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Questions Answered by Cathy Cook Esq
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Ohio on
Q: Can my boyfriend adopt my daughter without fathers permission?

My daughter is 5 years old, she has no father on her birth certificate and no dna has been established. He hasn't supported her or bothered to be apart of her life. My boyfriend wants to adopt her he's been in her life since she was a year and half and we have two kids together. Can he... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 14, 2021

You have to be married for your boyfriend to adopt her. You still have to notify father of the adoption, but may not need his permission. You should discuss this with a local attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Yes there are relatives that can, but no one knows what they need or how to go about it.

This is a response to Cathy Cook, Esq. about the 15 yr old girl

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 13, 2021

One of the relatives needs to consult with a family law attorney in your area to learn how to file with the court.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I have a 15 yr old girl I work with that wants to get away from her mother, who has substance and alcohol abuse issues.

CPS hasn’t helped. The child wants to move out. Is there anything that can be done legally? I do not want her to run away

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 12, 2021

Unfortunately, Ohio does not have self-emancipation for minors. Is there a relative who could file for custody?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Not married but want to separate with one child.

We've been together for 13 years with a daughter whos 11. I want to separate from him for cheating. Do I automatically get custody of our daughter and will I get child support? I've been disabled since 2012 and get ssd. I haven't worked since 2012. I need help.

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 11, 2021

Because you are not married, yes, you have custody by law. Father can seek shared parenting, custody, and/or parenting time through the court. You will need to file for child support.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Ohio on
Q: My wife and I live in a house her father owns we have an oral contract. If we divorce who has rights to live there?

I pay all the bills including rent, utilities, phone, internet, and car. We have 2 kids both under 2 years old. She is unemployed and has been unemployed for over 2 years her last 4 jobs she only worked at for about a month or 2 and that was over about a 2 year period.

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 11, 2021

I agree with the prior answer. Once you are required to leave, you may need to file for divorce to receive parenting time if you cannot agree. Your wife may file to get support, both child and spousal. You may need a vocational expert to show what your wife is capable of earning.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Tax Law for Ohio on
Q: I claimed my child in taxes who gets the stimulus money me or my ex husband?
Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 9, 2021

If you are the custodial parent, you do. If you and your ex have shared parenting, the court may divide the stimulus between you.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Ohio on
Q: So im wondering i am going through divorce and there was an accidental condo fire... Am i now in contempt of court?

Standard mutual protection order: Pursuant to Local Domestic Rule 43, IT IS ORDERED that effective on the date a Complaint is filed, each spouse is enjoined from committing any of the following acts:

"Selling, damaging, destroying, removing from its present location, encumbering,... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 9, 2021

Accidental fire is not a violation. If she is keeping the children from you, you need to file a motion for parenting time.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: What can happen if not provided counsel prior to court hearing resulting in loss of custody

State took child, this isn't a custody between parents. A cps case was opened. This was a legal rights hearing.

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 9, 2021

If the state took your children, you are entitled to counsel. However if it was the other parent or another person who sought custody, you do not have a to be appointed counsel.

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1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: How do I get child support stopped?

I have three children ages 12, 8, and 5. Current child support order. No court visitation schedule. Dad is harassing me. Threatening me. Telling me if I do not drop support order "I will see what happens. Children barely see him. I tried to go through child support they said only way they... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 5, 2021

Do you really believe he will not bother you if you drop support? If so, and you want to do this, either you or he would have to file a motion to modify support. You can agree to do so, unless you are receiving government assistance.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Ohio on
Q: I had a dissolution in 2017. We agreed to no child support for either of us. Can she take me back to court for support?

We agreed in our dissolution, to no child support. She came to me shortly after that, and demanded I paid her. So I have been paying support, since then, though I was not ordered by any court to do so, so she wouldn’t move my child a long distance from me. Now she has brought up going through the... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 4, 2021

The other answer is correct, but the mother must show a change in incomes since the divorce to obtain a support order.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I have a shared parenting agreement however my ex is using covid not to get his son. He hasn't gotten him since 3/2020.

