Dedicated assistance with divorce and child custody
If you’re here, you’re probably searching for Dayton, Ohio family law attorneys. In that case, you should know a few things about our firm:
Our attorneys are no strangers to the courtroom. We bring more than five decades of combined legal experience and take every measure possible to obtain the best results for our clients.
If you’re ready to get started on your case, contact us today.
If not, read through FAQs on family law below.
- How does a family lawyer help me?
- How do I decide between a divorce and a dissolution?
- My spouse obtained a divorce without my presence and now has custody of my child. Is there anything I can do?
- How does alimony work in Ohio?
- How do I get custody in Ohio?
- How much will I have to pay in child support?
How does a family lawyer help me?
Family law attorneys handle problems that occur in marriages, domestic partnerships, and civil unions.
While Ohio law allows people to represent themselves in court, this can be a risky plan. There are many complicated aspects of family law that attorneys have spent years studying. Consulting a family law attorney in Dayton, Ohio can provide you the best strategy for your legal dispute. A Dayton family law attorney can represent you confidently in court and help you achieve the best result.
Family law attorneys can help you with the following:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Civil protection orders
- Father’s rights
- Property division
- Spousal support
When one of these challenging legal issues affects your marriage or domestic partnership, an experienced family attorney can help. A family law attorney will explain the law to you, answer your questions, and advocate for you in court.
Family lawyers help in challenging times
Often people seeking family law advice may feel hurt and betrayed by those they loved. It is reassuring for these clients to have an attorney who is entirely on their side, fighting for their best interest.
Hiring a family lawyer in Dayton Ohio makes these challenging issues easier to handle. Your attorney can expertly negotiate with your spouse’s attorney. This representation allows you the freedom to heal in your personal life without needing to handle the specific legal issues yourself.
An attorney keeps up with changing legal rules. For instance, divorce law is an area of family law that may change frequently. An experienced lawyer will stay up to date on the latest changes in the field.
Family law issues often come with mountains of paperwork. They can fill out your legal paperwork and file it, removing a stressful task from your to-do list.
If you have a family matter requiring legal assistance, call one of our experienced family law attorneys in Dayton, Ohio for a free consultation.
How do I decide between a divorce and a dissolution?
If you and your spouse are having marital problems, Ohio offers you the option of divorce or dissolution of your marriage.
When you and your spouse agree on all aspects of your separation, you can choose a dissolution. You should agree on issues including property division, settlement of debts, alimony, child support, and child custody. Dissolution is the fastest and easiest way to sever your marriage in Ohio.
Dissolution requires legal documents, including a petition for dissolution, signed by you and your spouse. A family law attorney in Dayton will file a petition for dissolution with the clerk in the appropriate county. Within 30 days of submitting this petition for dissolution, you will receive a court date to finalize the dissolution of your marriage before a judge.
However, if there are areas that you disagree on, or you are severing your marriage on fault-based grounds, you will probably choose divorce. If you decide on divorce, you can file a divorce complaint through one of our experienced divorce attorneys.
A spouse must file an answer to the divorce complaint within 28 days. The divorce process may span several months as spouses work out an agreement that satisfies both. Sometimes spouses cannot settle the terms of the divorce outside of court. In that instance, they must appear before a domestic relations judge to resolve disputed issues.
A family law attorney in Dayton, Ohio helps you decide whether divorce or dissolution is best for you.
My spouse obtained a divorce without my presence and now has custody of my child. Is there anything I can do?
In a divorce proceeding, if a complaint for divorce is filed and service is obtained, the opposing party has 28 days to answer the complaint. If the opposing party does not answer, the court will set the matter for a non-contested divorce. In a non-contested divorce, the court will usually grant all that the party seeking the divorce requested.
In this case, the opposing party can file a Motion to Vacate the Judgment under Ohio Civil Rule 60 (B), asking the court to vacate the judgment and reopen the matter. We recommend seeking the advice of an experienced attorney before taking this step.
