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Newark OH Divorce Law Blog

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.

Domestic violence in Ohio

Any Ohio resident can become involved in an abusive relationship, regardless of their sex, age, gender or socioeconomic background. Domestic violence can occur among couples who are married or have lived together for a long period of time or even those who are simply dating.

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as abusive behavior that one partner uses to gain control or power over the other person in a relationship. While most people consider domestic violence to include only abuse that is physical or sexual, domestic violence may also include emotional abuse, psychological abuse and economic abuse. Emotional abuse may include a partner constantly criticizing the other person, calling the other person names and even damaging their relationship with others. Psychological abuse may include threats or intimidation while economic abuse may include withholding access to household funds and maintaining control over financial resources.

Ohio county has collected over $35 million in back child support

On April 6, the Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency announced that it has now gathered more than $35 million from criminal nonsupport cases since its creation. The agency was founded in 2001.

The CSEA pursues criminal charges against noncustodial parents who have not made child support payments in six or more months and are at least $5,000 arrears in payments. The enforcement unit consists of case investigators and assistant county prosecutors. A representative for the unit said criminal charges are only filed after other enforcement techniques, like income withholding and driver's license suspensions, have failed.

Shared parenting in Ohio

If you are a parent going through a divorce in Ohio, one of the options you may want to consider is a shared parenting plan. These types of arrangements are growing in favor with the courts, as they allow children to spend more time with both parents while also defining how the parents will make decisions for their child.

Your plan will address such things as where your child will go to school, who will pay for medical expenses and medical insurance for your child, who will be able to claim tax exemptions and credits and the amount of time your child will spend with each of you. If you are able to negotiate a shared parenting plan with your spouse, you may prepare a joint agreement and submit it to the court. The court will then make the plan a part of its orders in your case.

How to file for a domestic violence order for protection

If a resident of Ohio is a victim of domestic violence, they can attempt to obtain a domestic violence order of protection. To request this type of order, the victim will have to file a petition, which can be obtained online or from a local courthouse. A representative from a local domestic violence prevention program may be able to assist with filing the petition.

Information required on the petition includes the names of the petitioner and the abuser, specific details regarding the most recent incidents of violence and contact information for the petitioner. If a victim needs immediate protection, they can request a temporary order from a civil clerk.

Social Security and back child support in Ohio

When courts order a parent to pay child support as part of a divorce decree, they do so because they believe that, as a matter of public policy, both parents share a responsibility to contribute to their child's upbringing. Sometimes, however, a parent who has been ordered to pay fails to do so, despite the court's order. In those cases, the other parent is often left wondering how they can go about getting the back amount owed to them.

When a parent is working and not paying the required child support, the other parent can seek a wage garnishment through the court and the nonpaying parent's employer. The issue is a little more problematic if the nonpaying parent is not employed but is receiving Social Security benefits. If those benefits are from Supplemental Security Insurance, they cannot be garnished, as SSI is deemed to be welfare. However, benefits that are derived from Social Security Disability Income or Social Security retirement benefits are treated as earned income and thus are eligible to be garnished.

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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.