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Butler County Divorce Law Blog

Accounting for all marital property is critical

When couples decide to terminate their marriage in Ohio, or anywhere across the country for that matter, they must cover a series of topics as they create a divorce settlement. One of the most difficult topics to tackle may be property division. While the family home, vehicles and finances are often considered first when dealing with marital property, there are a host of other marital items that may be less common. It is crucial that people keep these items in mind in order to get everything they are entitled to in the settlement.

According to Ohio statutes, all property and assets that are accumulated during the course of the marriage are considered marital property and are eligible for division in a divorce. Collectible items, such as art, antiques, cars, horses, coins, wine and furnishings, are considered marital. Furthermore, any loyalty points or travel miles earned on memberships are divisible as well. Golf course and country club memberships, lottery ticket winnings, tax refunds, term life insurance policies and pets are other items that may be overlooked when separating property.

Do you really own antiques?

If you and your spouse are a divorcing Ohio couple, you may have concerns about how to divide your marital property, especially if you own antiques – or think you do. While most people believe that an antique is an old and valuable collectible, that “definition” is only the tip of a very confusing and subjective iceberg.

Just because an object is old does not mean that it is an antique, let alone a valuable one. Technically, an object does not attain antique status until it becomes 100 years old. At 75 years old, it becomes vintage. If manufactured during the 1950s or 1960s, it usually goes by the name of retro. None of these age classifications has anything to do with the object’s value, however. Consequently, you first need to determine if that “old thing” you love really is an antique, and if it is, then how much it is actually worth.

Can you seek legal custody of your grandchildren?

As a grandparent living in Ohio, there are unfortunately very few laws dedicated to protecting your rights. However, the Law Office of Kristen L. Campbell, LLC, will be here to help you explore your options if you are looking to seek legal rights regarding your grandchild.

Though you may be limited in terms of when you can seek legal rights, there are a few situations in which it's possible. These situations include parental abandonment of your grandchildren, or if their parents have:

  • Been convicted of domestic abuse
  • Formed an addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • Been incarcerated
  • Been deployed overseas
  • Passed away

A few things to think about if your children are adults

Some spouses decide to delay divorce until their children are in college or finished with college. The idea is to minimize the impact on the children's lives. In some other situations, the parents happen to make the decision to divorce after their children are already adults.

Whatever the case, the parents may think that, while the split may hurt their children, it will not affect them to the extent that it might if they were minor children. This can be a mistake. Here is a look at a few things to think about when you divorce while your children are adults.

Is a prenuptial agreement a good idea?

If you and your fiancé are an Ohio couple deep into the planning of your upcoming wedding, the last thing you probably want to think about is a prenuptial agreement. Prenups have received an unjustified bad reputation over the years as documents that rich people sign before getting married because they do not trust each other and therefore want to protect their respective assets from each other.

While prenups do indeed contain financial agreements, they have very little to do with mutual trust and everything to do with mutual common sense and responsible planning for an always uncertain future. Given that the American divorce rate has hovered around 50 percent for the past 30 years, the reality is that you face a one in two chance that you and your soon-to-be spouse will not remain married to each other for the rest of your lives. There are a lot of advantages to coming to some basic financial agreements now rather than waiting to see if and when the worst happens.

Who gets the retirement account(s) when you divorce?

If you and your spouse plan to divorce in Ohio and either or both of you have a retirement plan where you work, these plans may well make up a major portion of your marital assets., an investment strategy site, explains that per Ohio law, the portion of your retirement benefits that you earned while married makes up the marital portion of your plan. That is the portion to which your spouse may or may not be entitled.

All divorcing couples can come up with their own property settlement agreements, whether or not they involve any retirement plans. While a judge must approve any agreement you and your spouse arrive at, judges seldom disapprove these plans unless one party is grossly disadvantaged.

Should you own a business with your ex-spouse?

Marriages fall apart for any number of reasons, and a lot of times the final straw is just that, the final event in a series of happenings that would not have been as destructive on their own. Ohio couples who find themselves in this situation likely did not plan to ever end up here, and if this describes you, now you are sifting through remnants of relationship you never wanted to end. 

What happens, then, if you and your spouse not only own a home together but also run a business? Maybe, in fact, you have a thriving company and still work well in that setting. Is it possible to keep the business even if you do not keep the spouse?

3 tips for adopting your stepchild

If you want to adopt your stepchild, you are not alone. Adoption of stepchildren is the most common type of adoption. Stepparent adoption is the perfect way to do the following:

  • Obtain parenting rights
  • Provide inheritance rights to your stepchild
  • Formalize the relationship you already have

However, you may face some legal and emotional challenges while trying to adopt your stepchild. Here are some guidelines to overcome the obstacles of the adoption process.

What grandparents need to know about adopting their grandkids

In 2017, NBC News reported on the increasing numbers of grandparents adopting their grandchildren due to a growing need created by the opioid epidemic. Ohio grandparents who find themselves in this or similar situations may also find they face similar challenges to those NBC News mentioned. Expenses of raising children have increased in recent years, for example, and the process of adoption can be quite an investment.

Other difficulties include helping young ones cope with the trauma they have experienced in an addicted parent's home. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services explains when children live in homes with parents who have abused drugs or alcohol, they may have also experienced physical abuse, emotional trauma or both. Since addicts often exhibit extreme behaviors, their kids may bear the brunt of their swinging emotions. 

Divorcing dads: 3 tips for being an active parent

If you are trying to navigate your divorce and all its complications, you may struggle to be an active father. It may be difficult to communicate with your child while you are dealing with legal, emotional and financial distractions. However, it is vital to maintain a good parent-child relationship, no matter how custody proceedings play out.

You may end up needing to co-parent your child with your ex-wife once the divorce is over. Whether you end up with as much custody or visitation as you want, here are some tips for strengthening the bond you have with your kid during and after divorce:

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