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Questions Answered by Joseph Jaap
2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Ohio on
Q: My divorce got finalized a few months ago. I just found out he was hiding money. Is there anything I can do ?

He left 7 cents in the joint account where my paychecks went to and made it seem like he was broke and struggling. He had over $20,000 in one of his accounts. I’ve been having car problems, driving an hour to and from work and ended up moving a few hours away because he kept harassing me, would... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 25, 2022

Contact the lawyer that handled your divorce and discuss the new financial information you have discovered. Or if you did not have an attorney, use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain an attorney to review the situation and advise you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: Issue with neighbor house

I own a home in Ohio that was built in the early 1900’s along with its surrounding homes. It’s in a neighborhood where the houses are very close together, but the house to the left of ours is abnormally close like 4ft. They are missing gutters along that side of the house that borders ours and... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 24, 2022

Tell them you will talk to the local building dept. which might issue a building code violation. Or you could sue them for any damages caused by the excessive water.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I live in Oregon and my children live in Ohio with their father. I have the kids during the summer and holidays. Today

A detective called me and said my ex husband is under investigation. I need to file for emergency custody, but I'm not sure how to.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 18, 2022

What you do depends on if you are currently married to the father, never married to him, or divorced with a court-ordered parenting plan currently in effect. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to contact a family law attorney in the county where the children reside review the situation and advise you of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Grandparent visitation. I’m the mother the paternal grandmother is requesting a schedule that is unrealistic.
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 18, 2022

If you can't resolve it with her to find a mutually agreeable schedule, then attend the hearing and present your plan to the judge. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local family law attorney to assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: What rights as a tenant do I have after moving out of almost 5 years? Like how much is my responsibility?

I’m charged over 13,000$

Deposit, rent credits so it’s 10,900

But I feel charged are extremely excessively high

Like paint 600$ Carpet? New doors, trim?

So where would I stand?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 16, 2022

A tenant is only responsible for any damages beyond normal wear and tear. A landlord must give tenant an itemized list of damage within 30 days after tenant vacates. If tenant refuses to pay, then landlord can sue, but landlord must prove that the damage exceeds normal wear and tear. Routine... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Ohio on
Q: Is my HOA contract still valid and do I need to continue to pay annually?

My HOA declarations list the incorrect county and the "city guidelines" around design elements are based on the WRONG city. The board voted to amend but because of verbiage in the contract, we need a vote from 75% of the lots. That failed, and now no changes can be made. Because of these... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 16, 2022

If the HOA declaration was properly recorded in your county recorder's office, then until somebody sues the HOA in court, and a court rules the HOA declaration invalid, the HOA can enforce it. A court would probably consider the wrong city/county as a mere drafting error that is not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Divorce for Ohio on
Q: My ex-wife and I still own a house together. She is refusing to pay any amount of the mortgage. What can I do

We bought the house, in North Carolina, shortly after getting married. Our jobs moved us out of state and we rented the house out on a 5 year lease with option to buy. The renters didn't buy, but still living there without paying rent (another legal issue in progress), and my now ex-wife is... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 13, 2022

Your divorce decree should have specified what was to happen to that house, who was to pay mortgage, expenses, etc. If ex is not complying with the decree, then you can file with the court that issued your divorce decree and ask the judge to order her to comply and to hold her in contempt if she... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Construction Law for Ohio on
Q: Am I obligated to pay?

In December I contacted a company to build me new porch steps. They said they would reach out to me at the beginning of the year for details. In February we were chatting and we discuss me paying half up front and half upon completion. After sending my address I never heard from them so I made... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 12, 2022

If you don't pay, they could sue you. Depending on the facts, you might have made an oral contract with them. But it would be difficult for them to prove the terms of the oral contract it in court. You could deny there was a contract. If they did not give you the required consumer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Ohio on
Q: Can an HOA create a rental cap?

We have quite a few homes being sold to rental companies and those companies do not respond well to any HOA rules targeted at making the home acceptable in appearance per our CCRs. Nor do they engage in any type of vote. Can we put a cap of 15% on rentals allowed?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 9, 2022

The HOA can amend its declaration by following the process specified in the declaration and recording the amendment in the county recorder's office. The HOA board can retain a local real estate attorney to assist with that process.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Divorce for Ohio on
Q: Want Divorce from alcoholic husband. Together we have 3 daughters and he refuses leave! What are my options?

Married 12 years.

His unpredictable behaviors are escalating, now having people over 4 nights a week, until 2am most times. I am a professional with a demanding schedule and will need a nanny afterwards. I'm very on edge lately not sleeping, worrying about the safety of myself and... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 9, 2022

That's a difficult situation. Use the Find a Lawyer tab to talk to a few local divorce attorneys about your situation to find one you are comfortable working with. Many offer free consultations. When you file for divorce, you can ask the court for possession of the home, so he would have to... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: Girlfriend is on lease I am not.Her dad (who does not live here) is on lease.Can he evict me.

My girlfriend and I live together in a house she rented. We agreed to split bills. I guess when she rented it her father helped her get the place.

