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Recent Blog Posts

Factors that Complicate the Division of Assets in an Ohio Divorce

 Posted on March 31, 2021 in Divorce

Medina County divorce attorney asset division

When you and your spouse got married, you joined your lives personally and financially. Separating your lives through divorce also involves separating your finances. The division of assets and debts is often one of the most consequential aspects of the divorce process. The fewer assets and liabilities a couple has, the simpler this process typically is. Complex assets and investments or a high net worth will greatly complicate asset division during a divorce. If you have a complicated financial situation and you plan to end your marriage, working with a skilled divorce lawyer is highly recommended.

Marital and Separate Property that Has Been Commingled  

Ohio is an “equitable division” state, which means that marital property is divided fairly between the spouses based on factors including each spouse’s property, debts, and earning potential, the duration of the marriage, and tax consequences. Only property contained within the marital estate is divided by Ohio courts in a divorce. Property that is classified as “separate property” is assigned to the spouse who originally owned the asset. Marital property is the property that was acquired during the marriage. Separate property includes property acquired before the marriage, inheritance, passive income from separate property, and property acquired after a legal separation.

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New 2021 Law Affects Concealed Carry Gun Permits in Ohio

 Posted on February 19, 2021 in Criminal Defense

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There is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although many are looking forward to a new year, it is important to understand any new laws that are taking effect in 2021, especially if you are a gun owner. People who live in Ohio can now apply for and renew their concealed carry permits at any sheriff’s office in the state. Previously, residents could only apply for or renew their permits from the county in which they lived or a neighboring county. The new law also extends all expiration dates through June 30, 2021. In addition, if a license expires between April 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, the license is further extended an additional 90 days past the expiration date. Ohio gun laws can be detailed and complex, causing someone to unintentionally violate them, which can lead to serious criminal charges.

Understanding Ohio Gun Laws

According to Ohio law, citizens are allowed to openly carry weapons without a permit. However, a license for carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) allows a person to conceal firearms, under certain regulations that are designed with the safety of the gun owner, police, and the public in mind. When applying for a CCW, you must be 21 years older or older, and either reside or work in the state of Ohio. You must demonstrate that you are competent to use a weapon, and you will be fingerprinted and undergo a background check.

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How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Protect Me During Marriage and Divorce?

 Posted on January 05, 2021 in Family Law

Medina County family law attorney prenuptial agreement

When you get married, you and your spouse will not only be making the commitment to spend your lives together, but you will be entering into a legal partnership that affects the income you earn, the property you own, and much more. This means that if your relationship breaks down in the future, and you decide to get a divorce, you will need to address multiple types of financial and legal issues, including dividing the marital property you own together. Even though you probably do not want to think about the possibility of divorce when you are planning to begin your new life as a married couple, considering these issues can help you avoid difficulty and uncertainty in the future. By creating a prenuptial agreement, you can make decisions about these financial issues and provide yourself with protection if your Ohio marriage does not last.

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Do Drunk Driving Accidents Increase Over the Holidays in Ohio?

 Posted on December 15, 2020 in Personal Injury

Medina County personal injury attorney car accident

The holiday season is usually a period when families get together, and people often enjoy some much-needed time off of work as they celebrate traditions and prepare for the year to come. Nothing can destroy the holiday spirit like a serious injury, but unfortunately, the risks of being involved in a car accident may be higher during this time due to increased rates of drunk driving.

Alcohol consumption often increases during the month of December as people get together for holiday parties, and this leads more people to drink and drive. Across the United States, more than 300 people are killed in drunk driving crashes each year in the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This trend also affects people in Ohio, where approximately 1,000 drunk-driving-related accidents occur every year in December.

Accident rates may be different from the norm in 2020’s holiday season since the COVID-19 pandemic has led many people to stay at home whenever possible and avoid gathering either in public places or at the homes of friends and family. However, car crashes have continued to occur over the last several months. In some cases, isolation and stress have led people to increase their use of alcohol or other drugs, leading to the potential for more cases in which people drive while intoxicated and put themselves and others in danger.

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What Is the Difference Between a Living Will and Power of Attorney?

 Posted on November 14, 2020 in Estate Planning

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Even though it can be difficult to contemplate the possibility of death, it is important for everyone to consider what they want to happen when they reach the end of their life. This has become especially clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, since the spread of this disease has forced many people to make decisions about the types of care they would want to receive if they are on a ventilator, in a coma, or unable to make their own decisions or communicate their wishes. As part of the estate planning process, it is a good idea to create advance medical directives that address the types of medical care a person wishes to receive and the measures to be taken if he or she becomes incapacitated. These directives may include a living will and durable power of attorney for healthcare.

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How Are Juvenile Crimes Punished in Ohio?

