Family Law

Divorce

A divorce is the legal termination of a matrimonial relationship. Divorces often result in a multitude of emotional, parental and financial crises.

Unlike a divorce, a legal separation does not terminate a marriage. A legal separation can provide you with a court order to protect your interests while living apart from your spouse.

The severing of the ties that bind a family together can often bring with it difficult issues to resolve on the path to creating a new life and organization of an individual and their family.

These issues often manifest themselves in Custody Disputes, Disputes over Visitation and Access to children, the Allocation of Parental Rights, Personal and Real Property Disputes, Disputes over Marital Assets, Spousal Support or Alimony, and the Distribution of Debts.

The breakdown and dissolution of the matrimonial relationship carries significant emotional, familial, financial and legal consequences. If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse, you should not hesitate to secure legal counsel.

Custody/Visitation

Child custody issues are some of the most stressful, challenging, emotional and traumatic issues to litigate. Child Custody determines where a child will live.

In a battle between parents, the best interests of the child determine who will get custody. Ohio Courts will consider many issues to decide who is most capable, better suited, and can provide the best lifestyle for a minor child in deciding custody.

In a battle between anyone other than a parent, including grandparents, Child Protective Services (CPS), or any other person seeking custody, a court must first find that a parent is unsuitable for custody before granting custody to a nonparent.

Joint Custody

Parents can share joint custody. This does not necessarily mean that the child's time is divided evenly with each parent, but instead refers to a situation in which the child lives part of the time with each parent rather than living only with one and visiting the other. In cases of joint custody, the parent who has the child most of the time is called the primary custodial parent.

These decisions are important because they directly impact visitation schedules and child support payment amounts.

Rights of Non-Custodial Parents

Just because you do not have primary physical custody of a child, you still have rights and responsibilities as a parent. Regardless of a custody arrangement, a noncustodial parent still may have rights to assist in making decisions affecting their child's health, education, and general well-being.

Child Custody Modification

Whenever there is a significant change in circumstances, a parent can seek modification of a Child Custody Order. Some common significant changes in circumstances are drug dependency of a parent, legal problems affecting a parent, abuse, neglect, or dependency of the child, or any other circumstances which would significantly alter the best interests of the child.

Child Support

Even when separate parents can get along, filing for or paying child support can be a stressful and emotional procedure. A child support lawyer can assist you help you navigate the process.

McNeal Legal Services can be your partner, and aggressively protect your interests in a child support matter. We can help answer questions regarding your case, file necessary court documents in a timely manner, and identify and strategically manage legal information and issues to help you achieve the best outcome possible under Ohio Child Support laws.

For Custodial Parents and Child Support Obligees
Before you can receive child support , there are several preliminary steps involved. First, you must legally establish your child's paternity (proof of who is the father). Next, you must complete appropriate legal documents to file for child support. Finally, you must obtain a court order establishing the the terms of your child support payments including the amounts, and when payments will be due.

For Non-Custodial Parents and Child Support Obligors
Non-Custodial parents are typical Child Support Obligors, and should seek legal counsel to protect their interests. Whether you wish to challenge paternity of a child, or make sure you are not ordered to pay more child support than you can afford, or should be required to under law, it is very important to retain competent and experienced legal counsel.

Non-Custodial Child Support Obligors often run into problems such as significant changes in circumstances rendering them unable to pay their support amount. Whether they have lost a job, become disabled, or need to relocate, all of these issues can result in an inability to pay support when due, in the full amount, and can lead to the accrual of child support arrearages.

Failure to pay child support can lead to many adverse outcomes such as seizure of financial assets, garnishment of wages, suspension of drivers licenses, revocation of professional licenses and passports, and even jail time.