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Ohio Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption, Child Custody and Child Support for Ohio on
Q: In the state of Ohio can your friends parents kick your friend out when 18 and still in high school(current junior)?
Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Feb 26, 2024

Tricky question. Technically a parent has an obligation to parent a child until they emancipate. That usually happens when the child is both 18 AND a high school graduate. This may be further complicated if a parent is receiving child support on behalf of that child. This question does not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Ohio on
Q: My ex girlfriend just gave birth to a baby that she says is mine, but there are actually questions around the paternity.

How do I go about getting a DNA test? She is obstructing and being difficult at every opportunity, vowing not to ever let me near the baby out of nothing more than spite. I can't afford to retain a lawyer.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 25, 2024

I would suggest taking a few steps to establish paternity:

1. Seek legal counsel. A family law attorney can advise you on your rights and the process for establishing paternity in your state. They can help you file a motion with the court to compel a DNA test if the mother is uncooperative....
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1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: My neighbor has a situation. She has her children living with her but her ex husband still has an order for child

Support that she needs to have changed in the court system. She can't afford a lawyer and I don't think our area legal aid handles these cases anymore. Any advice or help for her appreciated.

Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Feb 25, 2024

She and the ex need to file a joint entry (with the judge's signature) modifying the parenting plan to reflect this new situation. Once that is in place she needs to contact CSEA and provide a certified copy of the filed entry to them requesting the modification of the support award.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Is is fraud to have wedding ceremony but not get legally married? Marriage could negatively impact debt liability + SSI.

Asking for friends. If a disabled person and a non-disabled person are dating, and want to get married for religious + social reasons, but discover marriage would put the disabled partner over the income limit for SSI, is a non-legal religious ceremony ok? Or is it fraud?

In this case,... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 25, 2024

Holding a wedding ceremony without completing the legal formalities to become officially married is not, in itself, fraud. Many couples choose to have a religious or ceremonial marriage without the legal recognition for various personal reasons, including financial or medical benefit... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Personal Injury for Ohio on
Q: Is it legal for a husband to refuse to take wife to hospital

I had a concussion and cannot drive and needed to be taken to hospital

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Feb 23, 2024

In Ohio, as in other jurisdictions, while there is a general moral expectation for spouses to care for each other, especially in emergencies, the legality of a husband refusing to take his wife to the hospital, such as in the case of a concussion, is complex. There are no specific laws compelling a... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Started common law marriage in Montana moved to Ohio and continued filing all taxes as married 15 years total.

Also recieved medicaid for our children as married in both states. Gave wife wedding rings. Joint bank accounts and shared property. We are now seperated for 4 years. We lived together had implied agreement through filing taxes state and federal as married in Montana for 7 years and continued the... View More

Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Feb 22, 2024

In order to fully answer this question, one would need to know whether or not the couple described map of the criteria for common law marriage in Montana when they moved to Ohio. Ohio has not recognized common law marriage (within the state) since 1990. If, however, the couple met all the criteria... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I have 2 children that I've taken care of solely for 5 of the past 9 years. Unmarried, in Ohio-

The past 4 years , he has sent money but has spoken to the kids maybe 3 times total, lives multiple states away, and has made zero effort to contact the kids himself (he's had their numbers and mailing address). Given the circumstances, would this be considered abandonment and allow... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Feb 13, 2024

In Ohio, the situation you described might not automatically qualify as legal abandonment in the context of terminating parental rights. While the father's lack of physical presence and minimal communication over several years could be considered factors in a case regarding custody or... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Ohio on
Q: reaching for some legal help

Hello, I am reaching for some legal help. Does my wife have right to take our children away to her mothers house? I was “kicked out” from the home a month ago, against my will, but been present and coming back daily to see the children and to spend time with them. My wife is claiming that she... View More

Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Feb 5, 2024

In the absence of a court order, married parents have equal rights to their children. Thus, she is within her rights to take them over to her mother's house, and you are within your rights to spend time with them as well. Your best course would be to hire an attorney and file a divorce and... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: For a dissolution do we need to list checking accounts, vehicles and mortgage that is already in our separate names
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 31, 2024

Yes, each spouse must list all assets and liabilities. Even if accounts are in separate names, they most likely will be considered marital assets. Use the Find a Lawyer to retain a local family law attorney to assist with the forms, because if you a make a mistake on the forms, you might not be... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Ohio on
Q: I'm seaching information on filing for divorce involving domestic violence and husband on trial. I'm 7 months pregnant.

I need information. He is wanting to sell our home while I'm still in it with my protection order, I need to buy a home for my kids and I. He is currently awaiting trial for domestic violence and strangulation of myself, I am 7 months pregnant. Information on child custody and support as he... View More

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
answered on Jan 30, 2024

That must be very worrisome. But he cannot sell the home without your signature on the deed, even if you are not named on the deed. In Ohio, but spouses must sign any deed for real estate owned by either or both of them - so you both have to agree to any sale. If you file for divorce, you can... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I have temp custody of my step children the mother has missed a lot of court ordered supervised visits is that abandoned

I am the stepmother who has temporary custody and the children. The mother has messed a year and a half of visits with one child, and eight months of visits with the other, trying to figure out if that’s considered abandonment.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 30, 2024

In Ohio, the situation you describe may potentially be considered as a form of abandonment, particularly given the significant amount of time the biological mother has missed court-ordered supervised visits. Abandonment in child custody cases often refers to a parent's failure to maintain... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: Can I get copies of CPS investigations and records from my childhood in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and South Carolina? How?

