loldfield@laolaw.com

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Parenting Time

Parenting Time is simply a plan.  One that determines the physical location of your children.  While there are still traditional parenting time plans, today's laws emphasize a friendlier, more flexible approach to time sharing.  Individualized plans better promote everyone's interests, especially those of your children.  Whereas Ohio has a standard parenting order and Kentucky does not, you and your spouse are free to agree on virtually any schedule you wish.

The concept of parenting time is pretty basic: to provide for the day - to - day needs of your children.  You and the other parent will be given times and days when the parenting will be your responsibility.  However, pretty basic can become pretty complicated if you and the other parent don't agree on a plan.  I have been watching my clients work through this process for many years.  I have seen many different plans.  Some work - some don't.  But I believe that this is the area where the most flexibility can be found.

Some parties have a great level of communication and can leave a great deal of flexibility in their schedules.  Others have more difficulty in this area and need specific schedules to help them parent with the least amount of conflict.

I am always ready to enter a courtroom on your behalf when that becomes necessary but my experience in this area can also help find common ground and hopefully avoid the more common pitfalls that may arise.

We will work together to determine your needs and desires and evaluate what would best achieve them.  Call me so that we can start to review the specifics of your situation.  I can help you determine your personal parenting plan needs and evaluate the best ways to achieve those desires whether that be through negotiation or litigation.

This website can offer only general information.  Your concerns and questions should be addressed by a personal consultation with me. 

Relocation Issues

I believe that this is by far and away the most difficult area of family law.

Many see divorce as the end of a relationship.  The reality is, when you have children, your relationship with the other parent endures for the rest of your life.  If you share children with someone, their decisions can affect you long after the relationship has ended.  Relocation is an issue that illustrates that point.

The law cannot control where a parent lives.  The Court can only control where the children live.  You can decide to move to California, but unless there is agreement between the parties, it is the Court that will decide if the children go with you.  Careful consideration of the facts and the motivation for the move will be considered by the Court to determine what is in your child's best interest.

That is why relocation issues can be very upsetting.  While these issues can take place during divorce proceedings, it can also become an issue long after a divorce has been finalized.

You or the other parent may choose to relocate for many reasons:  new job, economic circumstance, new spouse, or even a return to their life as it was before the marriage.  But because a move almost always means major adjustments by everyone involved, it changes a lot of things.  It can mean a modification of custody, parenting time and even child support.

Distance can profoundly affect the parent child relationship.  Even distances that seems relatively minor can prove problematic.  While a few hours may not seem like much to some, it can take away significant time from your children.  It is difficult to get your child to a soccer game on a Saturday morning at 10 am when you live two hours away.

Sometimes a move will enhance your child's life and sometimes it is just the opposite.  Perhaps your spouse won't consent to a move on any terms, or your spouse is moving and you have to adjust.  Either way, Court intervention may be necessary, sooner rather than later.  Failure to act can sometimes be taken to be consent so don't wait to take action.

The outcome will be determined based upon the specifics of a particular circumstance.  Every families' needs are different and the Court will consider your individual circumstance before making a decision.  I can explain your options and make recommendations that clearly define the new parameters of your situation.  I am an experienced negotiator with the ability to craft creative solutions that are acceptable to both parties and keep the children's best interest in the forefront.

This website can only offer general information.  Your concerns and questions should be addressed  by a personal consultation with me. 

Alimony

In Kentucky it's called Maintenance. In Ohio it's called Spousal Support. You probably know it as alimony.

While there are no hard and fast rules in either Kentucky or Ohio, spousal support does not apply to every divorce or dissolution. Except for extreme cases where there is some sort of disability or significant health issue, alimony is usually only considered in long term marriages.

The idea of spousal support is to be a method of financial assistance for a spouse. But, financial needs are only the start of what can be a complicated and contentious issue.

Unlike child support, spousal support does not have strict calculations. It is area of law without any real clear direction from the legislature and where judicial discretion, on a case - by - case basis reigns supreme. Various factors enter into a final decision and it is very fact specific. The needs of the dependent spouse, and the earning capacity and ability to pay of the non-dependent spouse are generally the primary considerations. "How much, for how long", is the mantra for a contested spousal support case.

It is extremely important to seek legal counsel to help protect you in this area. There are often times creative solutions available to the parties that both can live with. Educating you about the law and the legal process can help make an uncomfortable situation less difficult, so that the middle ground may be reached.

But if agreement can't be reached I am ready to advocate aggressively for your interests and provide you with an honest assessment about which options are best in your case.

Whether you are paying or receiving spousal support, let me look out for your best interests while protecting your rights.

You can move forward and I am here to help.

This website can offer only general information. Your concerns and questions should be addressed by a personal consultation with me.

Division of Property and Debt

The division of property and debt involves its own unique difficulties.   The law itself seems deceptively simple:  all property acquired during the marriage is marital property and therefore shall be divided equitably, except for certain circumstances like inheritance and gifts.  All property that was acquired prior to marriage remains separate from the marital estate.

Putting that law into practice is where it can get tricky. "Whose is whose" often involves a heated dispute.  While most of the time equitable can and does translate to equal; property, assets and debts are not always divided 50/50.

Knowledge is empowering.

I will educate you in what equitable really means, and help you understand the economic ramifications of the options and opportunities you have.  Guiding you through the complexities of your case provides clarity every step of the way whether that path leads to a settlement or to the courthouse.

Should Court be the option, rest assured, I am very comfortable taking your case to trial.  My experience with litigating these issues can help you form realistic goals, while protecting your rights.   While I certainly enjoy a good court battle, I feel that it is my job to make certain that we are litigating with a purpose.  Constant evaluation of your case and the risks and benefits will help us find the path that is right for you.

Many times determining the status of particular property requires extensive documentation.  Tracing an item from the past to the present can be complicated.  I am very familiar with the various ways that these matters can be proved and the processes involved in protecting non-martial assets.  Locating the assets themselves can also prove to be difficult.  In some cases, one spouse can attempt to make it difficult for the other to determine the full extent of the marital assets.  I have spent many years locating such assets and I am vary familiar with the discovery of  these assets.  I keep an eye out for any of the many of the "tricks" that can be used.

Debts are also a hot topic in many divorces.  Many spouses are unaware of the spending habits of the other spouse.  These "surprises" can make the division of debt difficult.  Unfortunately, the allocation of debt in a divorce can lead to parties being connected to each other well past the end of the marriage.  I believe that it is best to disentangle the parties as much as possible and I will take all possible steps to achieve this goal.  Your best interests are my concern.

This website can offer only general information.  Your concerns and questions should be addressed by a personal consultation with me.