Comprehensive Family Law Services For Clients Across Columbus
At Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP, we are proud to offer a wide range of family law services for all families. The quality of our Columbus firm’s approach lies in our legal professionals’ skill and their sensitivity to your family’s situation. With a collaborative approach, we can build legal solutions that meet your needs. We counsel and represent clients in the following family law areas.
Adoption: Completing Your Family
We help both traditional and same-sex couples legally formalize adoptions that include:
- Private or agency involvement
- Stepparent adoption
- Adult adoption
Surrogacy And Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
The Collaborative Divorce process involves an approach where the divorcing spouses and their lawyers and other professionals work collaboratively to address all of the concerns of both spouses. It is a team approach that can also include financial experts (CPA’s, investment professionals, etc.), and a family coach with a social work/counselor background who assists the parties in dealing with difficult issues and emotions that impact the parties’ ability to reach consensus. The divorcing couple, their attorneys and the other professionals selected to assist, hold joint sessions to discuss and reach agreement on all of the issues that the law requires be addressed, as well as any specific concerns raised by either spouse. Our attorneys have training and experience representing spouses who choose the Collaborative Law approach.
Our attorneys handle matters related to child custody proceedings between married or unmarried legal parents, as well as child custody proceedings brought by adults who are not legal parents.
Civil Protection Orders
Our attorneys provide representation to individuals seeking to obtain a protection order as well as those against whom a civil protection order has been issued. Individuals in Ohio can obtain court orders of protection against someone who has committed domestic violence, made threats of violence, or engaged in conduct that would be considered “stalking” under Ohio Law. There is more than one type of protection order in Ohio, and which type and which Court would handle a request for an order depends on a variety of factors. Our attorneys can assist individuals in determining which type of protection order an individual may seek, which Court would handle their request, and can represent individuals involved in protection order cases throughout the proceedings.
Divorce & Dissolution
Divorce: There are a variety of legal grounds in Ohio for which a spouse may seek to legally terminate their marriage. There are residency requirements in Ohio that must be met before an Ohio Court has jurisdiction to hear a divorce case. The legal process of divorce can be cooperative/uncontested or adversarial. As part of that legal process, married individuals can seek and obtain restraining orders against their spouse; they can ask the court to issue temporary orders while the case is pending that deals with such things as allocation of parental rights, the payment of debt, the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, and support payments. The divorce process also allows spouses to require the other spouse to provide certain documents and answer specific questions in writing. Our attorneys have years of experience representing individuals who wish to file for divorce.
Dissolution: The dissolution of marriage process is a more cooperative way to legally terminate a marriage. The parties must agree on all matters that must be addressed when couples end their marriage. The couples must sign a written Separation Agreement that involves the allocation/division of all assets and debts of the marriage, and if they have children, the spouses must agree on the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities. The dissolution process is, by definition, one that requires cooperation and mutual consent. It is a process that can save time and money and can help establish a working relationship post-marriage for those individuals who will continue to have contact after the marriage ends. This process can be utilized whether there are children of the marriage, or not. Our attorneys have many years of experience representing spouses who decide to end their marriage via the dissolution.
In mediation, the divorcing couple meets with a mediator, who is a neutral third party, to draft a mutually agreeable divorce agreement. Mediation is not for everyone, but it is a legal approach that can save time and money.
At Artz, Dewhirst & Wheeler, LLP, our lawyers can serve as a mediator, or our lawyers can represent clients who will participate in mediation. Mediation is often a good option to choose when a divorce agreement must be modified.
Attorney Tom Addesa has an ongoing practice that includes acting as the mediator for couples who choose divorce mediation. Tom has extensive training and experience in this area. Couples who are interested in pursuing divorce mediation may call the office for a free consultation with Tom.
Grandparents and Relative Rights
Ohio has some specific statutory provisions that address grandparents’ rights. Grandparents can petition the appropriate Court for rights of visitation with their grandchildren. With a parent’s consent, they can also be granted a Grandparent Power of Attorney which would allow them to care for grandchildren and make some decisions for them. In addition, grandparents have the option of seeking full custody of their grandchildren by filing a custody complaint with the Court. Other relatives may also have the necessary connection with minor children to be granted custodial rights to minor children. Our attorneys have experience representing grandparents and relatives in these matters.
Parental Rights and Responsibilities
Attorneys Tom Addesa, Merisa Bowers and Carol Fey all have extensive experience representing parents with regard to their rights and responsibilities for their minor children. This includes parents who were never married; parents who are currently married; and parents who are divorced. Whether the issue is a needed change in a parenting schedule or the adjustment of child support obligations, our attorneys are available for consultation and representation. (Note that our attorneys do not handle court cases of “Abuse, Neglect and Dependency” filed by a Children’s Services Agency.)
Prenuptial agreements help couples define the status of their marital financial details, providing transparency throughout the marriage. Also, it puts a structure in place if the couple decides to divorce. Prenuptial agreements can address a variety of topics, from defining marital debts and assets, to addressing future spousal support and rights of inheritance to a spouse’s assets.