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Wadsworth parenting time attorney

The divorce process includes a number of different areas that must be addressed before your marriage can be legally dissolved. This includes the division of assets, spousal support (alimony) determinations, and perhaps most importantly, drafting a parenting plan for your children. Building a parenting plan and creating “rules” for you and your former spouse can feel uncomfortable, and you may need to resolve a variety of disagreements. It is likely that you each have slightly different parenting styles and differing opinions on how to handle situations that come up involving your children. These discrepancies can be easier to discuss and manage as a married couple, but they may not be so easy to address and resolve once the divorce papers are signed. During your divorce, you will need to formulate a legal parenting plan that addresses how you and your co-parent will deal with child-related situations, work together to raise your children, and resolve any disagreements that may arise.

Specific Issues to Address

A typical parenting plan will include larger details, such as the parenting time (visitation) schedule and each parent’s rights and responsibilities for making decisions about how children will be raised, but it will also hammer out minor details. Below are some of the issues that the Ohio family court system allows you to address to make sure that your parenting plan fits your family’s needs:

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Summit County car accident attorney

As is the case with most emergency situations, getting into an auto accident can be traumatic. From the instant you feel the impact of the collision, it may seem like everything goes by in a blur. No one anticipates being injured in a crash when they hop in their car to go to work or the grocery store. However, it is a good idea to have a checklist in the back of your mind in case you ever find yourself in this situation. In many cases, car accidents can result in serious or even fatal injuries. If you fail to take the proper measures on the scene, you could jeopardize your ability to receive the compensation that you deserve. The actions you take at the scene of the accident can influence how plausible your case is to the court. That is why hiring an experienced attorney is crucial when filing a personal injury claim. By following the below steps, you can increase your chances of seeking damages.

Check for Injuries

Before making any movement, it is imperative that you check yourself for injuries and ask your other passengers about any pain they may be experiencing. Evaluating your health and safety is important, because the adrenaline from the collision can cause you to disregard serious injuries and risk worsening them. Once you have checked your own health and looked for any obvious wounds, you can proceed to evaluate the rest of the situation. If possible, you should move your car to the side of the road or to a safe area to avoid further damage from other vehicles.

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Medina parenting time attorney

The divorce process involves a variety of decision-making steps, all of which are meant to be permanent. In certain cases, you may be able to decide how to divide your assets, when you will spend time with your children, and how much (if any) you or your spouse will receive in financial support. The permanence of these decisions can add another layer of stress onto each prospective ex-spouse. You may be thinking, "How can I make decisions for my future when I do not even know what it will look like?" Although a divorce decree is meant to be permanent, there is some leeway. The terms of your divorce may be modified, if necessary, with the help of a skilled attorney.

Post-Divorce Modifications

Changes made after the completion of a divorce are typically tied to finances or parenting issues. Spousal maintenance is determined by comparing both spouses’ incomes and factoring in your lifestyles. In some cases, you or your ex-spouse could endure a large pay cut or lose your job, possibly warranting an increase or decrease in the amount of spousal support payments. Similarly, if one of you receives a raise or gets a job after being unemployed, the amount of spousal support could be adjusted, or it could be terminated altogether. Because finances and income can change greatly throughout your life, it is important to understand that the number you decide on in court is not set in stone if there is a significant change in circumstances.

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Wadsworth winter car accident attorneyWith weather that fluctuates daily in Ohio and surrounding states, it can be difficult to become accustomed to driving on icy roads. As a result, car accidents with minor to serious injuries can occur frequently. Winter may come around every year, but that does not mean that everyone on the road is prepared to battle the weather while behind the wheel. Sometimes, the “problem driver” is not you, but the negligent motorist next to you on the road. While you cannot control the weather or everyone else around you, it is important to be aware of how the reckless actions of drivers around you can cause an accident. These may include:

Failure to Perform Required Maintenance

Before the winter season begins, drivers are responsible for making sure their cars are prepared for the winter weather. Testing a car's battery is an important step to take, since battery power decreases as the temperature drops, making it fairly common to have a dead battery in the middle of winter. Tire pressure also drops in low temperatures, and checking tires regularly can keep motorists from experiencing a blown-out tire or sliding on the streets. Not using wiper fluid that is rated for 30 degrees below zero to avoid frozen liquid on the windshield can impair a driver’s ability to see clearly.

