Posts Tagged ‘Divorce’

Unintended Consequences of an Ohio DUI Charge

May 6th, 2013

A drunk driving charge can affect you in ways that you may not expect. Listed below are some of the more vexing issues associated with an Ohio DUI (OVI) charge.

1. Child Custody – If you are involved in a custody dispute, or have a vindictive spouse who would like to start one, a DUI/OVI conviction can be used against you in domestic relations court.  Automatic suspensions may make it difficult to exercise visitation with your children.  You may also find a court who will refuse to let you transport the children due to a DUI/OVI conviction, thereby increasing the cost or difficulty in seeing your kids.  Visit www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com for issues involving child custody. MADD has advocated putting a provision in every divorce decree calling for immediate suspension of parental rights if the parent if found to be driving while intoxicated.

2. Adoption – Some investigating agencies will use a DUI/OVI conviction against a party seeking to adopt children.

3. Car Insurance - Some companies will drop you if you have a drunk driving conviction and others may deny claims.  Others raise rates dramatically and still other companies force you to buy “high risk” insurance.  You can expect higher costs and less coverage for your dollar.

4. Employment – Given the societal stigma of a DUI/OVI, many companies will terminate an employee who is charged or convicted of an OVI.  Particularly vulnerable employees include those who drive company cars, those who drive between states for their jobs, those who are covered by fleet insurance and those who have management jobs.  In this tough job market you want to check your employment handbook for any reporting obligations a DUI/OVI require.  You have to decide if the employer needs to know, or, if they will be placated by telling them that you are aggressively fighting your charge.

5. Professional Licenses – Are you a doctor, lawyer, nurse, daycare worker, cosmetologist, private security, barber or any other many other workers required by your state to hold a professional license?  Do you hold a security clearance?  Holders of a professional license may face a range of sanctions for a DUI/OVI conviction, including mandatory alcohol counseling, fines, probationary discipline, license review, denial of a license or revocation of an existing license.  Obviously, you should fight your DUI/OVI charge with vigor to avoid these devastating results.

6. Civil Lawsuits – If you are involved in a drunk driving accident you become a target for victims of personal or property damage.  Many times the societal approbation against drunk driving will motivate someone to seek revenge to assure that you are punished for your negligent and reckless behavior.

7. Pilot’s License – Those holding an FAA Airman’s Certificate are subject to reporting and disclosure requirements.  A DUI is a “motor vehicle action” pursuant to section 61.15 of the FAA Aviation Regulations.

8. Military Induction – The ramifications of a DUI/OVI may prevent or delay induction into the military.  Recruiters are loathe to interfere with an order of any court.

9. Educational (College) Problems – Many colleges, depending on the facts of the case and whether or not the DUI was on school property, will haul you before a disciplinary committee when you are convicted (in some cases charged) with a DUI/OVI offense.  These sanctions are further complicated if you are applying to a college or university.

10. Travel - Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act may prevent entry into Canada following an OVI conviction. [see previous articles on this topic]  You may also face travel restrictions if you engage in travel to sensitive places.

11. Immigration Issues – DUI/OVI is not a crime of violence but may still carry immigration issues.  Make sure your attorney can get advise from a competent immigration attorney.

12. Commercial Drivers – See the numerous articles I have written on the plight of professional drivers who face the loss of their careers even when driving a non-commercial vehicle on their own time.

13. Teachers and Education Majors - First the good news, usually an OVI arrest will usually not result in disciplinary action – BUT IT CAN!  In Ohio, a Teacher, Principal, or School Administrator, who is licensed by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), may face Disciplinary Action for being arrested for DUI.  The circumstances surrounding the arrest may garner publicity if you are a well-known or long-tenured educator.  The internal politics of your school may cause a fellow teacher, a school board member or a member of the public to contact the Ohio Department of Education to trigger an investigation.  If an investigation is initiated, the Ohio Department of Education will not wait for an outcome, but will proceed to impose discipline independent of the outcome of your case.  Factors that may affect your DOE investigation may include whether the offense is a repeat offense, whether the offense involves illegal drugs and/or whether the case results in a conviction.   While there are no hard and fast rules, the more mitigation you are prepared to present to the DOE, the better the chance to avoid discipline and keep your job.

14. Enhancement – A DUI/OVI in Ohio is never expungeable and will follow you for 6 years for enhancement purposes.  This means that if you are convicted of a second OVI within 6 years you will face harsh enhanced penalties.  A DUI/OVI will also require you to submit to a chemical test (no-refusals) for 20 years following a conviction.

