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Newark OH Divorce Law Blog

Domestic violence and protection orders

Ohio residents may benefit from learning more about the state provisions governing domestic violence offenses. Judges presiding over cases involving domestic violence or child abuse may allow the victim to receive an ex parte order, meaning that the perpetrator does not have to be present for a judgment to be levied against them. This scenarios typically occur when the victim is petitioning to receive relief from offenses committed by the respondent.

Petitioners who filed an ex parte motion may have their hearing held on the same very same day. The courts may grant a temporary protection order immediately in an effort to provide relief and prevent any further abuse from occurring. In order to receive the temporary protection order, the victim must be under the threat of an immediate and present danger. There are several scenarios that may compel a judge to consider a respondent as being an immediate and present danger to the petitioner.

When can a parent stop paying child support?

In Ohio, there are limits to how long children can receive child support. Based on the child's scholastic and medical circumstances, however, the length of time for paying child support can change.

Generally, obligors must pay child support until a child either turns 18 or becomes a high-school graduate. In situations when the child turns 18 but has not yet graduated from high school, child support is still enforceable. If the child turns 17 but has graduated high school, child support is still payable until the child turns 18.

What is considered non-marital property?

Ohio state law recognizes that some property in a marriage belongs solely to its owner and is not eligible to be divided in a divorce. There are three types of property that may be considered non-marital: assets owned before a marriage, gifts made to one spouse and assets inherited by one spouse. Compensation won in a personal injury case may also be considered separate property in a divorce case.

Regardless of whether a spouse claims to have non-marital property, that fact must be proven in court. This is typically done by creating a paper trail tracing the origin of the property back to one spouse. A judge may also use oral testimony to determine the status of property.

Military divorce

Ohio residents that are in the military should be aware of how their retirement benefits could be divided in the event of a divorce. The basic divorce process for military personnel is no different than the process for average citizens. If one spouse is on active duty overseas or some far away location, then the process may take longer. However, some states are more lenient with regard to residency requirements for active duty military personal who are getting a divorce.

The Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act allows states to treat military retirement money as property, not as income. This means that an ex-spouse can receive up to 50 percent of the military retirement pay their former spouse receives if they qualify for direct retirement payments from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Domestic violence cases in Ohio follow state guidelines

A strict set of laws in Ohio makes it illegal to lay hands on another family member or significant other in a violent manner. The statutes that govern acts of domestic violence provide a definition of what it is, as well as penalties for its commission.

State law defines domestic violence as a deliberate or reckless attempt to cause bodily injury to a household member. Under the statute, a "household member" is a spouse, a parent, a child, or a person living as a spouse or significant other. Foster children and other blood relatives also fall under the definition. The law is written to include direct or implied threats of violence to a family or household member as well. A set of potential punishments has also been established based on the status of the alleged offender.

How do Ohio courts determine child support?

Child support laws can be quite complicated, and this is even more true when one considers the fact that these laws vary by state. Ohio statute is very clear on the amount of child support that must be paid, but the law still contains several nuances that can affect this amount. Some situations, for instance, could lead to a parent paying child support past the child reaching the age of 18.

When determining the amount of child support that a parent will have to pay in Ohio, the courts first combine the incomes of both parents. This sum is then taken and compared to a chart used across the state that will reveal, based on their combined income, the financial support necessary between both parents to care for the child. The courts will then look at what percentage of the combined total income each parent earns, and the paying parent's percentage then becomes his or her child support obligation.

How a child custody ruling is made in Ohio

Under Ohio law, a court may give parental responsibilities to either one or both parents after a divorce or annulment. Legal custody will be given to one parent if neither parent makes a request for shared custody and/or it would not be in the child's best interest for the parents to share legal custody. However, shared custody is possible if both parents agree to it and it is in the best interest of the child.

Most child custody orders will allow the nonresident parent to have continuing contact with the child. In both shared and sole parenting orders, the court will also take into account the responsibilities of the nonresident parent to provide care and support for the child. During a child custody case, the court takes several steps to ensure that the child's best interests are being taken into consideration.

What property is subject to division in a divorce?

When a couple divorces, Ohio courts will divide property equitably between the two. Equitable division does not necessarily mean all property will be divided equally, however. Nor does it mean that one party who made a higher income will necessarily get a greater proportional percentage of acquired property.

Ohio law outlines the types of property subject to division during a divorce. Separate property, or property owned prior to the marriage, remains with the party who brought it with them. Separate property also includes an inheritance one spouse received during the marriage. Other examples of separate property include real estate one party owned prior to the marriage, awards received by one spouse for compensation for personal injury, real property purchased by one spouse after the filing of a legal separation and gifts of real or personal property meant for the benefit of only one spouse.

What is a cash medical support order?

A cash medical support order is required by law in Ohio when a health care plan is not provided by either divorced parent for a child. There are a few different reasons why this may happen. First, a parent may not comply with a child support order requiring him or her to provide health insurance. Second, there may not be an affordable option available. Any option exceeding 5 percent of a parent's gross income is not considered to be affordable. Finally, the health insurance may no longer be provided due to job loss or another unforeseen event.

In all of the above cases, a cash medical support order is added to the child support order. This will ensure that the child's uncovered medical costs are paid in the event that they are uncovered by a private plan. The costs could be covered by one or both parents or even a third-party individual or agency.

Overview of domestic violence

Ohio residents and people nationwide might think that domestic violence is simply physical abuse. However, domestic violence is also characterized by other behaviors. A partner might throw objects during an argument or threaten a pet. An angry significant other could destroy property like valuable or sentimental objects. Despite the fact that these actions do not involve physical contact with a partner, they carry a clear message to those on the receiving end of them.

Acts of anger can increase in severity and lead to violence. If allowed to continue their behavior, abusive partners become more dangerous to their significant others and themselves. Four women are killed daily by former partners according to the FBI. Additionally, 5.5 percent of male victims of homicide were killed by a spouse, ex-spouse or significant other according to a 2004 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

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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.