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Author Archives: Sarah J. Decker-Hall

The Effects of Separate vs. Marital Property in Ohio

In some states, spouses’ property is classified as community property, which means it is all jointly owned. But in Ohio, as in many states, there is a legal distinction between separate and marital property. Below is a quick overview of how Ohio marital property laws work with regard to property classification and its effect on […]

Consequences of Signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity at the Hospital

Under Ohio law, if a married couple has a baby, the husband is automatically referred to as the legal father of the child. However, if the couple is unmarried, the law does not presume the father’s identity. Instead, for a man to be acknowledged as the baby’s biological father, he must establish paternity. A failure […]

Parenting Time Cannot Be Stopped for Nonpayment of Child Support

It is understandable for parents to get frustrated and angry when a former partner falls behind on child support payments. However, a custodial parent may not withhold parenting time — the term the state of Ohio uses to refer to visitation — as a means of punishment or vengeance. Courts view child support and parenting […]

Big Changes Regarding Spousal Support in Ohio

Ohioans who pay spousal support will see changes in their taxes in the coming years due to the new tax plan passed by congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in December. The sweeping tax overhauls include an elimination of a tax deduction for spousal support payments that has been part of federal […]

Tax Consequences of Earned Income Tax Credit and Dependent Exemptions

For divorced couples with children, it is important to understand the differences between the Earned Income Tax Credit and dependent exemptions. The general difference is that an exemption reduces your taxable income directly, while a credit reduces your tax liability. The dependent exemption allows you to exclude a certain amount of income from your taxable […]

Exemptions Available in an Ohio Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is an opportunity for a person struggling with financial burdens to get a fresh start. One part of the process may involve forfeiting items and property of value to offset debts. Ohio allows for certain items to be exempt from forfeiture, including certain property that’s protected from your creditors, such as cars, […]

Combating the Unfair Stigma of Bankruptcy

Financial difficulties can befall anyone, even people who have always been responsible with their money and pay their bills on time. Life is unpredictable and no one can foresee medical problems arising, losing a job or an economic downturn. During these times of adversity, bills can pile up and people can begin to feel like […]

Child Whose Parents Kept Her from One Another Disallowed from Visitation Hearing

It is an unfortunate fact that many divorced parents struggle with co-parenting their children. The Akron Beacon Journal recently reported on a court decision related to a custody battle between the two parents of a young girl. Subsequent to their divorce, both parents used international trips with their child to keep the other parent from […]

What You Need to Know About Divorce in Ohio

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce in Ohio, it’s important to understand all aspects of the process involved, including your legal rights and obligations. At the outset, the most important issue to address is your eligibility to obtain a divorce in Ohio. To file for divorce here, you or your spouse must […]

As an Unmarried Father, Can I Get Shared Custody in Ohio?

In March of this year, it was reported that almost half of first babies born in the US were born to unmarried mothers. In Ohio, when a child is born to an unmarried woman, state law grants her sole custody of the child at birth. This remains the case until the father proves paternity and […]


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