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North Royalton Legal Blog

The difference between collaborative law and mediation

A previous post on this blog encouraged parents who are going through a divorce, separation or, for that matter, any child custody proceeding to take the steps they need to take in order to get along.

As this blog has stated several times, when parents can come to reasonable agreements about custody, parenting time and the like, things generally go better both for them and, especially, their children.

Reasonable behavior

When I am in the Domestic Relations Court and people ask me how I am, in jest I say "oh, you know, just dealing with reasonable people asking for reasonable things." People who work in domestic relations and family law know that this is funny, well sort of funny. While it is funny on the surface, as this is our job to deal with unreasonableness everyday, it is actually kind of sad because children are often involved. People push and pull, and they tell children more than they should. Parents often want to "win" at custody, and that is rarely a good thing. People have to realize that Mom and Dad will always be Mom and Dad, and the other parent needs to make sure that the relationship with both parents is valued. Of course, that is assuming that the other parent is reasonable and appropriate, and is willing to behave in a way that is in the child's best interest. The amount of unreasonable behaviors and attitudes that people have in the family courts is staggering. Before you have children, it is important to know who you are making this commitment with. If you have a child you are stuck with this other person for life, and at least the next 18 years the Court's have jurisdiction. So, be careful and think long and hard before you make any life time decisions. Assuming that you know the person, and they are a good person, and you have a child and the marriage or relationship fails, you need to enter into a business relationship when that marriage fails. That is a relationship of the child. You do not need to like each other, but you need to respect each other, and respect that the other party plays a valuable role in the child's life. Work together as partners to ensure the child gets all that they need. As it relates to the law, please comply with court orders , or reach an agreement that works for the two of you. If a true dispute arises, make sure you both select counsel who understand the value of resolution and problem solving. Look at other options such as mediaiton, 4 way meetings, collaborative resolution, or parenting coordinator options.  Peter S. Kirner at Kirner and Boldt Co. LPA understands and appreciates the need for you to be successful in your parenting relationship and will try and work for you to bring your family law matter to resolution quickly and in the best interest of your child.

How domestic violence can affect child custody cases

It is always ideal when couples in the Cleveland area can get along during the divorce process and come to an agreement about child custody and parenting time. The common wisdom these days is that a cooperative divorce makes the process far less traumatic on the children.

However, there are some situations in which it may be impractical or even impossible for couples to reach an agreement about custody. In cases where there are allegations of domestic violence, for instance, one might reasonably say a liberal custody arrangement involving lots of shared time could even be dangerous.

What you need to know about implied consent

When an officer pulls you over and suspects that alcohol has impaired you to the point where you are legally unable to drive, they may ask you to compete a breathalyzer test or a test of your blood or urine. This test will determine your level of intoxication, also known as blood alcohol content.

All states in America have implied consent laws. These laws state that by driving you have given your consent to have your blood, breath and urine tested in the event that a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of a DUI.

The consequences for drunk driving are serious

Since it happens to a lot of different people from all walks of life, Ohio residents may be tempted to think that getting an OVI charge, which is Ohio's terminology for a DUI, is not a big deal.

In fact, though, depending on one's facts and circumstances, any drunk driving charge, even a misdemeanor, is very serious and can potentially land even a first-time offender in jail.

How domestic violence charges affect custody in Ohio

While everyone hopes otherwise, it is a sad reality that when marriages end, tempers between the two spouses often flare, and conflicts that may have long been buried come to a head. It is therefore not surprising in the course of a divorce that one side or the other winds up being accused, rightly or wrongly, of domestic violence.

Like other states, Ohio takes allegations of domestic violence seriously when it comes to protecting victims as well as children in the household.

Unbundled Legal Services

"Unbundled legal services" is a relatively new phrase, however the concept has been around for a long time. In any particular case there are many components and phases. When you work with an attorney on an "unbundled" basis, you are only working with him for one component or phase. For example, if you want to represent yourself in a divorce matter, and you want to make sure the complaint is filed and served correctly, you can hire an attorney to just do that. Maybe a post decree motion need to be filed, the attorney can help you with the process and procedure, and file the motion, but you can still represent yourself, if you so choose. You could hire an attorney to just prepare a QDRO or a quit claim deed, to draft a separation agreement, or a Judgment entry in divorce. Many parts of the process can be "sub-contracted," if you will, just to ensure that you are on the right path and legally and procedurally accurate. Some attorneys have no problem with this type of "unbundled work" others want to fully represent you in this matter. That choice, and that cost is up to you. Understand this is really a cost issue for you as a party to a case. The amount of time and money spent on full representation could be substantial. Due to this cost many people are trying to represent themselves, and as a result mistakes are being made. If you have an attorney just help with portions of the case, then you can make sure that the process is done right and your rights are protected by your attorney, with the added benefit of far reduced costs. Peter Kirner of Kirner and Boldt has been doing unbundled services for years, mostly in the area of divorce, dissolution, and other family law matters. Please contact him at 440-884-4300.

Almost everybody can benefit from estate planning

We have to face that most people in the greater Cleveland area are not particularly well-to-do. They may have some modest savings, own a house and car and contribute to a 401(k), but they will not be leaving millions to their loved ones should they die.

Still, even people with relatively modest means can and really should consider doing some estate planning while they are in good health and have the wherewithal to go through the process.

Marijuana possession still carries consequences in Ohio

You may have heard that Ohio is one of the states to have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. What exactly does this mean?

It does not mean that possession of marijuana for recreational use is legal in Ohio. Rather, it means that jail time is not on the table for certain marijuana offenses in the state.

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