At Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., LPA, our experienced attorneys have been helping individuals through complex family law and divorce issues since we opened our doors in 1979. We have a team of attorneys who understand that divorce isn't just the end of your marriage, it's the beginning a new road to travel for you and your family. You not only need a successful resolution, but you need to move on as efficiently and cost-effectively as the process allows.
A dissolution of marriage occurs when all property, custody, and support matters are settled by the parties prior to filing the action in Domestic Relations Court. This might include:
- A separation agreement - this document must be included with the filing along with other documents. Too often, an inadequate separation agreement will haunt parties long after the court terminates the marriage.
- A shared parenting plan (formerly known as joint custody) - this document is required if couples are going to have equal parenting rights and responsibilities.
Hiring an experienced family law attorney is crucial to making sure these documents are clearly written to achieve your goals with regards to parenting issues and property division.
Married couples intent on dissolving their marriage should consider the collaborative divorce process, especially for complicated custody, parenting time (visitation), and property issues. The collaborative process guides parents in crafting the outcome of transitioning the family from married to divorced rather than having a stranger (judge or magistrate) decide for them.
Some facts about collaborative divorce:
- In a collaborative divorce, both parties and attorneys sign a collaborative agreement mandating that all issues must be decided during the negotiating process, and the final outcome will be a dissolution filed with the Domestic Relations Court.
- Collaborative divorce is known as the "no court" alternative because if negotiations break down and a divorce action is filed, neither of the attorneys who participated in the collaborative process may represent their respective client in Court.
- Thus, collaborative divorce leads to more good faith negotiations between the parties and attorneys because there is a vested interest in all involved to come to a full settlement of property and parenting issues.
- For more complicated cases regarding finances, a collaboratively trained independent financial advisor can be employed to give recommendations on dividing assets and debts.
- For cases with conflict surrounding parenting issues, especially ones with substance abuse or mental health concerns, an independent family relations therapist is recommended to work with both parents and children in resolving such disputes in the best interest of the children.
Unfortunately, many marriages cannot be terminated amicably, and the parties need the court to decide property division and/or parenting issues. In Ohio, a complaint for divorce begins the litigation process, which can be complicated and emotional. Obviously, a divorce carries enormous financial implications and choosing an experienced domestic relations lawyer is essential.
The attorneys of Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig will focus on the issues that matter most to you and vigorously represent you in Court. We will explain how the law impacts your case, where to focus most of your energy and attention and will work extremely hard to help you achieve a favorable result. Our attorneys handle cases primarily in Hamilton County, Warren County, Clermont County, and Butler County in Ohio and Boone County, Kenton County, and Campbell County in Kentucky, and may be able to assist you with cases outside of those counties as well.
Custody and Parenting Time (Visitation)
In Ohio, custody and parenting time (visitation) matters between unmarried persons fall under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court. By law, an unmarried mother is the default sole-custodian and residential parent of the minor child until there is court intervention. Paternity must first be established in order for a father to pursue custody or court-ordered parenting time/visitation. Many couples decide to handle issues of custody, parenting time/visitation, and child support informally without a court order. However, many problems can occur when couples who have a child together end their relationship. Therefore, the ideal time to begin drafting a parenting agreement, such as a shared parenting plan, is during the pregnancy. Establishing paternity and filing the plan as an agreement with the court shortly after the birth of the child can preserve an unwed father's parental rights and save parents peace of mind and thousands of dollars in legal fees down the road.
Our attorneys can help you with drafting a custom parenting plan to fit your needs and the needs of your children.
With the recent heartbreaking uptick in addiction, especially heroin addiction, many parents are simply not fit to parent their children. Relatives, especially grandparents, often step up to seek custody of the children. Our attorneys have decades of experience in assisting grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others with obtaining custody of the children whose parents can no longer care for them. There are several options for non-parents, and our attorneys will advise and help you navigate a complicated legal process.
Custody litigation is often emotionally charged. As your attorneys, we will work diligently with you and the other party to try to reach a favorable settlement. We know the scars of a custody trial can last for years and often negatively impact the children caught in between.
However, some cases inevitably proceed to trial. Collectively, our attorneys have decades of trial experience and will utilize this expertise in vigorously representing your interests in court. Whether you are a mother, father, relative, or other interested person seeking custody or parenting time with your child or relative, the attorneys of Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig will zealously represent you in court in the most efficient manner possible.
Child Support and Spousal Support
What you should be receiving or paying in spousal support or child support is complicated and often involves a large amount of red tape. While child support is set by a guideline worksheet, there are many credits and deductions that are factored into the child support worksheet. These can make a huge difference in what you will pay or receive in child support. Credits included day care expenses, local income tax, and supporting a child not subject to the current child support order. Missing these credits and deductions or using inaccurate income figures can result in a large overpayment or underpayment of child support. In addition, unlike a Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) Administrative action, the court can deviate upwards or downward for a number of reasons, such the percentage of time the children spend with each parent, income from a new spouse, or any other factor the court finds relevant in determining an equitable child support. When arguing for a deviation in child support, it is highly recommended that a parent have a competent, experienced attorney who can cite the relevant statutory factors and present evidence in a clear and concise manner to increase your odds of paying a more equitable amount of child support. The attorneys at Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Co., LPA are experienced in this process.
As a consequence of the economic downturn, many parents have lost their jobs. It is the burden of the obligor, or parent paying support, to notify the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) or the court of a change in circumstances that affect the amount that one should be paying, or if he or she should be paying child support at all. The threshold for arguing a change of circumstances is 10%, but there are exceptions. Our attorneys will sit down with you and do an analysis of what you should be paying or receiving from the other parent and file the appropriate pleadings in Court if a modification is necessary. We also review Child Support Enforcement (CSEA) administrative findings to make certain that child support was calculated correctly, as errors do occur.
Currently, the duration and amount of spousal support (also called alimony or maintenance) in Ohio are not set according to a worksheet. Although there has been a concerted effort to do so, it is not law. Therefore, the Court relies on a number of factors, including the disparity of income between husband and wife, the length of the marriage, and future earning capacity of both parties. During divorce or dissolution proceedings or post-divorce, the attorneys of Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig will utilize their wealth of domestic relations experience to advise you of an estimate of what you should be paying or receiving in spousal support. We will litigate the issues if necessary to help you achieve a successful outcome.
Call us at 513-401-8759 or use the convenient email form to contact us about arranging a confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.