Monday, December 31, 2012

What Cheating Really Costs

Cheating spouses are in the news every day. Famous couples split due to infidelity, politicians get in trouble, even the CIA Director has problems associated with fooling around. Though the news always makes headlines, in a real divorce case cheating is not nearly as shocking to family law judges. The true cost of infidelity is paid not in court, but often in settlements.

The reason for the lack of outrage among judges in Ohio is that the state allows no-fault divorces. This means that couples don’t have to identify one person who was responsible for the demise of the marriage. The reasons often don’t matter as many couples are happy to cite irreconcilable differences. Additionally, infidelity has lost much of its sting to desensitized judges who often hear such stories day in and day out.

The real penalties for infidelity are instead paid outside the courtroom, where 95% of all divorce cases are actually settled. One instance where a hefty payment can result from cheating is when the parties have a prenuptial agreement. Many such agreements contain clauses dealing with affairs and lay out exactly how much money the wronged party stands to collect as a result.

Another case where cheating matters is when the philanderer spent the family’s money on the new lover. Taking money from the family often comes into play during settlement negotiations when the wronged party typically demands repayment. This can get expensive, especially if lots of jewelry or trips were paid for.

A final scenario where cheating can be expensive is if the behavior is truly shocking. In cases where the cheating is extreme or thrown in the face of the other party, that can be costly during settlement negotiations. Such horrendous conduct can push settlement numbers to the high end of the expected ranges given that the other party will have the benefit of sympathy should the case ever go before a judge.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, contact an experienced Ohio family law attorney who can help guide you through the difficult process. Count on the expertise of Twinsburg family law attorney Carol L. Gasper.

Source:Does cheating cost you in a divorce?,” by Geoff Williams, published at

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Difficulty of Divorce For Stay At Home Moms in Ohio

Though divorce is hard for everyone that must go through it, stay at home moms in Ohio face an especially difficult road when they begin to consider ending their marriage. A total lack of work experience and often, of financial resources, make the decision much more difficult than it would be for a woman with her own career. This group is much more likely to stay in a bad marriage given their fears of being left financially devastated. Many women have been unemployed for years and have little to put on a resume and worry about their ability to ever earn a substantial income. The following are some steps that stay at home moms should take to ensure your financial stability prior to filing for divorce.

First things first, it’s a good idea to not make any announcement until you are actually ready to leave. Jumping the gun before you are prepared to stand on your own could cause serious financial problems and put your family into a bind.

Second, it’s crucial that you check on the title to your assets. Whose name is on the car, the house, what about the other valuables? Though a judge can order a division of marital assets regardless of the name on the item, that could take quite a long time and it’s important to know which items are yours and that you can take with you.

Third, start looking for work immediately. Though you may feel like you lack necessary skills, your years of housework can actually bring in quite a good living. Though you may not land in the career of your dreams, getting any job is better than nothing and it will bring in money and some stability while you get on your feet.

Fourth, sell things and start saving the money. The items you are able to take with you can always be sold for money later on if things get tight. You can pawn jewelry, books, DVDs, electronics, almost anything in a punch. Though it may not be fun, you’re always able to buy more things later on when you have the money.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, get an education. Go back to school or finish your degree if you never were able to get one. It’s even possible to get a degree online if time or travel is a problem. A degree or certification program makes you more marketable and can teach you new skills to prepare you for a life of supporting yourself. Though divorce can be a scary process, it can still be done with the right preparation. After all, a lack of lines on your resume is a terrible reason to stay in bad marriage.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, contact an experienced Ohio family law attorney who can help guide you through the difficult process. Count on the expertise of Twinsburg family law attorney Carol L. Gasper.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Collaborative Divorce Law Passed by Ohio Legislature

Sadly, for many couples in Ohio whose marriages are ending, the process of divorce often resembles all out war rather than a peaceful parting of the ways. Each spouse has anger and that anger is only enflamed as lawyers and fights over money and kids reach a fever pitch. If they didn’t start off hating each other they often do by the end of the ordeal.

Thankfully it does not always have to be this way. The Ohio Legislature recently took action to help in cases where parties want to avoid the tumult of a nasty divorce. Just last week the state Senate approved the Collaborative Family Law Act which makes it easier for couples looking to split to do so in a way that avoids an ugly court battle.

Though collaborative divorce is nothing new, it is relatively rare. The process is designed to allow couples to work together with each other and their lawyers, financial advisors, therapists or any other professionals they want to incorporate into the process. The process is meant to encourage collaboration and mediation rather than litigation.

Couples and their attorneys come together in a series of meetings to try and find solutions to the pressing issues encountered in a divorce that work for both parties. Once all of the issues have been settled and mutually agreed upon, the parties sign a final divorce agreement and file it with the court. According to a recent newspaper article on the subject, the entire process typically takes about two months when the collaborative meetings are scheduled weekly.