Being Unprepared Before Getting Behind the Wheel

Unfortunately, driving in the winter can be a more complex process than driving during warmer weather. With snow and ice building up on a car’s windshield, all drivers should perform a quick check before getting on the road. Warming up the car for a few minutes before driving is a good way to make sure that everything is in proper working order. Drivers who do not take the time to remove dirt, snow, and ice from mirrors, windows, and assistive-driving features like rear back-up cameras can put themselves and others at risk. Many motorists may forget to clear the cameras but still rely on them for parking, which places them in a dangerous situation since they cannot see their surroundings. 

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Posted on in Family Law

Medina family law attorney paternity

When a woman gives birth to a child, she is obviously the biological mother of that child. She does not need to take any additional steps to become the child's legal parent. When a married couple has a child, the husband is automatically assumed to be the father. However, when an unmarried couple has a child, the father will need to take certain steps to declare himself as the child’s legal parent. There are several ways you can establish paternity in Ohio. Read on to learn more and the benefits it can provide for both the father and his child.

The Importance of Establishing Parentage of a Baby

In the state of Ohio, there are several individuals who can bring an action to establish paternity. The child’s mother or father can establish paternity, or the Child Support Enforcement Agency or a representative of the child can do so. Once paternity has been formally established, the mother will be able to start collecting child support. Establishing paternity is also necessary for the child to receive health insurance coverage, social security or veteran’s benefits, or an inheritance from the father. Most importantly, establishing the legal relationship between a father and his child can encourage the father to become more involved in his child’s upbringing.

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Wooster property division attorney

Dividing marital property and assets can be one of the most contentious parts of divorce proceedings. Some divorcing couples can agree on how to divide their assets, while others argue over every decision made during the property division process. Seeing the life that you built with your former spouse be split up between the two of you can be difficult. Deciding who gets to keep the marital home can be a tough task, both emotionally and financially. It is often assumed that one spouse will take the house while the other party finds another place to live. This may be one of the most common arrangements, but there are various ways that an experienced divorce attorney can work with both spouses to find a solution that benefits everyone.

What Are My Options?

There are three basic ways that the marital home can be evenly “divided” between spouses in an Ohio divorce. These decisions can vary depending on the spouses’ emotional connection to the home, their financial investment in the house, and whether or not they wish to raise their children there. The means by which the house will be divided can be determined by the divorcing couple, with the help of their attorneys, to ensure that the arrangement is fair for both sides. The arrangements may include:

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Summit County OVI defense attorney

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state. If a motorist chooses to get behind the wheel after consuming a few drinks, he or she endangers the lives of everyone on the road. In Ohio, this offense is referred to as operating a vehicle impaired (OVI). If you are over 21 years of age, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, you are considered to be impaired. The penalties for this offense can vary from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the circumstances. It is imperative to know the consequences and your rights regarding such charges if you ever find yourself arrested for OVI.  

Ohio OVI Laws

Ohio law removed the requirement that a vehicle must be “motorized” in order for the operator to be charged with OVI. It is now a crime in Ohio to operate almost any type of vehicle while impaired. This includes not only motor vehicles such as cars, trucks, or motorcycles, but also bicycles, scooters, and even horse-drawn carriages. In addition, under Ohio law, it is a criminal offense to refuse to submit to field sobriety testing once arrested for OVI.

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Posted on in Divorce

Medina County divorce attorneyYou may be surprised to learn that the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory considers divorce the second-most stressful life event that a person can experience. Disagreements regarding property division, child custody, child support, and spousal support can be especially burdensome. If you are planning to divorce, you should know that there are ways you can mitigate the stress and complication of ending your marriage. Avoiding the following mistakes is one of the easiest ways to do so.

Financial Short-Sightedness

Understandably, many people getting divorced are more focused on the personal effects of the split rather than the financial implications. However, divorce will have a major impact on your finances, making it crucial to be educated about your options. Avoid the mistake of only considering the short-term consequences of your financial decisions during divorce. For example, many people wish to retain the family home because of its personal significance to them. However, keeping a home which has an expensive mortgage or requires high maintenance costs may be too much for a recently-divorced person to manage on their own.  

Retaliatory Actions Against Your Spouse

It is safe to assume that most divorces involve a certain degree of hostility. Many divorces are the result of an affair, lies about finances, drug/alcohol addictions, or simply the breakdown of a relationship. It is completely understandable for those in the middle of a divorce to experience a wide range of emotions. However, taking retaliatory action against your spouse will only create further complications. Purposely doing things to upset or harm your spouse can affect decisions about property division, child custody, and many other aspects of your divorce.

