Alexander Law Firm Co., LPA
A Legal Professional Association

Common Questions

Commonly Asked Questions

What is an Annulment

An Annulment is a cause of action which nullifies or voids a marriage. A marriage may be annulled under very limited circumstances, including: either spouse was under the legal age to marry; one spouse is already married to another person; one party is adjudicated mentally incompetent; one party obtained consent through fraud or by force; the marriage was never consummated.

What is a Legal Separation?

Legal Separation is a civil lawsuit which divides all property and provides for all parenting, child support and custody issues related to the marriage. Although the parties remain legally married, Legal Separation is not a temporary status and the parties cannot merely revert back to marriage.

Do I have to take a Parenting Class?

Yes, if you have children. In all cases in which there are children, parents are ordered to attend a Mandatory Parent Education Class. Depending upon the court you appear before, the class is approximately four (4) hours in length and may be attended in one or two sessions.

What is Mediation and will I be forced to attend?

Although Ohio law does not require attendance or participation in mediation, courts have authority to order parents to mediate parenting issues. Often, mediation will be one of the few times parents get to sit and talk about the children during the divorce process. Obviously, mediation is not appropriate in every case.

Mediation can be helpful in resolving property issues as well. Although the court has no authority to order mediation on property issues, parties are free to voluntarily mediate.

What is Discovery?

Discovery is a process by which attorneys identify and value all assets, liabilities and income of the marriage. Attorneys can approach discovery informally or by what is referred to as formal discovery. Formal discovery permits attorneys to use different methods to obtain information such as requests for production of documents, requests for admissions, interrogatories, depositions and subpoenas. This process can be lengthy, time consuming and require the assistance of experts.

Some local counties have attempted to streamline this process by requiring mandatory disclosure of certain financial information. This is helpful but does not prevent the need for expert assistance in complex matters.

What is a Guardian ad Litem?

A guardian ad litem is an attorney appointed by the court to represent the children's best interest in a custody case. The guardian is not the children's attorney but an attorney who will be required to prepare a written recommendation to the court of what will be in the best interests of the minor child(ren). Typically, the parties are required to pay for the services of the

What is Paternity and how is it established?

A Paternity law suit is a proceeding to determine whether a person is the father of a child. This can be accomplished by proper acknowledgment or genetic testing. Once paternity is established, the Court will establish child support. This award may be retroactive to the birth of the child and may even include an order for payment of birth expenses based upon the circumstances surrounding the paternity of the child. The father may also file a separate motion for custody, shared parenting or parenting time.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a premarital agreement designed to address issues related to the death or divorce of one of the parties. A prenuptial agreement can address property issues such as property division, debts, spousal support and financial matters during the term of the marriage. Prenuptial agreements may not address issues relating to the children of the marriage.

A prenuptial Agreement is enforceable if it is entered into freely without fraud, duress, coercion or overreaching; if there was full disclosure and full knowledge and understanding of the nature, value and extent of the prospective spouse's property; and if the terms of the agreement do not promote divorce or profiteering by divorce. The agreement must be in writing and be signed by both parties and each party should be represented by counsel. At a minimum, an unrepresented party must have a meaningful opportunity to consult counsel.

        Call Christopher M. Alexander at (513)228 - 1100
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