As a child I dealt with abuse, there were many investigations between the three states. In Ohio me and my siblings were taken into CPS custody. I've recently received some court documents from one investigation in the estate of my now passed abuser. And want to know if I can get the other... View More

Kelly A Rochotte
Kelly A Rochotte
answered on Jan 28, 2024

You may contact them directly and request the relevant county's general process. You are entitled to the records that concern you, but you may be required to execute an authorization, which will look different depending on the state and county where the investigation(s) took place. Some... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: The opposing party's attorney is first cousins with the judge. Is this conflict of interest?

This is for a divorce case with children. We are now going in front of the judge as the magistrate just quit.

Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Jan 28, 2024

Likely it is cause for disqualification. Ohio Jud. Cond. R. 2.11 states in material part:

(A) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to the following circumstances:...
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3 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Family Law and Divorce for Ohio on
Q: As a custodial parent, do I have the right to claim my son for taxes even though the decree says to alternate?

When first filing for divorce, I agreed to alternate years of claiming my son on taxes with my ex. It's 3.5 years later and I have my son full-time, he has never once had him for a weekend in his home. I would not have agreed to this if I would've known I would be the one to have my son... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 26, 2024

In your situation, the IRS generally allows the custodial parent to claim the child for tax purposes. The custodial parent is typically the one with whom the child spends the majority of nights during the year. However, the IRS's rules don't automatically override the terms of your... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Tax Law, Family Law and Divorce for Ohio on
Q: As a custodial parent, do I have the right to claim my son for taxes even though the decree says to alternate?

When first filing for divorce, I agreed to alternate years of claiming my son on taxes with my ex. It's 3.5 years later and I have my son full-time, he has never once had him for a weekend in his home. I would not have agreed to this if I would've known I would be the one to have my son... View More

Kelly A Rochotte
Kelly A Rochotte
answered on Jan 28, 2024

First, the state isn't going to be the one holding you in contempt, your ex-spouse would be the one bringing a contempt action to enforce the terms of your decree. Second, given that he is not exercising the requisite amount of time needed by the IRS in order to properly claim a minor child,... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Legal Malpractice and Family Law for Ohio on
Q: If a magistrate gives my wife legal advice regarding our divorce and I have proof. Can I sue them?
Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Jan 24, 2024

It is unlikely you can successfully sue the magistrate. In general, public officials enjoy what's called sovereign immunity. You may report the magistrate to your local Bar Association if they have truly stepped outside of their role and become an advocate for your wife. Mind you, simply... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Adoption and Child Custody for Ohio on
Q: I am raising my grandchild,I have custody, dad's been in prison 95% of his life ,I want to move to Florida,from Ohio

Mother's moving with me, grandmother on father's side has grandparents rights too ,does she lose her rights ,child 8

Todd B. Kotler
Todd B. Kotler
answered on Jan 24, 2024

I would frame the question like this; should a child lose their right to have a meaningful relationship with the grandparents simply because their guardian is moving? You will need to have an attorney review the full order granting you custody. Often, when another grandparent has been formally... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Support for Ohio on
Q: How long does a judge have to complete a journal entry or judgement entry on the child support order case?

Everything was ordered in court but still waiting on entry

Kelly A Rochotte
Kelly A Rochotte
answered on Jan 23, 2024

Generally speaking, the judgment entry will be issued after the magistrate's decision. Generally speaking in Ohio, the court is expected to do so "timely" following an adjudicative hearing. If a magistrate is issuing a decision, you will have 14 days to file any objections to that... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: My son’s family and I have already paid for our cruise and there’s no refund for it.

He still wants his family to go on the cruise but his wife is threatening not to go and saying if he goes, he is abandoned his kids. But there’s no refund for the cruise and he doesn’t want me to go by myself. Will he be abandon his kids by the cord if he goes on the ship when there’s nothing... View More

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Jan 22, 2024

In Ohio, family law matters are typically governed by Ohio state laws, not Kentucky laws. However, if there is no existing legal agreement or court order regarding custody and visitation, your son is generally not legally prohibited from going on the cruise if his wife chooses not to attend. Until... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Ohio on
Q: Our parenting time schedule (ages 2-13) states pick up time is 4pm* with the asterisk being defined as 4pm if there is

no school, if there is school then pick up time shall be after school*. The child in question is 4 years old. This school is also a daycare which is what the child attends at the time. Father is stating that means that since he is not in school, it is daycare, that pick up is 4pm everyday. I read... View More

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Jan 22, 2024

I would not interpret "daycare" as "school." Daycares typically provide child care services so that a parent can drop a child off somewhere relatively safe while the parent goes to work. Schools typically provide an educational curriculum in accordance with specific legal... View More

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