Caring for children and child support is an emotionally charged problem, as it relates to dissolution and divorce. Often, children are thrown into the middle of problems like divorce or dissolution that they had no control over.
As a experienced, licensed attorney in Columbus, Ohio, my focus is on helping people deal with Child Custody problems to achieve the best legal outcome in the shortest possible time. My goal is to help my clients understand the process and to help clients make the best legal decisions now and in the future.
Parents can apply for sole custody or joint custody (or Shared Parenting) with the court. The court uses the best interests test to determine what type of custody it will award. The court, at its discretion, uses Various Factors for Determining What Type of Visitation is in the best interest of the child.
In order to determine parental rights, proof of parentage needs to be proven to the court. With the mother, there is a presumption of parentage. With the father, the court presumes he is the father if the child was born during the marriage, there was a written acknowledgement of parentage on the birth certificate, or if there is proof of genetic testing that is not rebutted.
In dealing with issues of Child Custody, Child Support, and other related matters, the court uses certain Legislated Guidelines to determine financial, emotional, and other issues with custody. When allocating parental rights and custody, the court looks to the Best Interests of the Child. In considering what is in the best interests of the child, the court weighs various factors, including the parent(s) financial resources, the needs of the child, health insurance, educational expenses, and other factors.
The Ohio Revised Code and local courts set the Child Support Calculations and guidelines relating to the relative incomes of the mother and father, their various expenses, and other factors. The amount of Parenting Time with the child is also set by court order. Child support can be set by agreement between the parties if the agreed amount is reasonable.
The child support guidelines set by the state can also be deviated either upwards or downwards if there is a justification for a Child Support Deviation from the child support tables. Child support orders can be Modified by the court if there is a Substantial Change in Circumstances where income has changed in an amount Greater than 10% to justify a modification. There are various Modification Factors considered by the court. If a party intends to Move to a New Residence, they need to give the court notice and have the court issue an order approving that relocation.
Disobeying a court order can lead to a Contempt of Court. A Contempt of Court Hearing can be commenced when there is non-compliance with a Judicial Order. Sanctions can include a driver's license suspension, liens against property and Criminal Liability with a possibility of jail time. A Court can also order either party to seek work with an Order to Seek Work. If a person is previously found in contempt for failure to pay child support, the court can impose Heightened Penalties.
Courts approach the issue of spousal support by considering various Spousal Support factors. Some of the factors include length of the marriage, disparity in income, need for support, and other factors. Various courts utilize different standards to determine the amount of spousal support and length of the spousal support. Most courts require a temporary spousal support motion and affidavits if the parties are not in agreement on spousal support.
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