West Chester Family Law Attorney — FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Can two divorcing spouses share the same attorney?

No. Since it is considered unethical for the same attorney to represent both spouses in a divorce and receive compensation from two opposing parties involved in the same case, state and federal bar associations prohibit this practice. You and your spouse will need to work with your own separate lawyers.

Do my spouse and I need to legally separate before we divorce?

The state of Ohio does not require a couple to legally separate before filing for divorce or dissolution.

How do I file for divorce in Ohio?

Ohio is an “at-fault” divorce state, meaning that one spouse must cite a clear reason for wanting a divorce in order for the process to begin. The petitioning spouse will first file a request with the court, and the divorce papers will then be served to the “at-fault” spouse. As the spouses are usually fairly contentious during the divorce process, courtroom battles can be stressful. It’s essential that you work with our experienced divorce attorney who will address your concerns and protect your best interests each step of the way.

My spouse and I want a no-fault divorce in Ohio. Is this possible?

In Ohio, if a married couple wants to end the marriage without a clear cause, they can obtain a marriage dissolution. Like a divorce, the end result is the same—the couple is no longer legally married. There are a few requirements that you must follow in order to obtain a marriage dissolution, so contact us to discuss the process and what you can do to make it successful.

Should I file for full custody of my child during my divorce?

As much as possible, the courts will attempt to grant Shared Parenting, as it is generally thought to be beneficial for both parents to enjoy time with the child. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that would prevent one parent from providing a safe environment for the child, the divorce and custody process will likely be simpler and shorter if you and your spouse can negotiate a Shared Parenting plan on your own, rather than heading to court for a lengthy and hostile battle for sole custody.

I need to modify an existing child support order. What do I do?

Ohio courts understand that circumstances are likely to change. If you have an existing order that no longer works for you—perhaps you lost a job recently, or you are struggling to afford the payments—we can help you seek a modification to the current order. Once we’ve presented clear reasoning as to why the existing order should be changed, the judge will consider our request and the modification will be made official.

Do I need a prenuptial agreement in Ohio?

Prenuptial agreements are not mandatory for couples who are about to enter into marriage, but they can offer both individuals significant protections, should life take an unexpected turn. A prenuptial agreement offers instructions for how you’d like your assets and debts divided between you if you decide to go your separate ways. We can help you draft and review a prenuptial agreement that is intended to protect your best interests and your future, no matter what happens.

I’ve asked my child’s father to establish paternity, but he is not complying. What should I do?

If you are wishing to establish paternity for your child, we will go over your options with you and help you work towards achieving this goal. We can petition the court to require that the non-cooperative individual submit to a paternity test, and once the results are delivered, we will ensure that the father is listed as the legal father on your child’s birth certificate.

My spouse is prone to fits of domestic violence, and I want to protect my children. What are my options?

We believe that the safety of you and your children should always come first. If you or your children have ever been threatened or harmed by your spouse, contact us and we will help you understand your legal options. By going through the police or the court, we can help you obtain a protective order that prevents your spouse from contacting you. If you are going through a divorce, we will also help you understand how these protective orders may affect custody and visitation arrangements.

What is a domestic partner agreement?

A domestic partner agreement is similar to a prenuptial agreement in many ways. It provides clear instructions about how a committed, unmarried couple would divide their property, assets, and debts in the event that they decide to go their separate ways. We are here to help you draft a clear domestic partner agreement that protects your best interests, no matter what the future holds.

For more information about our exceptional family law and personal injury attorney services, contact Garretson & Holcomb, LLC at (513) 863-6600. Call our West Chester office now to get started with a knowledgeable lawyer.