Hartley Law Office, LLC

Dayton, Ohio, Family Law Blog

Methods spouses use to conceal property

When you entered into your Ohio marriage, you probably never imagined a day might come when you would wonder whether your spouse was trying to hide something important from you. Regrettably, however, such situations arise all the time in modern marriages, and spouses sometimes take unethical actions to try and position themselves better financially ahead of a divorce. At Hartley Law Office LLC, we are well-versed in the various methods husbands and wives use to hide assets, and we have helped numerous clients uncover these actions and receive their fair share during divorce proceedings.

Among the more common methods spouses use to conceal assets is to simply move funds to a separate bank account. Often, the new account is at an entirely separate financial institution, and your spouse may, too, take strides to see that any communications from the new bank go somewhere other than your shared home.

What are some difficulties faced in a high-profile divorce?

You have probably read stories before about celebrity divorces or other high-profile divorces in Ohio. These stories often attract a lot of attention. However, it is important to keep in mind these are real people who have emotions and who are going through a tough time in their lives. A divorce is a divorce whether you’re an average Joe or a famous actor. In fact, for those with higher net incomes and fame, it can be an even more grueling process.

According to Vanity Fair, many celebrity divorces are handled very quickly because of having trained lawyers who are used to the demands of such a case. In addition, many high-profile couples go into a marriage with a prenuptial agreement, which helps to simplify divorce settlements. Despite how quickly the marriage is dissolved, though, there are still media reports that come out, which you have likely read. These stories can be very upsetting, and in some cases, damaging to a person’s image or career.

What is a gray divorce, and are you headed for one?

Do you remember the day you turned age 50? Perhaps, you went to your favorite Ohio restaurant or celebrated at home with family and friends. Nowadays, there are a lot of trendy and fun decorations for such parties, including banners that say, "50 and fabulous" and other clever phrases that make aging seem more like an adventure to anticipate, rather than something to dread.

There's another apparent trend, however (not just in Ohio, but throughout the nation as well) that, generally speaking, is usually not a pleasant experience: gray divorce. You may have heard the term or read about it in a magazine in a doctor's office waiting room. In fact, you may be one of many who are considering a marital split as you head into your fifth decade of life.

What defines the best interest of a child?

Ohio parents who are going through the divorce process have likely heard the term "best interest of the child" at some point. This is used as a measuring tool by the court to determine what decisions should be made regarding their custody, but exactly what factors into it?

The Child Custody Project has detailed essays regarding this topic. The best interest of the child, as they state it, is a "social necessity" and includes a huge number of different factors. For example, the lifestyle of the parents is often called into question. How much you make, whether or not you are employed, and if you can provide a stable lifestyle for the child are important. Home habits are also important, including the safety of the environment and how well you can protect and provide for your child.

Tips for successful visits with noncustodial children

If you live in Ohio and have a child who is not in your custody, maintaining a strong relationship with that child may benefit both of you. It is not always easy to maintain solid relationships with children who do not live with or near you, and this may be particularly true if the situation between you and your child’s other parent is especially acrimonious. At Hartley Law Office LLC, we understand that you may only get the chance to visit with your child on rare occasion, and we have helped many clients navigate the complexities of visitation agreements and improve familial relationships.

To make the most out of your time when your noncustodial child comes to stay with you, you can take certain steps to encourage a smooth transition for your child into your new home, and possibly, your new family. First, if you have moved on and now have a new romantic partner, be sensitive to your child, and ask that your new partner try not to take on a “parent” role when your child comes to visit. It is completely understandable for you to expect your child to respect your new partner, but respecting him or her and accepting discipline from this person are very different.

What are grandparents’ rights?

As a grandparent, you probably wish to have a relationship with your grandchildren. In most cases in Ohio, you are encouraged to do so by the children’s parents. Sometimes, though, there are situations where the parents do not want you in the children’s lives. This is where grandparents’ rights come in. These, according to the American Grandparents Association, are the rights to visitation you have with your grandchildren.

In general, they are not automatic. When your children were younger, you had automatic rights to see them and raise them. With your grandchildren, those rights are given to their parents, and it is up to them to decide who they want in their children’s lives. However, in some cases, the state has decided to step in and assist you with gaining rights to see your grandchildren when the parents are refusing to let you.

What is the 20/20/20 military divorce rule?

So, you are a resident of Ohio and married to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, and a divorce is in your near future. Odds are, you have a lot of important decisions to make, from where you will live to what will happen to any children you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse may share. A common question asked by many military spouses heading for divorce is what will happen to military benefits once the divorce is officially final.

Per Military.com, to continue to receive military benefits such as Tricare, and to be able to continue to use military commissaries after your divorce, you must meet certain conditions dictated by what is known as the 20/20/20 rule. Essentially, this rule states that, to continue to receive military benefits post-divorce, your marriage must have lasted at least 20 years, your spouse must have served at least 20 years, and your marriage and the service term must have overlapped by 20 years.

Is joint custody best for children?

Children are often silent victims of divorce. The stress and anxiety of having a family separate and move to different homes can be extremely hard for a child of any age to deal with. Parents often get wrapped up in the legalities of the divorce process, and may overlook the needs of their children. In some cases, parents may become so emotional that they fail to see the damage that they are doing to their children by keeping them away from the either parent. As part of the settlement, the couple or judge presiding over the case must determine whether sole or joint custody is best for the children involved. A study shows, however, that in many cases, joint custody is the most beneficial to children of divorce.

A study published in the Journal of Family Psychology reported that children are often better adjusted when they are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents. When compared to children who lived primarily with one parent, children of joint custody showed less emotional and behavioral problems. In addition, these children had better family relationships, higher self-esteem and did better in school. Although children don’t necessarily need to have joint custody, they do better if they spend large amounts of time with each parent.

How are your assets divided in a divorce?

If you and your spouse are navigating the complicated road of divorce, you are certainly not alone. Each year, a number of Ohio couples rely on divorce as a solution to remedy marital strain. You may have already begun to work through the tricky parts like child custody and alimony, but what about dividing your assets and fairly determining who gets what?

According to the Huffington Post, there are several factors that weigh heavily on the outcome of asset division. Each is considered in regards to your circumstances and those of your spouse. Often, one of the first things a court will take into account is your financial situation. Other factors include the following:

  • Your age and overall health
  • Your earning potential and current income
  • Whether or not you will be the parent with primary custody, and the needs of your children
  • How long you have been married
  • Your standard of living
  • How much property is owned by you and your spouse

Not ready to divorce? Legal separation may be an option

Divorce is a complicated process, and many Ohio couples find themselves hesitant to take this step. If you do not want to continue with your current living arrangement, yet find that divorce is not currently an option for many reasons, you may find that a legal separation agreement is the appropriate choice for you and your spouse. 

There are many reasons why a couple may not be ready to move forward with divorce, but simply living apart is not necessarily the best choice. With a legal separation agreement, you can effectively address issues related to spousal support, child custody and even property division, all while technically keeping the marriage legally intact.

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