Marriages, Civil Unions, Domestice Partnerships & Divorce

Family law involves topics related to marital rights and obligations and parent-child relationships. Domestic relations cases include initiation of divorce, dissolution and annulment proceedings, as well as resolution of post-decree controversies over child custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, and enforcement of marital property rights. Family law also includes adoption, guardianship, and children's services proceedings, as well as private filings for domestic violence and restraining orders. Courts of appropriate jurisdiction include the Domestic Relations, Juvenile, and Probate divisions for the Common Pleas courts of Ohio.

Different standards are used by the courts to make determinations with respect to whether custodial rights are in the best interests of children, whether property rights and obligations are fair and equitable, whether guardianships are reasonable and necessary, whether there is clear and convincing evidence that parental rights should be terminated, etc.

There are also frequently out-of-court resources for purposes of trying to resolve controversies without recourse to trial before a court of law.  These include mediation, arbitration, private settlement conferences, and, in cases involving children or persons alleged to be incompetent, appointment of guardians ad litem to conduct private investigations and make recommendations to the parties, their counsel, and the court.

Any legal matter can be confusing, so it is wise to consult with an attorney to help you understand your rights, your obligations, and to protect your interests. An attorney with experience in family law disciplines knows how to maneuver the complicated legal processes proficiently and to obtain the best result possible under the circumstances of your legal matter.