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Medina personal injury attorneyWhen an injury-causing accident happens, there is often more than one reason the accident occurred. For example, a car accident may be caused by a combination of poor weather, intoxicated driving, and a traffic violation like speeding. 

When an injured person brings a personal injury lawsuit against another party, the court must consider all of the factors that led up to the accident, and many personal injury cases involve more than one party who acted negligently. In some cases, the person bringing the personal injury claim was in some way partly to blame for the accident. In situations like these, comparative negligence laws dictate the amount of damages a partially at-fault claimant can pursue.

Ohio Comparative Negligence Laws

Comparative negligence, sometimes called comparative fault, is a legal concept that dictates how damages are reduced when a claimant’s negligence contributed to their accident. Different states have different laws regarding comparative negligence. In some states, a claimant cannot pursue any damages through a personal injury lawsuit if he or she was even slightly at fault for the injury-causing accident. Fortunately, Ohio courts follow a shared negligence model called “modified comparative fault.” In Ohio, a claimant is still allowed to pursue compensation for their damages as long as they are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident. Put another way, the claimant can still bring a personal injury lawsuit as long as they were not more at fault than the defendant.

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Medina County family law attorneyThe decision to end a marriage is not easy, especially if the couple was married for a long time. One of the factors that concerns many people about getting a divorce is the financial aspect. The thought of how to divide assets or the loss of one whole income can be daunting. In some cases, one spouse may have earned significantly less than the other spouse did or even gave up his or her career to raise a child. In many states, such as Ohio, an award of “alimony” or now called “spousal support” may allow the spouse with the lower income to maintain his or her standard of living after the divorce. But, what happens to those support payments if one of the ex-spouses remarries?  

Determining Spousal Support in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, the court may order temporary spousal support during the divorce proceedings since some divorces can take a long time. Permanent spousal support payments may then be ordered once the divorce is final. While some states have guidelines for calculating the amount and duration of spousal support payments, Ohio divorce law leaves these decisions up to the court’s discretion. A judge must consider several factors when deciding whether or not to award spousal support payments.

Some of the issues the court will review include: 

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Medina estate planning attorneyIt can be easy for the elderly or disabled to be exploited by people who take advantage of them through undue influence, secret transactions, or identity theft. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants permission for one person, the “agent,” to represent another person, the “principal,” in different types of financial and medical matters.

Creating a power of attorney can be helpful if a person cannot be present to sign legal documents. It can also be a necessity, such as if someone becomes incapacitated. The POA allows for the agent (family member or friend) to take care of the principal’s finances or make decisions regarding medical treatment. 

Comprehensive Durable Power of Attorney

All states have adopted a “durability” statute, which allows the principal to include in his or her POA a directive that no power granted by the principal will become invalid if said principal becomes mentally incapacitated. This is referred to as a “durable power of attorney,” and the document continues to be valid until a specified termination date or when the principal dies. Some of the advantages of having a comprehensive durable POA include:

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Medina County Drunk Driving Defense AttorneyDriving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in any state is illegal. This violation is commonly known as a DUI in many of states. In Ohio, the term is Operating a Vehicle under the Influence, or OVI. Alcohol or drugs can significantly impair a person’s ability to drive safely. If someone is arrested for an OVI for the first time, and his or her BAC or urine test exceeds the lawful limits, the officer on scene will confiscate his or her driver’s license. This is also true for a refusal of testing. In addition, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can suspend a motorist’s license. A driver can challenge the suspension after a period of 30 days from his or her arraignment. Ohio’s OVI laws can be complex, so it is important to understand the legal consequences if you are charged with an OVI and your options for defense.

Penalties for OVI

If you are lawfully arrested for an OVI in Ohio, there can be serious consequences, such as license suspension and fees, even if you are not convicted of an OVI in criminal court. The penalties for a first OVI offense depend on your intoxication level, or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the arrest.

A BAC of less than .17% is considered a “low-level” OVI, but you can still be sentenced to:

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Medina car accident lawyer

The dangers drivers face each day on our roadways are undeniable. There are around six million car accidents each year in the United States, with more than three million annual injuries, and two million that lead to permanent physical effects. Also, an average of 90 Americans lose their lives every day in auto accidents.

Driver negligence is the primary contributing factor in most car wrecks, and it comes in many forms. If you were injured in a car crash caused by the negligent actions of another driver, you may be entitled to full compensation for medical costs, lost work, and pain and suffering.

