Family Law F.A.Q.

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Q: Must I get divorced in court?

A: Yes, it is still necessary for a person who wants a divorce, to issue a summons against the other person and then to appear in court to give evidence. If the case is not defended, the process is usually fairly quick and uncomplicated, particularly if there are no children and simple property issues.

Q: How long does it take to get a divorce?

A: The time required to obtain a divorce varies. Generally, a divorce takes anywhere from six weeks, to a couple of years. In most states the divorce is final as soon as the judge signs the divorce decree. In some states parties to a divorce may not remarry anyone except each other for 6 months after the decree is granted.

Q: What is a legal separation?

A: Legal separation is a legal status conferred by a court, where the parties remain married, but the court sets the rights and liabilities of the parties with respect to child custody, support, visitation, alimony, property and debts. The process of legal separation is sometimes called "separate maintenance." A decree of separate maintenance cannot later be converted to a divorce decree. If parties in a legal separation later desire a divorce, they must file a new divorce action.

Q: What is an annulment?

A: An annulment is a method of voiding the contract of marriage. If an annulment is granted, the result is that the parties are treated as if the marriage never occurred. An annulment can only be granted if the initial marriage contract suffers from a defect in the contract formation. Such defects include an underage party without parental consent, a party lacking the mental capacity to understand the marriage contract or fraud in the inducement of the marriage contract. An annulment can only be granted to the innocent party, or the party that suffers from the defect.

Q: What is Custody & Visitation?

A: When children are involved the parties must also reach agreement as to where they should live and/or how often they should spend time with the non-custodial parent. As your advocate, I can help you work with the other party and the court to come to a schedule everyone can appreciate.

Q: What is Child Support?

A: It is undisputed that divorce has emotional implications on the family. Financial implications can be just as daunting. Because each state has a unique formula for determination of Child Support amounts, you need proactive representation to help you reach a fair settlement and efficiency to reduce legal costs.

Q: What are some questions I should ask an attorney before hiring one?

A: There are some questions you should ask when hiring a family law attorney:

  • How much experience do you have in cases like mine?
  • What kinds of resolutions can my case have?
  • How long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
  • How much do you charge and how often will I be billed?
  • How much do you think the entire case will cost me?
  • How often will we be in contact?
  • Is anyone else going to be helping you to work on my case, and if so, are the costs going to be the same?
  • Are you going to try to settle or take my case to court?
  • Which approach is better for my case, mediation or arbitration?
  • Might there be any unexpected costs involved?

Q: What is attorney-client privilege?

A: Attorney-client privilege means that any legal information or matter that you discuss with your attorney cannot be discussed with anyone else. Aside from a few exceptions and unless you consent to release legal information pertaining to your case, s(he) is required, by law, to keep all of your information confidential.

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Cincinnati, Ohio 45251
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