Divorce Lawyer Cincinnati
About Arthur W. Harmon, Jr., Esq.
Arthur W. Harmon, Jr., Esq. Member: States/Courts Admitted: Ohio United States District Court United States Court of Appeals Law School: University of Cincinnati, College of Law Undergrad: University of Cincinnati, Bachelor of Science Past Positions: City of Dayton, Prosecutor City of Datyon, Chief of Civil Litigation Memberships: Cincinnati Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Bar Association
Divorce lawyers are part of a broad area of the law commonly referred to as Family Law. Often the term divorce lawyer and family lawyer will be used interchangeably because in addition to divorce, a family lawyer will also handle cases involving family related issues such as marriage, child support, alimony, child custody, adoption, and division of assets. Because the issue of divorce can be extremely complicated, especially the division of assets, it may be important to enlist the help of a lawyer to assist in the divorce process.
- What can filing for a divorce do for me?
- How will our assets be divided?
- What is Alimony?
- How is child custody determined?
- My spouse and I want a separation, will this affect our divorce later?
- Instead of filing for a divorce, can I get an annulment?
- I want to file for divorce, do I need a lawyer?
- Can my spouse and I use the same lawyer during our divorce?
- What are some do's and don'ts during my divorce?
What can filing for a divorce do for me?
The divorce process will determine the division of you and your spouses' assets and property in the fairest and most economical way possible. Alimony or spousal support will be decided and custody of children will be resolved. A legal divorce will also give each party the ability to remarry.
How will our assets be divided?
Dividing a families assets during a divorce can be a challenging task especially if there are significant property or holdings involved such as retirement and pension plans, stock options, businesses or professional practices, rental properties and houses.
When dividing assets it's pertinent to keep in mind your short and long term financial needs. Don't divide assets solely on their present value without thoroughly understanding their cost basis, liquidity and any tax implications arising from its sale. A divorce lawyer will be able to help determine how to divide assets based on your financial needs.
What is Alimony?
Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a payment from one spouse to another to compensate for any economical inequality that may arise from a divorce. It is usually determined by an agreement between the two divorcing parties, however, if both parties are unable to come to an agreement the judge handling the divorce may determine the parameters of spousal support.
Typically, alimony is awarded only when one spouse is unable to meet his/her financial needs without the income of the other spouse. Spousal support may be awarded temporally or permanently. Temporary support is awarded in cases such as one spouse needs time to complete an education program, get back in the job market or stay home to raise the children. Permanent support may be awarded if the individual is permanently unable to support themselves for any reason including age or disability.
A divorce lawyer will be able to determine whether or not you qualify for alimony based on your individual case.
How is child custody determined?
Typically the parents of the child will be asked to decide on a custody agreement with the help of their lawyers. If the parents are unable to agree on a custody arrangement the judge handling the divorce will make the decision for them.
Child custody laws in most states require the judge to consider the best interests of the child/ren. In doing so they look at:
- The parents ability, based on their physical, mental and emotional health, to raise the child/ren,
- The ability of the parent to provide financially for his/her child/ren,
- The ties and relationships the child/ren have developed within their community and school,
- The relationship the child/ren have with each parent,
- and any history of child abuse.
The child/ren may be able to choose which parent he/she wants to live with depending on the state of residence and the age/maturity level of the child/ren involved.
My spouse and I want a separation, will this affect our divorce later?
Separating before filing for divorce will not affect the process once you decide to file. However, a separation can affect property ownership and the division of property once you decide to file for divorce. The law recognizes four types of separation and they each affect property ownership a bit differently.
Trial separation: this is when a couple lives apart in order to decide whether to get a divorce and separate permanently. The assets, property, and debt accumulated by both spouses during this time are still considered to joint property.
Living apart: this is when couples no longer live together for any reason. In some states couples must live apart for a certain amount of time before filing a no-fault divorce. During this time, some states consider property and debt accumulated to be separate and some states consider it to be joint property and debt until the divorce is filed.
Permanent separation: this occurs when the couple splits up for good. The assets, property, and debt accumulated are considered separate for each spouse. They are now each responsible for themselves.
Legal separation: this is when a couple separates and the court makes a decision about property division, alimony, child support, custody, and visitation. The court does not grant a divorce in this case (reasons maybe financial, person, religious, etc.)
Instead of filing for a divorce, can I get an annulment?
There is no timeline for getting an annulment on your marriage. Basically, an annulment dissolves the marriage and as far as the courts are concerned, the marriage never happened. In the case of lengthy marriages, the couple will still need to divide their property and decide on financial issues such as child and spousal support. In order to have an annulment, one of the following must usually be the case: one spouse misrepresented their true self, there was concealment of some kind (drug use is one example), one spouse refuses to consummate the marriage, or there was an irreconcilable misunderstanding between the couple (and example is if one wanted children and the other didn't).
I want to file for divorce, do I need a lawyer?
When filing for a divorce you are not required to employ a lawyer. However, the issues related to divorce are very complicated and the aid of a qualified lawyer can help you through this difficult time. A lawyer who specializes in divorce can assist you with issues related to the division of property, child support, custody, visitation, and alimony. These issues are extremely important to the whole family. It can be very difficult to deal with them alone. A lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area of the law can be a great help.
There are instances where you should absolutely hire a lawyer. You should hire a divorce lawyer when:
- There is spousal or child abuse in the marriage. A lawyer can use the court system to help protect you and your children throughout the divorce process.
- Your spouse is being dishonest or vindictive. If a spouse becomes too difficult to deal with, it is important to hire a lawyer to assist you. Emotions can run high during a divorce and a lawyer will make sure you are protected and will serve your interests.
- Your spouse has hired a lawyer. If you are unfamiliar with the divorce laws, it may be very difficult to understand everything your spouse's lawyer is doing. That lawyer will have your spouse's interests in mind, not yours. Having your own lawyer will ensure that your interests are protected during the divorce and will ensure the issues such as division of property, child support and custody, and alimony are fair.
- Your financial situation or custody situation is very complicated. It may be too difficult to understand or learn about these issues. The easiest way to resolve these issues may be to allow a lawyer to take care of the legal processes for you.
Can my spouse and I use the same lawyer during our divorce?
Under certain circumstances, yes. If you and your spouse want to use the same lawyer during your divorce certain issues must be agreed upon. First, you must agree with your spouse on the major issues. These include the division of property, child custody, child support, and alimony. You must also be comfortable enough with your spouse to work out the minor issues that may arise during your divorce. Both spouses must understand these circumstances and must agree in writing. As a result, your lawyer should just be filing the necessary paperwork to help the divorce run smoothly.
What are some do's and don'ts during my divorce?DO:
- Be reasonable and cooperate with your spouse.
- Support your children.
- Communicate with your spouse about when and where you will spend time with your kids. Talk about custody issues and come to an agreement.
- Fully disclose all assets and property. If you withhold information your divorce can be invalidated later on.
- Ask your lawyer for clarification if something is confusing. Divorces are complicated and a lawyer can help guide you through the process.
- Make plans to take a job in another state or move out of state until after your divorce is finalized.
- Violate any temporary custody or visitation arrangements.
- "Give away" your property to friends or family and arrange to get it back after your divorce.
- Go it alone if you are unsure of the process. It's very complicated and a lawyer can help protect your interests.