Can I do anything about it? Also if my son is too much for me, can give temporary custody of him to his father? How do I do that? His father doesn't speak to me at all and I have asked for his help before and he will not help at all. Medically I can no longer live with him as he gives me... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 4, 2021

The prior answer is correct. Unfortunately, you can’t force the father to exercise parenting time or take your child to live with him.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Juvenile Law for Ohio on
Q: My son is 15. I'm wanting a 50/50 agreement. Do I need to file a motion to modify custody, or just visitation?

We currently have a shared parenting agreement. I have him twice a week after school until 8 and every other weekend. We split all holidays and breaks from school. But the magistrate said she still considers it basically standard visitation, and the mother the primary guardian or custodial parent,... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 2, 2021

Yes, you should file to modify parenting time. It would be best to have an attorney assist you in how best to present your arguments. You will probably want to ask the magistrate or judge to interview him on what time he’d like with you.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Divorce and Domestic Violence for Ohio on
Q: My question is about expungement

I was charged with M4 DV in 2019. I pled to MM Dis. Conduct and I recently applied to have my record expunged. Here is my concern: in 2008 I was charged with M1 DV and I pled to M4 DV. I got that record expunged. I'm now concerned that when looking this up, they could decide that I should... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 1, 2021

No, once you plead & are convicted, the case can’t be reopened.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Can I get in trouble for my 18teen year old not going to school
Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Mar 1, 2021

No. An 18 year old is an adult over whom you have no legal control. It’s unfortunate you can’t convince your child to complete high school

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Adoption for Ohio on
Q: My daughter is 15 and her bio dad isn’t on the birth certificate or around , can my husband of 8 years adopt her?

My daughter’s biological father is not listed on the birth certificate and has never paid child support. We have proved paternity. He has never shown any interest is her whatsoever. My husband and I have been together since she was two and would love to adopt her. Do we have to get her biological... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Feb 28, 2021

Based on the facts you’ve provided, a step-parent adoption can occur. You will have to notify father, but don’t need his permission based on no support and no contact for one year.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Domestic Violence for Ohio on
Q: I would like advice before going to child support court. My son's father was jailed for domestic violence on me

Will I need to be prepared to be questioned about this in court?

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Feb 25, 2021

The domestic violence case is not relevant unless the father lost his job due to being jailed. If so, then you need to let the court know this was from an assault on you, the mother, and he needs to continue to support his children.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I'm 18 and my guidance councler wont let me drop out even though I wont be able to graduate
Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Feb 23, 2021

Sounds like your guidance counselor is trying to help you. You should look into how you can complete school to help you with employment.

2 Answers | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I make $960 per month. My ex is asking for $940 a month in child support. Would a judge grant that?

We share custody. Judge said I don't have to pay child support which is documented in the parenting agreement, which she won't sign. Without that signed agreement, she is looking to have custody changed to the standard of 1-day a week and every other weekend. When I have been present his... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Feb 23, 2021

Glad you received equal time. Not sure how you were ordered to pay $774 per month, if you earn $940 per month. You may want someone check the numbers.

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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: If I have full custody do I have to let my daughter go visit her mother in another state if I don't feel it's safe to do

I have full custody in ohio and she doesnt have any legal rights as moved to california. Shes demanding I send her to California during the pandemic and I have no clue who she lives with or would be around if something happened.

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Feb 23, 2021

Based on what you say, she has no court ordered rights. Therefore, you ha no obligation to send her. Mom would have to file a motion to obtain parenting time.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce for Ohio on
Q: Hi I am going through a divorce my husband is about to file and he is living in Montana and me and the kids are in Ohio

Hi I am going through a divorce my husband is about to file and I live at his parents house with our to kids and he lives in Montana and I don't know were to start or what to do. We have been married 10 years and I haven't work but 1 of those. He is not going to try to pay me so he is... Read more »

Cathy Cook Esq
Cathy Cook Esq answered on Feb 22, 2021

Did you and he live in Ohio together during the marriage? If so, yes, file for divorce here and seek temporary child and spousal support. Did you live with your husband in Montana? If not,he may not be able to file there, but I don't know Montana law.

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