Given all the above, many times the most difficult aspect of a DUI/OVI is telling those people you love you have been charged.  The National Highway Transportation Administration, MADD, The Century Council, schools and colleges all spend millions of dollars on educational programs and television commercials stigmatizing the act of drunk driving.  DUI clients are perceived as guilty without a presumption of innocence afforded to most defendants.  Furthermore, it causes stress and financial concerns in families that can cause minor fissures to become major cracks.  If you find yourself charged with a DUI/OVI please contact a competent criminal defense attorney who can protect you from this many-tentacled beast.  Charles M. Rowland II has dedicated his practice to representing the accused drunk driver.  Contact him immediately at 937-879-9542 or 1-888-ROWLAND

Divorce in Springfield and Clark County (by Ohio Divorce Attorney)

December 26th, 2011

Divorce and Dissolution proceedings involving residents of Springfield and Clark County are heard in the Clark County Common Please Court, Domestic Relations Division.  The Clark County Domestic Relations Court is located at 31 N. Limestone Street (lower level), in downtown Springfield.  The Domestic Relations Court is located in its own building which is north of the iconic Clark County Common Pleas Court building.  The presiding judge of the Clark County  Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division is the Honorable Thomas J. Capper.  The Court can be reached at (937) 521-1753 or by fax at (937) 328-2463.  Local Rules for the Clark County Common Pleas Court are available at the Clerk of Courts website HERE. You can access the Warren County Domestic Relations Court Local Rules and find important phone numbers on the Court’s Web site.

Contact Jamie L. Anderson at (937) 879-9542 or 888-769-5263 to schedule a free consultation about your Springfield or Clark County Divorce case.  Jamie and her team of divorce attorneys, financial analysts, detectives and litigation experts can help you through a simple dissolution or complex divorce litigation.  Whether your case involves visitation, father’s rights issues, child custody, child support, contested divorce, uncontested divorce, establishing paternity or any other area of family law Jamie L. Anderson can help you win your case.  When there is so much on the line, call someone with the credentials to win your case.

How Long Will My Ohio Divorce Take?

December 20th, 2011

The best way to answer this question is to ask how much cooperation can you expect from your ex-spouse.  A high level of cooperation and trust will allow you to consider filing a dissolution.  If there is very little trust and cooperation you can expect a longer process.

A typical divorce can take anywhere from several months to more than a year.  A great deal of work can be done prior to filing a Complaint for Divorce, but the formal exchange of information called discovery will take as much time as needed for both sides to narrow the issues.  Most issues will be resolved in informal negotiations between your attorney and your ex-spouse’s attorney.  Most of your attorney’s time is spent determining if an agreement can be reached regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, identification, valuation and division of all assets, allocation of debts and agreeing on spousal support.  The more complicated and prolonged the negotiations, the longer the divorce process will take.  If these matters cannot be agreed upon, your attorney will prepare for litigation.  The participation of outside parties such as experts, guardian ad litems and psychologists can also delay your case.

Having a good relationship with your attorney is vital.  You need to be kept abreast of the status of your case and the status of negotiations.  You also need to find a way to work through the frustration endemic in every divorce case.  Arm yourself against falsely high expectations by knowing the divorce process and knowing what your attorney is doing on your behalf.  Most divorce cases ultimately result in the parties reaching an agreement, but every case must be prepared so that all of the information is obtained for the attorney to negotiate a fair settlement or present the case to the Court for a decision.

Life After Divorce (by OhioDivorceAttorney.com)

December 20th, 2011

Freedom

You are driving home after your final divorce hearing when it hits you.  I’m done! It’s finally over!  When the relief of a final divorce hearing fades you are left with some very fundamental questions about what happens next.  Here is my Top Ten List of things to do make your new life everything you want it to be.

  1. Do not lose my number.  Often, a short consultation can provide peace of mind or clarify how the court would  interpret  your actions.  I pride myself on being there for  you for the long haul and being a resource for you as long as you will need me.
  2. Get a certified copy of the signed Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.  This document is proof to the world that you are divorced.  If the court or your attorney do not provide you with a certified copy, go to the Clerk of Courts in the court where your case was heard to obtain one.  Since many banks, credit card companies, car dealerships and other financial institutions may want a copy, consider getting at least two certified copies and several “regular” copies.
  3. Read the Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.  This is the document that sets forth your future obligations.  Should you fail to read the document you may unwittingly supply a vindictive ex-spouse with legal justification to re-open parts of the case.  It is amazing how many people could have avoided a post-decree contempt action by simply reading the Decree.  If there is anything in your Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce that you do not understand, make an appointment to speak with your attorney.
  4. If you have children you need to secure their financial future by making sure that all necessary child support documents have been received by the appropriate agencies and employers.  Call and ask for confirmation.  Go on-line to verify.  Make sure that you are in compliance with the law.  If necessary, let your child’s school and/or daycare provider know who can/cannot pick up your child.
  5. If your case involves a Qualified Domestic Relations Order splitting the retirement benefits make sure that you know the telephone numbers for the people responsible for securing your retirement benefits.  Again, rely on your attorney to keep you informed about the status of this important part of your case.
  6. File your taxes.  Do not rely on your ex-spouse to cooperate in getting you the documents you will need to file.  Proactively call your past years’ employers and ask for all documents to be sent to an address of your choosing.  If you are the recipient of funds from a bank or investment firm contact them and, if necessary, provide a copy of your Final Judgment and Decree of Divorce.
  7. If your new life will involve co-parenting pre-plan how you will walk the tight-rope of having firm boundaries yet being flexible enough to make parenting time available.  Explain to your children what they should expect.  Talk to them about any concerns they may have.  It is best to let the children see a strong commitment to their well being from both parties.  If you, or your children, need help with a particularly wrenching arrangement, we can help.  I have resources that can help make this transition as painless as possible.
  8. Create emotional safe havens for your new life.  It is not uncommon to re-evaluate your circle of friends,  your correspondence with ex-family members or people who you and  your ex-spouse spent time with as a couple.  If children are involved prepare in advance how you will deal with a change in traditions.  Be firm with people who use guilt to manipulate  you into making decisions that are not in  your (or your childrens’ best interest).
  9. Make sure that all assets are transferred as dictated in the decree as soon as possible.  When transfers still need to take place it is better to try to get them completed right away so that there is complete finality in regards to joint financial obligations. Being proactive will result in fewer complications.
  10. Update all important documents including your will, any annuities, insurance policies, power of attorneys, banking accounts, credit accounts and emergency contact information on file with your employer or other agencies or businesses. Change any emergency contact numbers.

