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Columbus, Ohio, Family Law Blog

How often do divorcing couples own a business?

You and your spouse are more than just partners in marriage. You're also business partners. You started the company 20 years ago, just two years after you got married.

Over the years, you've worked hard to grow the company to the point that it now provides a very comfortable income for both of you. You're proud of what you've accomplished.

Do you need to divide your retirement savings?

You and your spouse are splitting up. Your spouse doesn't work, but you've been saving money for retirement for all 10 years that you've been together. Does your spouse have a claim to that money?

This question has been posed to the Supreme Court of Ohio. The ruling established that marital assets include any benefits that either one of you accumulated while you were a couple.

5 tips for noncustodial parents to create a strong bond

You don't have custody of your kids. You still get to see them on weekends and you visit them during the week, but it's not the same as living with them.

It can be hard. Here are five tips that may help you form a strong bond with your kids, even if you're not there as much as your ex.

  1. Give them photos. Take pictures of that summer vacation to the mountains or that weekend trip to a waterpark. Print them off and send them to the kids. Share them on social media and tag them. Give them concrete ways to remember the fun you had and show them that you care.
  2. Keep in touch directly. Don't send messages to the kids through your ex. Text, call or email regularly. Keep in touch even when you're not together.
  3. Get involved. Is your son or daughter's soccer team looking for a volunteer coach or an assistant? Step up. If you're involved in your child's activities, you create more time together.
  4. Don't be afraid to babysit. Tell your ex that you're happy to stay in on a Friday night and have movie night with the kids, rather than going out with your friends. Look at these weekends not as an obligation, but as a chance to get extra nights with the kids.
  5. Work through your emotions on your own. Divorce can be hard. Don't let your anger or other emotions change the way you treat the kids.

Separate property may not stay separate

You believe that some of your property is protected during the divorce since it's separate property, not marital property. It belongs to you alone, rather than to the two of you as a couple.

For instance, maybe you already had a significant retirement fund when the two of you got married. Or maybe your parents gave you a significant inheritance that was intended for you alone. Or perhaps you won a personal injury lawsuit and the compensation was given to you directly.

Worried that your spouse may hide assets? Here's how.

You're concerned that your spouse is going to try to hide some assets from you during the divorce. You know he or she isn't thrilled about splitting things up, and you're no longer on good terms.

If you're worried, here are a few things to watch out for. This is how people often try to hide their wealth.

Changing your life insurance beneficiaries after divorce

You got life insurance when you and your spouse were married. Naturally, your spouse was the one who you named as the beneficiary. If you passed away, he or she would get paid.

Then you got divorced. You updated your will to reflect your new situation, making sure your assets went to your kids, but you know that your life insurance plan is outside of your will. It still pays out to the listed beneficiary.

Tips for making parenting decisions after divorce

Divorce means that your marriage is over, but the obligations of being a parent don't change. You still need to work together to raise your child.

It can be hard. You and your spouse may not be thrilled to work together on anything since you're no longer romantically involved. You may have feelings of anger, sorrow or frustration left over from the split.

Can you really have the same living standard after divorce?

Many people go to court hoping they can have the same living standard after divorce that they enjoyed before it. This is only fair, they say, because they assumed the marriage would last and give them that lifestyle forever. They've grown used to it, and they want to maintain it after the split.

Is this possible? It is a good goal to shoot for, but it may not be realistic.

Don't let emotional and professional decisions mix in divorce

People have a tendency, experts note, to let all of the decisions they need to make during a divorce get mixed together.

There are the family-based decisions, like where the kids will live. There are the emotional decisions, like whether or not you want to move out of the family home, with all of its memories, after the split. There are financial decisions, such as who needs to pay child support or spousal support. And there can be business decisions, such as deciding how the business you and your spouse have run together for years will be divided.

Building up your relationship with your child

You and your spouse are splitting up. You're far less concerned with that than you are with your child. The relationship that the two of you have means the world to you. Is it going to suffer after the divorce?

A split can be hard on kids. You naturally spend less time together. But that doesn't mean it has to destroy your relationship. If you're intentional about building it up, it can stay strong.

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