Another benefit to the collaborative process is that in the event that the parties do not agree on certain issues, the divorce can still change course and head before a judge in a traditional way. The worry that some people might have is that if a collaborative divorce breaks down then information revealed during the process could later be used by one attorney against the other party. To remedy that, legislators wrote in language that ensures parties are not able to hire the same attorney to represent them in the collaboration and in court. This means attorneys can focus solely on reaching a mutually desirable resolution without needing to keep a possible trial in the back of their minds.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, contact an experienced Ohio family law attorney who can help guide you through the difficult process. Count on the expertise of Twinsburg family law attorney Carol L. Gasper.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

What to do if you divorce and still work with your ex?

Though it can be hard for business partners to keep personal issues out of the workplace, the trouble pales in comparison to the issues faced by partners that used to be married to one another. A recent article in the New York Times discussed what happens when a couple who runs a business gets divorced but wants to continue working together.

Given a 2007 Census Bureau estimate that showed husbands and a wives own about 3.7 million businesses and the high rate of divorce, this situation is more common than many people realize. The following bits of advice are meant to help make the best of what almost anyone would describe as a difficult situation.

First, nothing is more important than respect. In many marriages there is simply too much anger to ever be able to work well together in the future. In others, the parties simply fell out of love but continue to trust and respect one another. Only you know if there are open lines of communication with your spouse and whether you can count on your ex to be consistent and predictable in your business relationship.

Second, seeking professional help can be very valuable. Unlike most other couples that divorce, business owners must still see each other on a regular or even daily basis. That can make it hard to heal and move ahead into new relationships. Seeking professional help can be important to deal with this state of limbo. Allowing personal feelings to interfere in a work conversation can be disastrous and learning tools to avoid that are crucial.

Next, you have to sit down and craft a real partnership agreement. This is something that anyone who partners with a stranger would do right away, but a step almost always skipped when a business is formed with a spouse. Assuming you never created such an agreement, once the divorce is final it’s critical that you work together to craft a plan for what to do and how to split assets if one partner wants out of the business. Having an agreement will add security to what is likely already a tense situation.

Finally, it’s important that you both be honest with your employees. Just like children, employees can pick sides in a divorce, something that can cause companies to fall apart if not dealt with early on. Business owners need to be open about trouble, don’t let gossip circulate, as this will only make workers worry about their jobs. Come up with a common story and stick to it when talking to employees. Reassure your staff that personal issues will not affect the company.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, contact an experienced Ohio family law attorney who can help guide you through the difficult process. Count on the expertise of Twinsburg family law attorney Carol L. Gasper.

Source:When Couples Divorce but Still Run a Business Together,” by Bryan Borzykowski, published at

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Custody Fight Over Whether Woman is Mom or Merely a Surrogate

As many people realize, whether you’re part of a traditional marriage, in a same-sex relationship or a single person who has always wanted a kid, there are now many more options than there used to be for raising children. One option that has been utilized by those who have had trouble conceiving is in vitro fertilization. However, a recent case that’s grabbed national headlines might have some couples questioning the process and raise concerns for those that have used it in the past.

The case involves a 48-year-old single woman who wanted a child. She found a male friend who was also interested in having a kid and they concocted a plan that would allow them to have a child together, platonically. The male friend agreed to pay for in vitro using his sperm and a donor egg that the woman would then carry to term. Everything went smoothly and the woman gave birth to healthy twins over the summer. Almost the moment after she had given birth the problems started. Apparently the man had different intentions than those discussed with his friend. A social worker appeared in the hospital room to discuss the “surrogacy situation,” a phrase that shocked the woman who believed she was the children’s mother.

The woman says that her friend, whom she only then realized was gay, had evidently been planning to raise the children with his male partner, not the woman who had carried them. While the woman was still hospitalized recovering from the birth, her friend had filed a lawsuit claiming that because the woman had no genetic ties to the children she should be stripped of any custody or visitation rights.

Right now the woman is allowed to see her children only two hours a day, six days a week. However, the battle is not over. The woman feels like her children that she worked so hard to have were stolen from her and her custody fight continues.

One of the biggest problems in this case for the woman is the lack of any written agreement. The woman says the arrangement she had with the father was entirely based on friendship and trust, and that she never thought a formal agreement would be necessary. Depending on the outcome of this case, surrogate mothers everywhere could find themselves in need of more formal legal protections if they want a relationship with the children they bear.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of divorce, contact an experienced Ohio family law attorney who can help guide you through the difficult process. Count on the expertise of Twinsburg family law attorney Carol L. Gasper.

Source:Surrogate Fights Gay Couple for Child Custody,” by Wesley J. Smith, published at

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