Jamie L. Anderson dedicates her practice to representing families through the changes of a divorce or dissolution.  She has made herself one of Greene County’s most prominent matrimonial attorneys and will use her experience to secure your family, your finances and your future.  Contact Jamie L. Anderson at (937) 879-9542 or visit www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com to learn more. 

 

The Divorce Process by DaytonDivorceLaw.com

December 1st, 2011
The Divorce of Lady X

Christine McGee, Chief Magistrate of the Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court once said: “In criminal court you see bad people acting their best, and in our court you see good people acting their worst.” In a perfect world, separation would be a painless process of dividing your assets and deciding what a perfect visitation schedule you and your ex will use. No one (no matter what your friends may tell you) has a perfect divorce.

The process begins with the filing of a complaint. Ohio law allows for “no-fault” divorce and also sets forth specific grounds upon which the filing can be made. The complaint is then “served” on the other party by certified mail, or by a personal process server. If no answer is filed the court assumes that the request is reasonable and grants the requested relief. If an answer is filed then the case proceeds and is placed on the court’s docket. Your case will be heard only by a judge, as Ohio law does not allow for a jury trial in divorce cases.

The parties begin the process of “discovery” which may take the form of written questions, document requests, interviewing witnesses or taking depositions. The goal of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure is to assure full disclosure of both parties. You should participate in this process by reviewing the answers provided by the other side and relating any anomalous answers to your attorney.

The first court appearance most people experience is the pre-trial. The attorneys and the judge meet to discuss everything pertinent to your case. You are required to sit outside in a conference room. Your attorney should advise you of the possible issues to be covered and his strategy as it relates to these issues. Sometimes a party may request the other party to submit to drug testing, psychological testing, a home study or many other things. Sometimes the Court asks another professional to become involved in the case. If your case involves custody issues the court may appoint your children their own representative, a guardian ad litem. Often the pre-trial is a time to explore settlement and your attorney may shuttle back and forth with questions or offers. The better your communication and preparedness, the better you will feel about this process.

At any point in this process, you may wish to pursue a settlement. The better the communication between you and your lawyer, the more you will feel empowered to explore this option. Your attorney may counsel you to compromise and cooperate when you do not want to. Conversely, your attorney may tell you that you are being too accommodating. Remember, the attorney works for you not the other way around. Other methods are used to facilitate a settlement and these may be initiated by either the parties or the court. In fact, many counties have great success in using court-appointed mediators to allow the parties a chance to settle the case prior to a full trial. Currently, Greene County does not have a mandatory mediation process.

If the parties are unable to come to an agreement, the case proceeds to trial. Both parties present evidence and the judge decides the issues, including child custody and visitation, spousal support, property division and whether or not the divorce should be granted. If either party does not like the judge’s decision, they may appeal.

This process may last anywhere from a few months to several years. It may have many ups and downs. It may be petty and frustrating. It may empower you or make you feel as though you have absolutely no control. Even under the best of circumstances it will be traumatic and expensive. What is also amazing is that your adversary may not want to ever allow this process to end. The main determinant of how smoothly the process will go is the level of cooperation between the parties and their willingness to compromise. Family law lawyers can provide valuable counsel and objectivity in what can be emotionally charged situations. In my 16+ years of litigation, no two cases (or people) are alike.

Contact Charles M. Rowland II at (937) 318-1384 to schedule a free consultation about your divorce case today.  Mr. Rowland is past-president of the Greene County Bar Association and has written the book on Civil Litigation in Ohio.  He has served on the Beavercreek School Board and as President of TCN-BHS, Greene County’s Mental Health/Drug & Alcohol treatment provider.  He is a 2005 Fellow to the Ohio State Bar Foundation and is one of only a few Greene County Attorneys who have been selected to the American Bar Association Foundation.  Charles M. Rowland II and his team of divorce attorneys, financial analysts, detectives and litigation experts can help you through a simple dissolution or complex divorce litigation.  When there is so much on the line, call someone with the credentials to win your case. 1-888-ROWLAND.