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Medina County divorce lawyer

The history of prenuptial agreements can be traced back 2,000 years, but they began to benefit women in the United States during the 19th century. Before the Women’s Property Act of 1848, a woman could not have property in her name. In cases in which a woman’s husband would leave or pass away, a prenuptial agreement would ensure she would be left with something. After the act became law, prenuptial agreements protected women from their husbands taking advantage of their inheritances or property. 

Today, prenuptial agreements have a similar purpose to situate finances before marriage in case either party wants a divorce sometime in the future. Preparing for divorce before walking down the aisle may feel like planning for a marriage to fail, but in reality, it helps couples communicate truthfully about their finances.

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Posted on in Divorce

Wadsworth divorce lawyer mediation litigationIt is often said that half of marriages in the United States end in divorce. In reality, the percentage of divorce is somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, and that rate has steadily decreased in recent decades. There are many factors that can contribute to a couple’s likelihood to get a divorce, such as the length of the relationship, the age of the individuals, and whether or not one of the parties has been married before. According to USA Today, the divorce capital of Ohio is Bedford Heights, with nearly 20 percent of the population being divorced, compared to 13 percent throughout the rest of the state. 

When the time comes for a married couple to decide on separation, this may feel like an overwhelming decision. There are many things to consider when getting a divorce, such as the division of assets and child custody, but couples should first consider how to proceed with the divorce process. In Ohio, there are multiple options for resolving the legal issues that must be addressed during divorce. Depending on the relationship with your ex-spouse, you may find one is better for your situation than another. 

Options for Divorce

  • Mediation - If you and your spouse are able to amicably discuss the legal issues involved in ending your marriage, mediation can be a great option for conflict resolution. When using mediation, you and your spouse will work with a mediator to discuss and decide on the terms of your divorce. The mediator is not there to take sides or make decisions for you but to assist in guiding a productive conversation. After the mediation process, the agreements are placed in writing and signed. 
  • Collaborative law - In this type of divorce, couples agree to work together and negotiate the various issues involved in divorce outside of court while being represented by their own attorneys. This process requires both parties to be open to the idea of discussion and be willing to freely share information with each other.
  • Litigation - In some cases, it may be necessary to involve the court in divorce proceedings. This may be the case if couples truly cannot agree on the terms of their divorce or are unwilling to negotiate, or if there are serious issues such as restraining orders that have been placed because of domestic violence or abuse. Unlike mediation or collaborative law, court proceedings are public. 

Contact a Wayne County Divorce Attorney Today

Getting a divorce is an overwhelming process that involves a wide variety of steps. Contact an experienced Summit County divorce lawyer to discuss the best divorce procedure for you and your family. We offer free consultations in most cases. Call 330-725-4114 to schedule an appointment. 

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Wadsworth truck accident lawyerIn 2017, there were over 4,000 deaths caused by car accidents involving collisions with semi-trucks throughout the United States. Large commercial trucks weigh significantly more than cars, and they take longer to stop. As a result, the majority of victims who died in truck accidents were the occupants of passenger cars. 

Truck Accident Statistics

According to an analysis of U.S. Department of Transportation data by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deaths caused by truck accidents are at an eight-year high. The early 2000s brought a sharp decrease in deaths of passengers involved in truck accidents, but in 2009, deaths began rising. 

Large commercial trucks are often associated with highways and freeways, but only 32 percent of accidents that caused deaths in 2017 occurred on those types of roads. The majority of tractor-trailer truck accidents take place on major roads not considered freeways or interstate highways. 

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Medina County estate planning attorney willNobody wants to talk about what will happen to themselves or their family after death. It can be a difficult and uncomfortable conversation, but having a plan in place that determines what happens to your affairs when you die is important. The majority of Americans have not created any sort of estate plan, meaning the majority of American families will have an unnecessarily difficult time getting a loved one’s affairs in order after their death. Wills are a basic form of estate planning that everyone -- no matter if you are 25 or 95 -- should have in place should the unthinkable happen. 

Here are a few ways that having a will in place can benefit you:

1. You Can Make Sure Your Kids are Being Taken Care of By a Person of Your Choosing

One of the major components of a will is what will happen to your children if you die. If you do not designate a specific guardian for your minor children, the state will step in and will most likely give custody of your children to your next of kin. The person who the state gives custody to may or may not be the one who you would like to be looking after your children. Explicitly stating who you would like to take care of your children is important.

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