If you do not like the ruling at trial, you may have Ohio appeal rights, which is the right to appeal the trial court’s decision.
Ohio Appeal Rights To Appeal The Magistrate
If the trial or hearing was heard by a magistrate, you have the right to appeal the magistrate. If the magistrate issued an order, you have the right to ask the judge to set the order aside. This must be filed within ten days of the order. Filing this motion does not automatically stop the order from taking effect. If the magistrate issued a decision, you have the right to object to the decision. The objection automatically stops enforcement of the decision. Unfortunately, this includes the parts you may like along with the parts to which you have objections. The objection must be filed within fourteen days of the filing of the magistrate’s decision.
Ohio child custody rights of unmarried parents are decided in Ohio paternity parentage cases, which includes requests for legal custody, parenting time and/or shared parenting. In Ohio, an unmarried mother has sole legal custody
of a child born outside of marriage. The father has no legal rights to the child until he requests the court to issue orders establishing a father-child relationship and an order for parenting time.
Ohio marriage contracts involves three parties: (1) you; (2) your spouse; and (3) the State of Ohio. Marriage is a legal contract with rights and obligations. Of course, marriage is not just a cold legal concept—marriage is a spiritual and personal relationship between two people. The obligations of marriage: mutual respect, fidelity and support. The duty to support includes the parties’ mutual biological and adopted children.
One of the more difficult tasks in calculating child support and spousal support for Ohio divorce and child custody is calculating and determining business income. Business income in Ohio child support and divorce is complex and filled with pitfalls. It can be frustrating to watch the opposing parent reduce his or her income significantly through business expenses. Does this mean that the opposing parent’s income can be reduced from $120,000 in gross receipts down to a net profit of $30,000, simply because he or she claimed $90,000 in business expenses? Not necessarily.
An Ohio domestic relations court not only has the power to issue a divorce decree, but it also has the power to enforce it. Enforcing Ohio divorce decrees is important because, without enforcement power, the decree would simply be a list of suggestions. The divorce court enforces its orders through its contempt power. Typically, the wronged party files a motion to show cause as to why a party should not be held in contempt of court. The prosecuting attorney can file a motion for contempt for failure to pay child support. The court then sets the matter for hearing for the offending party to appear before the court and explain why he or she should not be held in contempt.
If someone is held in civil contempt of court, he or she will be given a chance to correct the situation, commonly referred to as a purge period. Failure to purge contempt in the time allotted can result in a jail term. Repeated contempt motions can result in longer jail terms for failure to purge contempt.
How is child custody decided in Ohio? These issues are decided by domestic relations and juvenile courts in Ohio. For disputes between parents, the domestic relations courts in Medina County, Summit County and Cuyahoga County hear such cases. In Wayne County, Ohio, the domestic relations court hears child custody cases in divorce and post-divorce decree cases. The Wayne County juvenile court hears child custody cases between unmarried parents. For purposes of this article, we will refer to all these courts as the Ohio child custody court.
The Ohio child custody court must decide between sole custody to one parent and shared parenting with both parents. The parent who is awarded sole custody becomes the child’s legal custodian and will make decisions about non-emergency medical care, education, religion, discipline and extra-curricular activities. The sole legal custodian must let the non-custodial parent know about such matters but will make the final decisions.
How do divorce and dissolution differ from one another? A dissolution is an agreement to terminate the marriage, with an agreement on how to divide their assets and debts, as well as agreement on child custody, child support, parenting time and spousal support. In order to have a dissolution, the parties must agree on all of the issues. Paperwork is filed and the matter is resolved in a single hearing. The dissolution process is usually completed within two to three months after filing.
When the parties cannot agree on all of the issues, but wish to terminate the marriage, they must do so with a divorce. One of the eleven grounds for divorce must be alleged. Incompatibility cannot be proven, but must be agreed upon by both parties in order to be used as a ground for divorce. Divorce usually consists of temporary orders hearings, case management hearings, pre-trial hearings, and final hearings (trials). The final hearing does not usually occur until at least nine months after filing and sometimes well over one year after filing.
What is mediation? Mediation is a process in which two or more parties negotiate a voluntary agreement with the help of a mediator. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties. Statements made during mediation are protected under Ohio’s Uniform Mediation Act
(UMA) as set forth in Ohio Revised Code 2710.01
(R.C. 2710.01-2710.10). This privilege gives one the ability to stop other people from revealing what was said at a mediation. Does this mean everything said in a mediation is protected by privilege? No. The following topics are not protected by privilege under the UMA: discussions disclosing abuse or neglect of children and abuse or neglect of the elderly; plans to commit crimes; threats of violence; whether a mediation occurred; and signed settlement agreements. Mediators are neutral third parties who assist the parties with issue identification and problem solving. The mediator will usually meet with each side separately, but some mediation sessions are held with all the parties present face-to-face. Mediation is a useful tool used in several areas of the law, including civil cases, child custody cases, divorces, foreclosures, and abuse, neglect and dependency cases. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the mediator may schedule a follow-up session or may report to the court that an agreement was not reached.
When can grandparents take custody of a child? A nonparent can be awarded custody of a minor child if the court makes a finding of parental unsuitability. Parental unsuitability can be determined if the "parent abandoned the child; contractually relinquished custody of the child; that the parent has become totally incapable of supporting or caring for the child; or that an award of custody to the parent would be detrimental to the child.” Parents who are suitable persons have a paramount right to the custody of their minor children.
In other words, parents have a right to care for and raise their children. In order to infringe on that right, someone must first demonstrate that the parent is unsuitable, commonly known as unfit parents. A typical case of parental unsuitability is when the parents leave the children with the grandparents and disappear for a long period of time. In such an instance, the grandparent will likely be able to prove parental unsuitability and may be able to obtain custody of the children.
In my practice, I frequently confront the question of filing tax returns during a pending divorce, whether they should file an individual or joint return and what they should do with the refund. The other issue is whether the parties should file an individual or joint return.
Filing tax returns during a pending divorce depends on the situation. First, in the vast majority of divorces, there are restraining orders prohibiting the parties from disposing of assets and possibly even filing tax returns in the absence of a court order or mutual agreement. Therefore, going off on one’s own, filing an individual tax return and keeping the refund could be grounds for contempt.
The United States Supreme Court and the Ohio Supreme Court have repeatedly said that the “right of parents to raise their children has been deemed basic and essential, protected by due process of law.” While a parent does not lose this right when the other parent is awarded custody of the children, this right does not help much when the noncustodial parent tries to regain custody of his or her children.
also creates a hurdle, stating that modification of custody will not occur unless a change in circumstances of the child or child’s residential parent occurs. If there was a shared parenting decree, the change in circumstances can occur with either parent. The modification must also be in the best interests of the child, and: (1) the residential parent agrees to a change; (2) the child, with consent of the residential parent or of both parents in shared parenting, has been integrated into the family of the person seeking to become the residential parent; or (3) the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantages of the change of environment to the child.
When does a court consider a child support deviation? Normally, child support follows a specific formula as set forth in Ohio Revised Code 3119.021 (R.C. 3119.021
). However, a court may deviate from the usual amount of child support if the court determines guideline child support would be unjust, or inappropriate, or not in the best interests of the child.
Ohio Revised Code 3119.23 (R.C. 3119.23
) sets forth a number of reasons for a court to deviate from the guideline child support amount: