Amy M. Levine & Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC

Call For A Free Consultation

Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day

OH 614-360-2942
WV 304-519-4354

Aggressive, Caring Representation

Columbus Divorce Law Blog

Father's rights and frozen embryos in Ohio

A married couple who is having trouble conceiving a child naturally may choose to freeze a number of embryos for future use. However, the question of what should be done with them if the couple divorces is a legally complex one. Even if a couple has a contract spelling out who owns the embryos, it may not help decide a given case.

For example, a Massachusetts court ruled that a man could not be forced to become a parent. Therefore, despite signed contracts that gave his wife ownership of those embryos, she would not legally be able to use them. In many other cases, courts have sided with those who do not want to reproduce through artificial means after a divorce. Another legal issue is whether or not an embryo is considered to be a child or another piece of property.

Ohio woman accused of selling heroin that led to death

On Aug. 21, it was reported that an Ohio woman was accused of being involved in the death of a 24-year-old woman who overdosed on heroin on April 27. A Franklin County sheriff alleged that the accused woman provided the heroin that led to the overdose death.

According to a report, the 26-year-old was accused after authorities searched a cellphone used by the deceased person. She was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, she could spend up to 19 years in prison.

Child custody case uses social media data

As Ohio residents may know, information about the time a parent spends with a child before divorce has implications on child custody. In a case in New York, a judge ruled that a mother's Facebook page could be used as evidence to substantiate claims made by the father. This use of social media as supporting evidence may pave the way for how other divorce and custody cases are handled.

While courts consider all factors that pertain to a child's best interests when making a custody decision, the parent who was the prominent caregiver during the marriage generally has a strong case for gaining custody. In this particular case, the father petitioned the court to use his wife's Facebook entries to prove his claims that he had cared for their 4-year-old son more than his ex-wife did in the past four years. The father works as a social worker, and the Facebook pages allegedly show his ex-wife vacationing in such places as Boston and Milan.

2 men admit to smuggling heroin via drone

Ohio residents might be interested to learn that a drone was used to smuggle drugs from Mexico into the United States. On April 28, border patrol cameras allegedly videotaped two men picking up drugs near Highway 98 in California. Later on, both of the men pleaded guilty to smuggling 28 pounds of heroin into the U.S. using a drone.

The incident marks the first time that a drone has been caught carrying drugs over the U.S. border. However, law enforcement officials involved with the incident said that drug-carrying drones are a growing problem. As security on the border tightens, drug traffickers have been caught using tunnels, jet skis, small aircrafts and now drones to transport controlled substances.

Adult trial scheduled for young defendants in stabbing case

Ohio residents may have heard about the so-called 'Slender Man" stabbing case in Wisconsin. On May 31, 2014, two 12-year-old girls in Waukesha stabbed their 12-year-old friend 19 times and then left her in the woods. The girl survived the attack, and it was later revealed that the girls accused of stabbing her were obsessed with the fictional character Slender Man.

Although the accused girls are now both 13 years old, they were scheduled to stand trial in adult court on Oct. 15 after pleading not guilty to their charges. Attorneys for both of the girls stood mute when they were asked to enter pleas, which is a way for criminal defense attorneys to object to the court's jurisdiction. A lawyer for one of the defendants said that she is still hoping the case will be moved into juvenile court. Both defendants could spend as many as 65 years in prison for first-degree attempted homicide. If their case is moved to the juvenile court system, the sentence could be much shorter. One of the defendants told a police officer that she and the other defendant began planning the stabbing about six months before it happened. The girls believed that they needed to murder their friend so that they could live with Slender Man in a mansion in the forest.

Actress Kelly Rutherford ordered to court in custody dispute

Ohio television fans may have heard that actress Kelly Rutherford was scheduled to attend an emergency hearing regarding her custody dispute in a Manhattan court on Aug. 11. It was reported that if she did not bring her two children to court with her, she could potentially be taken into custody.

The emergency hearing was reportedly requested by Rutherford's ex-husband after Rutherford refused to send her children back to Monaco. Rutherford had stated that she had no legal obligation to return the two kids, ages 6 and 8, after a California court stated that it had no jurisdiction over the case. Rutherford argued that no U.S. court had the authority to make her send her children away.

Jurisdiction and child support modifications

When a parent's financial circumstances have changed since a child support order was issued in their divorce case, where to file the request for modification can be a real question when they have relocated to Ohio from the state that issued the original order. There is a law that governs the jurisdictional question over where the appropriate court is to file such a motion.

The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act explains how to determine in which state to file a modification request. The law has been codified in all 50 states. Under the act, the state in which the case was originally filed will continue to have jurisdiction over the matter if it is the home of the person who was ordered to pay support, the child or the person was ordered to receive it.

Car chase leads to drunk driving charges

In an incident that took place on Aug. 1, 2015, in North Ridgeville, Ohio, a 39-year-old man led police on a small chase after an officer saw the man's vehicle and suspected drunk driving. The man's car was spotted at around 2:00 a.m. near the intersection of Chestnut Ridge and Lear Nagle roads in an off-limits construction zone.

The driver sped away when an officer attempted to pull him over, which led to a three-minute chase that ended in Westlake on Center Ridge Road when the driver crashed into a front lawn after he lost control of his vehicle. He reportedly ran into lawn ornaments, a mailbox and a tree.

2 accused of selling heroin that resulted in overdoses

On Aug. 4, Ohio authorities filed charges against two men after it was believed that they were involved in two heroin overdoses. One of the overdoses occurred on July 25 while the second occurred on Aug. 2.

The first overdose, which resulted in a fatality, took place in the 1300 block of Grant Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls. An investigation into the incident by the Cuyahoga Falls Narcotics Unit revealed that a 28-year-old Silver Lake man allegedly provided the heroin. The Narcotics Unit investigated and arranged for a delivery of the drug by the suspect. It was reported that the man was preparing to turn himself into the authorities through his criminal defense attorney. He was facing drug trafficking and corruption charges.

Deducting alimony

When Ohio couples are preparing to divorce, they should understand that alimony is deductible by the person who pays it and taxable to the person who receives it. If alimony is likely to be owed by one spouse to another, keeping the tax implications in mind during the negotiation process is important.

It is equally important to understand what cannot be deducted as alimony. Amounts that are paid for child support are never deductible by the payer and are similarly not taxable to the payee. It is important to clearly list the monthly portion that is alimony and the monthly portion that is child support in any agreement or property settlement.

Columbus Office
147 Thurman Avenue
Columbus, OH 43206
614-360-2942 local
614-224-5299 fax
Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day
Columbus Family Law Office

Huntington Office
1330 Commerce Avenue, Suite 1
Huntington, WV 25701
304-519-4354 local
304-522-6954 fax
Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day
Map & Directions