 Posted on October 29, 2020 in Criminal Defense

Wayne County juvenile charges defense lawyerAlleged criminal acts are taken seriously in the state of Ohio. Offenses that are committed by an individual who is under the age of 18 are typically handled through Ohio’s juvenile justice system. In addition to the right to legal counsel in juvenile court proceedings, as guaranteed by the United States Constitution, these cases often have their own statutory provisions that expand upon that right. However, there are certain crimes that may result in a minor being charged as an adult. Therefore, if your minor child is facing charges in Ohio, it is imperative that you hire a diligent criminal defense attorney to protect your son or daughter’s rights and help them avoid a permanent criminal record.  

Penalties for Juvenile Offenses

Minors who are convicted of criminal offenses are considered delinquent. In these cases, a judge will hold a dispositional hearing to determine the appropriate sentence for a juvenile offender. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, Ohio issues various punishments for juvenile offenders, including but not limited to the following:

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How Are Retirement Accounts and Pensions Handled During Divorce?

 Posted on September 16, 2020 in Divorce

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While the overall divorce rate in the United States has declined over the past few decades, it has actually increased for one demographic: people over the age of 50. In these cases, which are commonly known as “gray divorces,” there is a wide variety of complex issues that spouses will need to consider as they legally dissolve their marriage, including determining how to divide marital property. This can be a major concern for those who are close to retirement age or who have already retired since they will need to determine how to maintain financial stability so they can support themselves once their divorce is complete. However, no matter your age, retirement savings and benefits are an important issue to address during the property division process in Ohio.

Dividing Retirement Accounts and Pension Benefits

Marital assets include any money or property earned or acquired by either spouse after they were married and before they were legally separated, and these assets must be divided as equally as possible between spouses during an Ohio divorce. If a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA was created during a couple’s marriage, or if contributions were made to an account while the spouses were married, this account will typically be considered marital property. Likewise, if a spouse worked in a pension-eligible position while married, his or her pension benefits will be subject to division between the spouses.

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What Are the Main Causes of Truck Rollover Accidents in Ohio?

 Posted on August 18, 2020 in Personal Injury

Brunswick personal injury attorney truck accident

Being stuck driving next to a large, commercial truck is often inevitable when you are navigating Ohio highways. These massive vehicles’ integral role in shipping and distributing goods can make it feel as if they own the roads. This can be intimidating as a passenger vehicle driver -- not only can you not see around the truck, but you may see the large vehicles drifting between lanes from time to time, placing the other drivers and passengers at risk of an accident.

One common accident that involves commercial truckers is known as a rollover accident. If you have ever seen a truck flipped over on the side of the highway, you have witnessed the aftermath of these catastrophic events. Rollover accidents are especially dangerous because the commercial truck can hit a number of other cars in the process. In some instances, these trucks can roll in the middle of the highway, hitting other vehicles and blocking the roadway, while in other cases, the trucks may roll off the side of the highway. Any drivers and passengers who get injured in truck accidents can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for their injuries. Depending on the cause of the accident, one or more parties may be held liable for your injuries.

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Can My Criminal Record Be Sealed in Ohio?

 Posted on July 13, 2020 in Criminal Defense

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As soon as you are arrested, a permanent stain will appear on your criminal record. This is true even if the arrest does not amount to a criminal charge or conviction. Unfortunately, your criminal record can largely influence your future in terms of educational and professional opportunities since the information on this record may automatically disqualify you for certain jobs. The state of Ohio has recognized the damaging effects that this societal stigma can have on those who have paid for their crimes and are trying to move forward with their lives. In order to give these individuals a second chance, Ohio legislation allows individuals with a criminal record to apply to seal their records. Since gaining the approval to seal your criminal record can be life-changing, it is important to see if you are eligible and to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney for help in completing the process.

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A Will Versus a Trust: Which One Is Right for Me?

 Posted on June 20, 2020 in Estate Planning

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It can be uncomfortable to imagine what life will be like when you are gone. You may be imagining your spouse lonely or moving on or you may picture your kids continuing to grow up without you there. While you may not be able to control what happens to your loved ones after you pass away, you are able to determine how you would like your assets dealt with upon your death. This may include your finances, property, or other valuable belongings that you would like to control whose hands they fall into. There are two types of legal documents that designate how your affairs will be handled after your passing, and deciding which works for you is an important step in the Ohio estate planning process.

What Is a Will?

A will is a legal document that allows you to outline where your assets will be distributed and how you would like your affairs handled upon your death. You will list out your various assets and name the person who will receive this asset. This will include your home, vehicle, any owned property as well as your financial savings. For those with children who are minors, creating a will is especially important. It will allow you to name their legal guardians in the instance of your death. This can be a difficult decision to make, imagining who will care for your kids in your absence, but this will keep your children from being placed with family members who you think may be unfit to care for them. You can also divide up your estate between your children within your will, or even remove a child or spouse from being a beneficiary if you wish.

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