Legal matters involving members of a family can be frustrating. The proper representation is crucial to getting results and maintaining a sense of dignity. Family cases can be sensitive and the professionals at Attorney Erich J. Maier's office are here to help.
- Shared Parenting
- Child Support
- Grandparent’s rights
FAQ Family Law
What is the difference between divorce and dissolution?
In divorce, the Court determines the final resolution of all disputed issues. In dissolution, the parties mutually agree upon resolution of all issues. A dissolution case is preferable because the parties make their own decisions; also it is faster and less expensive than a divorce. An experienced, knowledgeable attorney can help guide clients through either process.
What is shared parenting (formerly joint custody)?
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the court may allocate the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children to both parents and issue a shared parenting order requiring the parents to share all or some of the aspects of the physical and legal care of the children in accordance with the approved plan for shared parenting. (ORC 3109.04)
Shared Parenting does not necessarily mean equal time with each parent, nor does it mean alternating one week periods with each parent. However it can include such provisions. Shared parenting also does not mean no child support will be paid, as the child support guideline worksheet is always the starting point for determining child support amounts.
Why did my child support go up/down?
All child support orders and modifications are to be made pursuant to ORC Chapter 3119. The Child Support Enforcement Agency makes administrative support orders and modifications. These administrative orders do not involve the Court. An appeal to court can be made, if done within the limited amount of time. Either a child support obligee (who receives support), or obligor (who pays support) can request an administrative modification of child support. The threshold for any change is ten percent. In other words, after calculation using the guideline worksheet, if the change would be less than ten percent, nothing happens. If the change is greater than ten percent, support will be modified based upon the incomes of the parties, as well as certain health care, child care and other specific expenditures.
We were never married. Who has custody of our child?
Under Ohio law, an unmarried mother automatically has custody of the child. A father must first establish paternity, whether by an acknowledgement of paternity affidavit or by genetic testing. Once paternity is established, a father must file a request with the Juvenile Court to demand either custody, specific visitation, or any parenting rights with the child.
Do grandparents have rights to their grandchildren?
It depends. Parents have a “paramount” right to custody of their own children. In order for a non-parent to obtain custody, the non-parent would need to prove either abandonment, contractual relinquishment of rights, or parental unfitness. In order for a non-parent to seek specific visitation rights, a prior court case (like divorce or dissolution or Juvenile custody) would have to have been opened into which the grandparent could intervene and request visits. Alternatively, if the parent has deceased, the grandparent could request visitation order. However, if there has been no prior court involvement, nor death of a parent, grandparents do not have an independent right to demand specific visitation orders.