He is also on the lease. For whatever reason he wants me out. He doesnt live here never has.

But he isnt the landlord. So what rights... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 4, 2022

Some courts allow a tenant to evict an occupant. Other courts only allow a landlord to file an eviction. Check with your local court. But even if he cannot successfully evict you, he could still file it, even though it would later get dismissed. But an eviction filing, even if dismissed, is a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: I am in the process of eviction and if I pay the amount on the paper does that get rid of the eviction and I don't have
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 2, 2022

If landlord accepts payment, landlord should dismiss the eviction complaint. But once filed, an eviction complaint is a permanent court record, even if dismissed. Check if your county has a process to remove dismissed evictions from the public record, so it doesn't make it difficult for you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Ohio on
Q: My questions are: what exactly is she entitled to if there is a life estate and is a copy of the trust enforceable?

My dad passed away in 2005, and he has a will and a trust set up. The trust states that my brother and I receive everything and once we were both of the age 25, we became co-trustees. I am 30 now and in the process of buying my brother out of his half of the house. My mom is saying she has a life... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 2, 2022

This is too complicated to be answered on line. As a co-trustee, you are certainly entitled to a copy of the trust. Ask your mother's lawyer for a copy. If you don't already have an attorney, then use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local estate planning attorney who can review the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Ohio on
Q: Can my ex sue me for throwing out his stuff when it’s been well over 6 months?

We have no verbal or written agreement for when he should get his stuff. Also I have only promised to keep his things while we were together. We broke up July 2021 and it is now May 2022. I also told him on August 12th, 2021 to come get his own things and that I was no longer helping him.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 2, 2022

To be absolutely safe, an eviction action would allow his thing to be throw out legally. Some people would send a written letter and give a deadline of the date to come pick things up, or they would be thrown away. But that is risky. Anybody can sue anyone for anything. If you just throw his... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: How much vacate notice must I give a month-month tenant who paid first and last month to move in?

I am a live-in landlord in Ohio. I rent rooms in my home month-month. My tenant paid first and last month's rent to move in but broke the term of his lease on day one. At that time, I gave him 60 days written notice to move out. He hasn't paid me since then. I didn’t want him to because... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on May 2, 2022

If a tenant has breached a term of the lease, then a 3 day notice can be given now, and if tenant doesn't leave, landlord can file an eviction. At the eviction hearing, the judge would determine if there was a valid basis. If a monthly tenancy is merely being terminated for convenience by... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Ohio on
Q: Divorce question.

My wife and I are seperated and getting a divorce. She has offered to settle out of court with her getting 20% of my income. She says I should take the deal because if we go to court she will be granted 33% automatically. She's claims to to have medical conditions that won't allow her to... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Apr 29, 2022

If a person claims they cannot work, that is one issue that a court could consider, and could require proof. Otherwise, the court could assume how much income that person should be able to earn in calculating spousal support amounts. There is no "automatic 33%" formula. Each case is... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Ohio on
Q: How do Seniors actually find a pro bono litigation attorney to contest the will in Belmont County Ohio
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Apr 27, 2022

Try your local Senior Services agency, local legal aid, or the Ohio Dept. of Aging PASSPORT program.

https://aging.ohio.gov/care-and-living/get-help/home-and-community-care/passport-1

But those services might not help to contest a will. If there is an estate with money, and someone...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: Do my lanlord owe me, if my signed lease has incorrect rental payment amount?

My signed lease states rent payment of $895.00. But the set rental price is $995.00 on their website and online resident portal. Does the leasing office legally owe me for overpayment? Can it be applied to my next months rent?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Apr 27, 2022

You are only legally obligated to pay the rent specified in the written lease that you and landlord both signed. You'll have to work it out with the landlord. Take a copy of your written lease to the landlord and show them that your lease says $895. If you have overpaid, and landlord... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Animal / Dog Law for Ohio on
Q: Can I be sued even though he left her for a month with no check ups?

In 2019 we got a dog. Then she became everyone’s since I worked. He would always say it’s his dog but no legal papers saying he has ownership. Recently he moved. And I registered her under my name and now he is threatening to sue me. And he didn’t care about her for over a month since he’s... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Apr 27, 2022

A dog is considered personal property. If he sues you to get the dog, the court will determine who is the rightful owner based on all the evidence and testimony. You can use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local attorney if he sues you. Until then, you don't have to respond to him.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Ohio on
Q: my land lord is pretty much kicking us out, and aren’t giving us our prepaid rent back. is that legal to do?

they said the whole house smells like cat urine, but we have multiple litter boxes, and nobody has agreed with our landlord. we prepaid 4 months worth of rent, and they’re keeping it and kicking us out, they said they have to replace carpets, but isn’t that what the security deposit is for?

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Apr 27, 2022

When a tenant vacates, landlord must give a tenant a written notice of any security deposit or money retained. Landlord must give the notice within 30 days after the tenant vacates. If not, then tenant can sue landlord in small claims court for the return of the money. If the tenant has given... Read more »

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