is likely that one will be required to pay child support to the other parent pursuant to a court order. If the parent refuses to or fails to pay those obligation, there can be severe consequences, including a jail sentence.

In general, it appears that the threat of jail provides an incentive for those who are able to pay their child support to do so. However, the possibility of a jail sentence also affects working parents who are willing to pay but just may not be able to do so. Some of these parents may make partial child support payments, but this results in the amounts that haven't been paid to add up. Over time, that debt accumulates to the point where parents may never have the ability to pay it back. On top of this, states are allowed to garnish up to 65 percent of a delinquent parent's paycheck, which can inhibit their ability to pay their own rent and associated bills.

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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.