Posts Tagged ‘ohio divorce’

Mediation in Divorce Court

December 20th, 2011

Divorce Cakes a_006

Throughout Ohio families are settling disputes in mediation and not in the courtroom. Ohio Revised Code 3109.052 authorizes mediation in cases involving the  allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.  Many courts now require that the parties try to reach an accommodation before they can terminate or modify a shared parenting plan.  An experienced attorney should be able to give you advice about the differences amongst the mediation programs offered by local courts.  Below is an example of a typical local rule regarding mediation; this rule is from the Greene County Domestic Relations Court:

3.02 MEDIATION OF DIFFERENCES AS TO ALLOCATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

In any action for divorce, legal separation, annulment, or the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of a minor child, or children where the parents do not agree upon an appropriate allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, the Court may Order the parents to mediate their differences on such issues as the Court directs in accordance with mandates of Section 3109.052 of the Ohio Revised Code. The Court shall refer the parties to a mediator of the Court’s choosing, either a staff mediator or an independent mediator who can provide mediation services, being qualified according to Sup. R. 16.

The mediator, on behalf of the parents, shall submit to the Court a report, which summarizes the mediation process, and shall indicate only whether agreement was reached or whether mediation failed. If an agreement was reached, the mediator shall report the content and details of the agreement to counsel or the parties. The Court is not bound by the mediation agreement, and in all cases shall be governed by the best interests of the minor child or children.

The costs of mediation shall be paid by each parent in proportional amounts as shall be determined by the Court, or in such other manner as the Court may direct.

3.03 THE ROLE AND AUTHORITY OF THE MEDIATOR

The role of the mediator is to assist the parties in identifying the issues involved, reducing any misunderstanding regarding such issues, clarifying the priorities of the parties in relation to the best interest of the child or children, exploring areas of compromise, and finding points of mutual agreement. While it is imperative to the success of the mediation that the parties fully participate in the mediation process, the process may be terminated upon the decision of the mediator. The mediator shall terminate any mediation in which the parties are abusive, either to each other or to the mediator during the course of the mediation.

Mediator shall make no recommendation to the Court based on either the parties’ statement during the mediation process or any personal evaluation by the mediator of the comparative fitness of the parties as a custodial parent. Statements made during mediation shall be considered inadmissible as evidence pursuant to Evidence Rule 408. Further, no mediator shall be considered as a witness regarding any matter in which he or she has participated as a mediator.

Any mediator providing services for the Court shall utilize procedures that will:

A. Screen for Domestic Violence before and during mediation.

B. Encourage appropriate referrals to legal counsel and other support services for parties to the mediation.

Mediation is often appropriate where there is a change of circumstances of sufficient merit to permit a court to modify the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.  For practitioners, mediation can help make decision making less contentious and provide an environment conducive to determining the best interests of the child.  In my practice, I have seen successful mediation in matters such as schooling, religious issues, discipline, medical issues, and issues involving a wide range of issues related to the child’s upbringing.  It can also be a less expensive alternative than to litigate these matters in an adversarial proceeding.

Find out more by contacting Jamie L. Anderson at (937) 879-9542 or visit www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com.  Jamie dedicates her practice to helping people make good decisions about their family, their finances and their future.

Child Support Laws Change as Arrearages Rise

December 1st, 2011

A new law went into effect September 28, 2011 that reduces license suspensions for parents who fall behind on their child support payments. The new law provides that parents who pay at least half of their court-ordered child support will no longer face suspension of their driver’s or professional licenses. Another provision will allow parents to have prior suspensions for failing to pay child support removed from their driving record. Under the new law, county child-support enforcement agencies must look back 90 days to see if a parent has paid less than 50 percent of his child support obligation. If so, the agency sends a pre-suspension notice, giving the parent the opportunity to pay the deficiency. If the parent fails to pay, he or she faces driver’s license suspension. To reinstate the driver’s license, the parent must pay in full or report new employment.

These changes came as a result of the recommendations of a task force and are in conformity with a sentence-reform law that encourages judges to sentence non-payers to community service or probation instead of jail. There are 341 inmates in Ohio prisons for failure to pay child support according to the Ohio Department of Corrections.

The number of incarcerated parents is small compared to overall numbers of parents who have fell behind in their chidl support payments. The Dayton Daily News reported recently that half of Montgomery County’s 59,300 child support cases are in default. Neighboring counties, including Greene, Clark, Warren, Preble, and Miami have default rates ranging from 64 to 82 percent. Ohios overall child support default rate is 70 percent.

Neighboring counties have default rates ranging from 64 to 82 percent. Ohio’s child support default rate is 70 percent.  County and state officials blame the economy, high unemployment and parents’ inability to pay the amounts mandated by the courts for many of the defaults. Officials also cite difficulties establishing proper wage withholding processes with some parents’ employers.

Changes in Child Support Laws Mean Fewer Suspensions

December 1st, 2011
Band-aides support

Last year over 100,000 parents had their driver’s license suspended for failure to satisfy their child support obligation.  Many advocates suggest that it is an inability to pay not an unwillingness and point to the downturn in Ohio’s economy.  On Wednesday a new law will go into effect allowing parents who pay at least 1/2 (one half) of their child support obligation to avoid a license suspension.  In addition, the law will allow cooperating parents to remove existing license suspensions from their record.

If you face a driver’s license suspension, a driving under suspension charge, or need help with your child support obligation, please contact Brown, Rowland, Babb & Campbell at (937) 318-1384.

DUI & Divorce

April 12th, 2011
A picture on the wall of Freshness Burger

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 license 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.   If you are seeking an adoption, a DUI conviction may be used against you by an investigating agency charged with deciding if you are approved. Visit www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com for issues involving child custody.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has long 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.  Make sure that you review your divorce decree to see if any such language is included and decide whether or not you will engage in negotiations to remove this language.

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.

Ohio Divorce Attorney

June 1st, 2010

If you are in need of an exceptional Ohio divorce, custody, dissolution, or child support attorney, please consider Patricia Campbell.  Patricia Campbell can be found at www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com and can be reached at 937-879-9542.  Patricia Campbell practices divorce law in Greene, Montgomery, Clark, Warren, Miami and throughout Ohio. Please read below to find out about Ohio divorce attorney Patricia Campbell.

BIOGRAPHY OF PATRICIA CAMPBELL (BROWN, ROWLAND, BABB & CAMPBELL)

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Patricia Campbell grew up in Beavercreek, Ohio. She graduated from Wright State University with a degree in Political Science, magna cum laude as a University Honors Scholar and was conferred an Academic Letter for achieving the Outstanding Delegation Award and Outstanding Delegate at the National Model United Nations.

Ms. Campbell attended University of Dayton School of Law on the Dean’s Merit Scholarship and as an Ohio Board of Regents Scholar. While in law school, Ms. Campbell was a member of the Law Review, clerked for the Honorable Patrick J. Foley at the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, and received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Jurisprudence.

Upon graduating from law school, Ms. Campbell clerked for the Honorable Roger L. Kline at the Fourth District Court of Appeals. As a clerk, Ms. Campbell drafted opinions for the court, many of which were selected for publication. Ms. Campbell now practices exclusively in domestic relations.  She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and continuously works to stay abreast of the newest developments in the law, including collaborative practice.   Ms. Campbell also serves on the Board of Directors for Roads to Recovery, a resource center for families of children with autism.

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