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Newark OH Divorce Law Blog

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.

Program may allow prisoners to avoid paying child support

Ohio parents should know that the Obama administration has set a new program in motion that will allow incarcerated parents to temporarily stop child support payments while they are behind bars. Essentially, the parents will have the ability to state that their incarceration was "involuntary," which puts a stop on the payments and helps prevent debt for the incarcerated person.

This announcement has been met with both praises and criticism. On the one hand, not having to pay child support while incarcerated and not earning an income will allow the parent to leave jail without immense debt. On the other hand, this means that many custodial parents will be forced to seek out government assistance if they can no longer afford to provide for their children.

Sexual assault and child custody in Ohio

When a child is born as a result of the mother being sexually assaulted, issues can become even more difficult. In some states, a rapist may be able to demand custody or visitation even after criminal conviction. Accused rapists awaiting trial have attempted to bargain with their victims, offering to pay child support or to not seek custody in exchange for the victim dropping charges.

These cases are frequently emotionally charged, and they present significant legal issues for court officials, attorneys, families and social workers. Some attempts have been made to address the issue of rape accusations in child custody cases. These attempts have included allowing family courts to determine whether there is enough evidence to assume that a rape has taken place, even if criminal charges have not been filed. Unsurprisingly, these have resulted in legal challenges and civil lawsuits.

Tips for avoiding financial fraud in divorce

Ohio residents who are divorcing may wonder whether their spouse is concealing assets. While this is not the case in most divorces, financial fraud does sometimes happen. There are different kinds of this type of activity, and it can be difficult to detect.

Dissipation is one type of financial fraud in divorce. This occurs when a spouse ruins or destroys money or property. Examples of dissipation include excessive spending, selling assets at a significant loss and ruining a spouse's personal property.

Alabama governor, former first lady finalize divorce

Ending a dispute that had received widespread publicity in Ohio and around the country, the divorce of Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and former first lady Dianne Bentley was finalized by a judge on Sept. 29. The couple had been married for 50 years.

According to court records, Ms. Bentley told the judge in a sworn statement that the disparity in their lifestyles and taste had created a conflict. She said their incompatibility could not be resolved.

Considering finances during a divorce

Ohio couples have many important decisions to make when their marriage is coming to an end, and estranged spouses do not always give enough consideration to financial matters. When considering dividing their marital assets, both parties need to take the time to think about what changes will likely occur after a divorce. For example, one may now be responsible for things like mortgage or rent payments, costs for children and living expenses on one salary instead of two. This means it is important to factor in new costs when going through a divorce.

An attorney's help is often necessary and may be vital if a split is not amicable, and one can get the most benefit from an attorney by being prepared. One should compile a full financial picture for an attorney to view and have an idea of what one might want the future to like look so that an attorney can help plan. While one might not get everything he or she wants when splitting joint assets, possessions and debts, an attorney can use a client's wishes as a starting point when working towards a divorce settlement.

Therapies and child custody battles

Divorced Ohio parents who are in the middle of child custody disputes may encounter judges who exercise their authority in unexpected ways. In addition to issuing custody and visitation orders, judges can declare that they undergo specific forms of therapy, even if these judgments go against medical opinion.

Observers say that therapy treatments may be suggested by judges who believe parental alienation has occurred. In a 2015 Michigan custody case that made headlines across the country, one judge ordered that three children undergo reunification therapy with their estranged father. The father claimed that his ex alienated their shared children against him and requested a 90-day suspension of the mother's visitation rights, while she countered by alleging he had abused one of the trio.

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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.