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.
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.
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:
I often get asked what parental rights parents have when they are married, unmarried or have a child support order in place. These are the common questions and the answers to those questions.
What is a putative father?
A putative father is a man who may be a child’s biological father but who is not married to the child’s mother at the time the child is born or who has not established paternity of the child in a court or administrative hearing.
Does a putative father have parental rights?
What is separate property in divorce? It is property that the spouse gets to keep without it being subject to an equitable division by the divorce court.
First, we should look at what is marital property under Ohio law. The Ohio law defining marital property is found in Ohio Revised Code 3105.171 (R.C. 3105.171
). Marital property is:
- All property currently owned by either or both parties or acquired by either or both of the parties during the marriage; and
- All property interest that either or both parties currently holds acquired by either or both of the spouses during the marriage;
- Active income, which is all income and appreciation on separate property, due to the labor, monetary, or in-kind contribution of either or both of the spouses that occurred during the marriage;
- Anything that is not separate property.
When does spousal support end? Even when spousal support is determined as lifetime spousal support, it is not necessarily forever.
There are four ways in which an order for spousal support may terminate:
- Spousal support may terminate on a specified date;
- Spousal support may terminate upon the occurrence of a specified event;
- The domestic relations court may terminate spousal support pursuant to its continuing jurisdiction if a change of circumstances has occurred that supports termination of spousal support;
- Spousal support may terminate as a matter of law upon remarriage of the recipient spouse or the death of either party.
What does the IRS consider to be spousal support? A divorce decree labels payments as spousal support, maintenance, or alimony. Does that mean that the payments are considered to be alimony by the IRS? Not necessarily. Why does this matter? It matters because qualifying spousal alimony payments are deductible by the payer and included in the recipient’s income.
In Ohio, alimony is called spousal support. For purposes of this article, we will use the Ohio term. In order for a payment to qualify as spousal support by the IRS, all of the following requirements must be met: (more…)
How does a court decide spousal support? The court considers a list of factors set forth in Ohio Revised Code 3105.18 (R.C. 3015.18
This article will address dividing a business in divorce. Usually, a qualified expert witness will be needed to provide evidence of the valuation of a business. The expert looks at various factors, such as the history of the business, risk involved in the particular business, among other factors. Utilizing such factors, the expert determines the fair market value of the business. The parties will have to decide if they want to agree on a single expert or if they wish to hire their own experts. With the price of a business evaluation expert being $10,000 or more, this is no small decision. Factors that may be considered in whether to share an expert include: whether the business-owning spouse is likely to disclose all assets and liabilities of the business, including receivables; whether the business-owning spouse had a history of keeping thorough and reliable records; and how well the non-business owning spouse knows the business. (more…)
This article will discuss property division in divorce. What is property? Property can be real property, otherwise known as real estate. Property can also be personal property, which includes cash, financial and retirement accounts, vehicles, and household goods.
Under Ohio Revised Code 3105.171 (R.C. 3105.171
), there are nine factors that govern only the division of property: (more…)