Monthly Archives: August 2015

When Can You Obtain a Civil Protection Order?

Posted Date:August 28, 2015 | Categories:

Civil Protection Order

A restraining order and a civil protection order are two different legal instruments in Ohio and enforceable in different ways, but both of them are orders from the court for an abuser to stay away from you. If you are in a relationship with an abusive spouse, your attorney may suggest a restraining order against your abusive spouse while the divorce is in process.  The restraining order has no further effect once the divorce is final, though. Enforcement under a restraining order is also limited insofar as police do not enforce restraining orders; the court that issued the order enforces it. Violating a restraining order amounts to a contempt of court violation.

A civil protection order, on the other hand, is a legal instrument that law enforcement officers anywhere in Ohio must enforce, and preferably by arresting the offender. If you are in an abusive relationship, the civil protection order is a better alternative to the restraining order, and will help to provide protection from the abuser and peace of mind for you and your children.

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Your Custodial Rights as a Grandparent

Posted Date:August 28, 2015 | Categories:

Grandparent Custodial Rights

In Ohio grandparents have both custodial and visitation rights with their grandchildren under certain circumstances.

To be granted custody of a child, the situation for the child must be fairly dire, insofar as the grandparent seeking custody must prove that both parents are unfit or unsuitable to serve as parents. Secondly, the grandparent must prove it is in the child’s best interests to be placed in the grandparent’s custody. The court is likely to work to do all it can to preserve the natural rights of the parent.

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When You Should Use A Private Judge

Posted Date:August 28, 2015 | Categories:

Private Judge Ohio

Using a private judge has been allowed under Ohio statutes for some 40 years, but has gained popularity recently. Using a private judge in your divorce case can have many advantages. First and foremost, it speeds the dissolution and finalizes the divorce more quickly than going through the public court system, which is generally overburdened. If you use a private judge, you are not at the mercy of the public court dockets and can finalize the divorce more quickly.

Ohio state law allows any retired judge to serve as a private judge. This option is frequently used where there is an uncontested divorce. To get to the point of “uncontested divorce,” the first step is to use an arbitrator to work out the terms of the divorce between you and your spouse.

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How is Marital Property Divided?

Posted Date:August 26, 2015 | Categories:

Marital Property

We should first begin this short article exploring what marital property is. Marital property is all the property acquired during a marriage. The marriage is considered to reach from the time of the marriage ceremony to the date of the divorce.

Types of marital property could include all real and personal property owned by either or both spouses. This property was acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage, and includes any retirement benefits either or both spouses accrued during the marriage. Marital property could also include any portion of real or personal property (anything from stocks and bonds, to company shares, to timeshares in Florida) that either or both spouses acquired during the marriage.  Marital property can also include the income and appreciation on either spouse’s separate property as a result of the labor, financial backing, or in-kind contribution of either or both spouses. And finally, marital property also includes any state or municipal deferred compensation plans earned as a public employee.

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What You Should Know About Military Divorce

Posted Date:August 24, 2015

Military Divorce Ohio

Military families often pay a steep price for defending our nation, sometimes at the cost of their family. Long deployments, uncertainty, and the overall stress of military life can take its toll on a family. But if that is the case, you need to be aware there are special divorce provisions that apply when you or your spouse are in the military. Specific state and federal laws apply when one or both spouses are members of the military.

First, regarding residency requirements – either you or your spouse must be stationed in Ohio or have residency in Ohio in order to file for divorce here. The grounds for divorce are the same as any other divorce in Ohio.

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How to Protect Your Retirement Benefits During a Divorce

Posted Date:August 19, 2015 | Categories:

Retirement Benefits During a Divorce

As emotionally difficult as divorce is, working to keep it from negatively impacting your retirement should be a key focus during the process.  There are many different situations in which divorcing couples may find themselves. After emotional issues, financial issues are some of the most challenging in divorce. 

Here are a few things you should know about retirement funds and divorce. If you and your spouse have been married to one another for at least 10 years, you may be entitled to half of your spouse’s Social Security benefits. If you have earned your own benefits you may claim either your benefits or half of your spouse’s, but not both. In addition, remarrying after the divorce disqualifies your from claiming your ex-spouse’s Social Security.

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How Spousal Support Can Affect Your Taxes

Posted Date:August 6, 2015 | Categories:

Spousal Support Affect Taxes

If you are the recipient of alimony payments, those payments are taxable as additional income to you. Because no taxes are withheld from the alimony payment, you may want to consider how you will plan to pay the taxes on this income. If you have no other income, you should think about filing quarterly tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Here is a link to useful information from the IRS about alimony that the recipient should be aware of: Also, the IRS has a publication that will help you estimate your taxes (IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Taxes) and one that will give you more information you should know regarding alimony income and your taxes IRS Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals). Both of these publications are available at

If you pay alimony, the annual amount you pay is deducted from your income on line 31 of the 1040 IRS form. The payer must also enter the ex-spouse’s social security number so payment amounts may be cross-checked against how much the ex-spouse claims as income. However, child support is not deductible or taxable. Also be aware that the IRS will scrutinize your first three years of alimony payments in order to be assured that you’re not trying to hide property distribution or other post-divorce settlements such as attorneys’ fees as deductible support.

Also, if you tie spousal support in any way to child support – such as terminating it once the children graduate high school – that will give the IRS latitude to question whether you’ve actually been paying child support while claiming alimony. Remember, alimony is deductible, but child support is not.

What should be clear from this short article is that there is a great deal to be considered in structuring your divorce settlement, whether you are the payer or the recipient. There are strategies that a seasoned, experienced attorney can help you employ so that the settlement you agree on is to the best possible advantage of both you and your children. Remember it is imperative that you discuss the tax consequences of your overall settlement with your attorney prior to signing off on the final settlement.

Do You Need Information About Spousal Support?

At Edward F. Whipps & Associates, our family attorneys understand the complexities posed by structuring your divorce settlement and can help you navigate those difficulties to the best possible advantage of you and your children. Our experienced attorneys can help you on this journey.