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

Call For A Free Consultation

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

Aggressive, Caring Representation

Columbus Divorce Law Blog

After the divorce, is it time to unplug from Facebook?

For a long time, Facebook was as close to a "universal" internet login as there could be. It's not that Facebook has suddenly lost its reach. It's still an ubiquitous member of the internet community. However, it seems it has lost a certain something over the last few years. People are starting to talk about unplugging from the social media giant, as they would rather spend their time looking up at an actual person rather than looking down at virtual people on their cellphone.

So how does this pertain to divorce? What does the proliferation of Facebook and the use of this social media site have to do with legally saying goodbye to your spouse?

Online divorce may not be all it's cracked up to be

There will always be ideas and offers out there to try to make divorce "simpler." While it's true that certain divorces can be made simpler if they use certain processes, such as mediation or alternative conflict resolution, what we mean by "simpler" in this case is a very quick divorce with little paperwork.

That sounds great, doesn't it? Except that is usually is a lie, or it ends up not benefitting one of the spouses, or even both spouses. Divorce is a complicated matter with a lot of factors at play, and every case is unique. You can't just speed through this process. You have to take your time with it and approach every issue appropriately. You may be able to expedite the divorce by going through mediation, but it will still take some time to complete.

Who keeps the engagement ring when the wedding gets called off?

Let's say that you and your sweetheart have finally reached the point where you are ready for marriage. The two of you say "yes" and it's off to dreamland, right? That's the way it's supposed to go -- but it doesn't always end in such a happy fashion.

In fact, there are plenty of examples where the engagement itself is fuel for some unexpected stressors. If the couple is unable to deal with these stressors, then their relationship may fall apart. That's when a really interesting question gets raised: what happens to the engagement ring? Who gets possession of the ring, and what kind of case can be made by either party to obtain the ring?

'Equal split' is not a guarantee with certain assets in divorce

One of the great myths about property division is that financial assets are simply "pots of money" that can somehow be divided right down the middle. In some cases that is possible, but in many other cases the ability to reach a "fair" division of the assets is difficult. There are plenty of rules and laws that apply to the division of financial property in a divorce, and many of these rules -- and even the tax implications -- can change how an asset is divided, or if a spouse even wants to fight for the asset in the first place.

So what can a divorcing couple do to prepare themselves for the often-difficult task of property division?

Man's failure to pay child support leads to 6-month jail sentence

Last week, we wrote about a man who hid some assets from his wife during the divorce process and went to jail for it. While the act of hiding assets is less common than you would think, the act of failing to pay child support is well documented. Take the recent story of a 62-year-old man who was sent to jail because he failed to pay $90,000 in child support since 1999. He will be in a federal prison for six months as a result of his failure to pay.

The man also owes $73,000 in restitution, which seemingly wasn't paid either. All told, the man owes more than $160,000 in child support and related fees.

Effective co-parenting can make things easier for everyone

When you and your spouse decide it is time to file for divorce, the coming weeks and months may not be filled with the warmest of feelings for each other. That doesn't mean you have to be combative and upset with each other all the time -- but, it is unlikely you'll be going out to the movies together and sharing a fine meal afterwards.

While this dynamic is "ok" -- if not expected in most divorce cases -- the dynamic changes when a child is involved. Now it's no longer just about you and your feelings of heartbreak. You have to consider your son or daughter, and how they are coping with this major change in their life. You and your spouse have to be a team without being the legally-recognized team you once were in order to make a child custody arrangement work.

Man hides assets after divorce, gets long prison sentence for it

While the following story did not occur here in Columbus, Ohio, it still demonstrates what not to do when you go through a divorce.

Many people have probably heard of divorce stories where one of the splitting spouses hides his or her assets in a foreign account or by some other means. You may think to yourself "how did they manage to do that?" Well, a man who went through a tough divorce with his ex-wife shows just what lengths you have to go to in order to hide your assets -- and the punishment that awaits you if your plot is discovered.

'Conscious uncoupling': Paltrow-Martin split ushers in new phrase

Most of the celebrity gossip in the past few days has been focused on the split of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, and understandably so -- but not necessarily for the reason you may be expecting. Yes, they were a celebrity couple which always makes for a good headline. But in this case, it wasn't their status as stars that made the Paltrow-Martin split the center of attention. Instead, it was the phrase Paltrow used to describe their split.

Welcome to the era of "conscious uncoupling."

Property division doesn't have to be a stumbling block

As many Columbus residents have likely noticed, the realm of divorce news tends to attract the bizarre and the weird. More than anything this has to do with the way divorce is portrayed by news outlets and blogs -- but there is a kernel of truth to the portrayal. Divorce is inherently a tumultuous and emotional time that can make people feel stressed out. As a result, people do outlandish things or deviate from their "normal" behavior. This can result in poor decisions, but it can also result in arguments with a soon-to-be-ex or a prolonged debate about certain aspects involved in their divorce.

Just read of our source article to see nine examples of bizarre divorce stories from a Reddit thread on the topic. The validity of the stories is unclear, but then again, they sound realistic enough. In one story, a splitting couple argued for hours about $40 worth of groceries left over in their fridge. Another example showed how far an ex0husband was willing to go to cause his ex-wife emotional strife.

How to approach the daunting prenup conversation

While the source article for this blog post is for financial advisors -- hey, even the advisors need some advice every now and then -- it raises an important point about prenuptial agreements. Prenups have been a common theme on this blog, and for good reason. They are vital contracts that are far more socially-acceptable than they were 30 years ago.

But even if prenuptial agreements were frowned upon, they would serve an important function for those who were brave enough to sign them. For those who do want a prenup, the very first step you need to take is the most obvious one: you need to talk to your spouse.

Columbus Office
147 Thurman Avenue
Columbus, OH 43206
614-360-2942 local
614-224-5299 fax
Columbus Family Law Office

Huntington Office
1330 Commerce Avenue, Suite 1
Huntington, WV 25701
304-519-4354 local
304-522-6954 fax
Map & Directions