If this has happened to you, contact the experienced family law attorneys of Gounaris Abboud, LPA for an immediate consultation to determine if your case is eligible to be reopened.
How does alimony work in Ohio?
Alimony, also called spousal support, is available in Ohio divorces. However, spousal support is not guaranteed.
When deciding on whether to award alimony, an Ohio judge will consider:
- Each party’s total income
- Earning abilities of the parties
- Retirement benefits of the parties
- Duration of the marriage
- Whether either party is the caregiver for a minor child
- Standard of living of the parties during the marriage
- The education level of both parties
- Contribution of each party to the other party’s earning ability and professional degree
- Tax consequences of spousal support
Some of these factors may surprise divorcing spouses. For instance, the judge will take into account the labor of a stay-at-home spouse and give those years of labor monetary value. The judge will also consider how one spouse supported the other spouse’s career. This support often factors in when it limited a stay-at-home spouse’s professional development.
The judge will try to ensure that each spouse can maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during their marriage. If the spouses have a similar ability to earn, the judge is not likely to award spousal support. To account for income-producing property in each spouse’s annual earnings, the judge will decide spousal support after dividing the property.
The longer the marriage, the more likely one spouse may receive alimony. Short-term marriages are unlikely to see awards of alimony.
Temporary vs. permanent alimony
A judge may award temporary or permanent alimony. Temporary alimony presents several advantages:
- Allows one spouse to get a college degree or vocational training
- Enables higher earning potential
- Promotes eventual financial independence.
The judge may award temporary spousal support while the divorce is pending, and make a permanent alimony decision when the divorce proceedings end. Obtaining temporary spousal support does not mean that the spouse gets permanent alimony.
Permanent alimony could include marital property, a one-time cash payment, or installment payments. The judge may amend a permanent alimony decision if a spouse requests a modification in a separate court proceeding.
How do I get custody in Ohio?
Child custody decisions concern the best interests of the child.
The judge determines which custody arrangement best serves those interests. A judge also considers factors of safety and stability in child custody decisions.
Ohio judges usually award joint legal custody if both parents can provide safe and loving environments. In joint legal custody, both parents make decisions for the child.
Unless the non-custodial parent is a danger to the child, judges usually grant visitation rights. The visitation schedule varies by case and depends on factors like the parents’ work schedules and the child’s school schedule. If a parent poses some danger to the child, the judge may allow supervised visitation.
To file for custody of your child in Ohio, complete the following steps:
- Write a parenting plan, including a visitation schedule for the other parent
- File a Motion for Child Custody form with the parenting plan attached
- While filing, request a custody hearing
- Send a copy of the Motion for Child Custody to the other parent
- Attend all hearings on your Motion for Child Custody
- Answer discovery requests from the other parent
Though these steps may seem complex, an experienced family law attorney in Dayton can walk you through the process.
How much will I have to pay in child support?
State law determines the child support amount. The law contains an Ohio child support formula that takes into account each parent’s income.
Each parent is allowed to take deductions from gross income, taking into account factors such as:
- Child support for other children
- Spousal support for former spouses
- Income tax
- Value of a federal dependency exemption
The judge also considers daycare and medical insurance costs when determining child support. One parent must typically carry insurance for the child. Uncovered medical expenses are usually shared between the parents, proportioned according to their income.
A cash medical support order provides for the child’s medical costs if insurance is lost or not obtained. If the child has public health coverage, this cash medical support reimburses the state agency providing insurance.
Parents pay child support until their child reaches age 18 or graduates high school. Children who are 18 or over but still in high school are still eligible for child support. If a child drops out of high school and does not live with the custodial parent, child support ends early.
Special rules apply to disabled children. The length of child support for these cases depends on a court order.
Some parents may agree in their divorce decree to support their children beyond age 18. In those cases, the divorce decree will determine the length of child support owed.
Consult with a family lawyer in Dayton, Ohio
If you are in need of a family law attorney, call Gounaris Abboud, LPA for your free consultation. Remember, time is of the essence in all family law matters. It’s essential to contact an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.