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Ohio family law: The Jolie-Pitt divorce on hold

For most couples in Ohio and elsewhere who decide to end their marriages, the divorce process is not always easy or straightforward. This is particularly true for those who have quite a few shared assets -- such as the Jolie-Pitts. This high profile divorce has been in the news and the latest information is saying that the process has been put on hold due to former couple's inability to agree on what to do with their assets. They are likely counting on their individual family law attorneys to help them through this difficult time so that each party can walk away satisfied with the final result.

According to reports, Brad and Angelina separated in Sept. 2016 with Angelina filing for divorce that same month. The two have been married for just over two years but were a couple for over a decade before tying the knot. Together they share several properties, a wine business and various collections -- all valued in the millions.

Family law: Dividing business assets in divorce

Division of assets in a divorce can be a challenging process for business owners. In preparation, it would likely be wise to learn and understand the state laws relating to the definitions of separate property, the validity of marriage agreements and other aspects of Ohio family law that might come into play. To lessen the divorce's impact on the business, the owner can start by gathering all the business records such as agreements, financial statements and accounting records along with a current valuation.

If the company was established prior to the marriage, a portion of it might qualify as separate property, and documented proof will be necessary.  The business value before and during the marriage along with the cash flow and assets before and after the wedding will have to be established. The court will also consider the involvement of each spouse and how much each one invested in the business.

Many personal injury claims result from Ohio crashes

Every year, numerous deaths and injuries happen on Ohio roadways. In each of those crashes, blame is often assigned to at least one person, most likely a driver of one of the vehicles involved. Even so, that party may not face criminal consequences, but may face civil consequences in the form of a personal injury or wrongful death claim depending on the circumstances.

This could be the case for a driver involved in an accident that took place on Route 8 on a recent Thursday afternoon at around 4 p.m. Traffic appears to have come to a stop on the Interstate 80 exit ramp. The driver of a  motorhome failed to stop and slammed into the back of a passenger vehicle. The second vehicle then slammed into another passenger vehicle in front of it.

Ohio criminal law: Is taking a breath test optional?

When police officers in Ohio suspect a driver of operating his or her vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, they will ask that individual to give a breath sample. This is standard procedure. Does one have to submit to such a request? Yes and no. In either case, a criminal law attorney may be able to help deal with the consequences of either decision.

Technically speaking, when one obtains a driver's license, he or she is agreeing to implied consent laws. This means a lot of things, but in regard to drunk driving it means that one agrees to perform any sobriety testing asked of him or her, including a breath test. However, if a person does not wish to submit to such a test, a police officer cannot force it.

Ohio family law: A quickie divorce may sound tempting, but...

When couples in Ohio or elsewhere are ready to end their marriages, getting the divorce process over with as swiftly as possible sounds really tempting. Who wouldn't want to just sign the papers and move on, right? There are issues that come with a quickie divorce, however. With the assistance of a family law attorney, one can get through this difficult part of his or her life as quickly as possible and avoid some of the problems that can accompany a rushed dissolution process.

Dissolving one's marital union does not have to take forever, but it is always wise to slow down and consider the consequences of rushing through it. One of the biggest issues that accompanies a quickie divorce is a bad financial settlement. Just signing anything could result in one spouse paying through the nose in order to appease his or her ex or one party getting less than what he or she is legally entitled to receive.

Ohio family law: Fighting a sole custody request

No one said going through a divorce was easy. The whole situation can go downhill rather quickly if spouses cannot agree on things or if emotions get out of control. When it comes to Ohio couples who have children, sometimes there are reasons for only one parent to be granted custody and other times one parent may request sole custody out of spite. One who believes that he or she should be awarded some level of custody can seek assistance from a family law attorney in order to fight his or her spouse's request for sole custody.

What it sole custody? This is just one of the few child custody options available to Ohio parents. Sole custody means that both physical and legal custody will be awarded to only one parent. Ohio, like many other states, try to grant joint custody in the majority of cases as it is considered the best type of arrangement for the affected children. However, there are reasons as to why this custody option is still available.

Ohio family law: File a QDRO when accessing an IRA

Sometimes, when going through the divorce process, decisions are made that can actually come back to bite one party in the long run. For example, a retirement account may be drained before divorce proceedings are finalized in order to pay off debts for one or both spouses. If the proper forms are not filled out and filed when doing this, the account owner may suffer financially down the line. Ohio residents can turn to a family law attorney who can help them properly split or drain retirement accounts as part of their divorce property settlements.

Picture it -- a couple is going through a divorce and money is tight. The husband has money in an IRA and decides to empty the account in order to pay off a loan for his wife rather than just giving her the money. After the divorce is over, he is hit with early distribution fees and a hefty tax bill. What happened?

Suffer personal injury due to a distracted truck driver?

Despite state laws and federal regulations that commercial drivers must abide by, it is not hard to spot a semi driver who is distracted due to using a cellphone. It is unfortunate that, because of this simple act, one might suffer a personal injury or worse if an accident results. Ohio residents who have been hurt or lost loved ones in collisions with distracted semi drivers may have legal recourse.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, commercial drivers are not allowed to text while driving. They are also not allowed to read texts or other electronic communications received on their cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. Truck drivers may use mobile phones to talk or text if:

  • The phone is easily accessible
  • They use approved hands-free devices
  • They use one-button touch or voice-activated features

Ohio criminal law: Wondering if drug court is an option for you?

Being charged with a drug offense is not an easy thing with which to deal. Prosecuting attorneys in the state of Ohio are not going to treat it lightly, and unless you know how to navigate the court system, you could end up receiving the maximum punishment allowed under the law. A criminal law attorney may be able to help you in either seeking a case dismissal or pursing alternative sentencing options -- such as drug court.

What is drug court? In short, drug court is a court-supervised rehabilitation program for certain drug offenders who are considered nonviolent. If you meet all of the necessary qualifications, your case will be removed from criminal court and sent to the drug treatment program. This program lasts up to 18 months. During that time you will have to attend therapy sessions with a court-approved counselor, make scheduled court appearances and submit to regular drug testing.

Ohio family law: Nesting, how does it work?

When a couple chooses to have children, they plan on raising those children under one roof until they are ready to leave the nest. When divorce enters the picture, however, for most people this plan is thrown out the window and children are shuffled between the new residences of their parents. What if frequently moving children around could be avoided? Well, it can, but it requires a lot of effort from the parents. Nesting is a living arrangement that is not really recognized under Ohio family law, but it can be an option for those who are wanting to give it a shot.

What is nesting anyway, and how does it work? Nesting is when children remain in the family home and parents come and go based on their custody schedule. This way, children do not have to move between houses, and they do not have to adapt to new environments. They stay in their home and in the neighborhood that they know.

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John D. Smith Co., L.P.A.
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Springboro, OH 45066

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