Can An Unmarried Partner in Ohio Recieve Support After a Break-Up?

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Your Dayton family lawyer was asked this week whether a person who had not married their child’s father but lived with him acting as his wife would be entitled to support from the father, as well as child support for the child, now that their relationship has ended. This person had stopped working to be a stay at home mother and provided home-making support to the father of her child for the past four years. Unfortunately, the answer to whether she could receive palimony (or financial support for an unmarried partner) is generally no in Ohio. Common law marriage, meaning a couple who lives together and acts or “holds themselves out” as husband and wife, and therefore have the same rights as an officially married couple under common law, is not recognized in Ohio anymore. If you were living together as husband and wife but not officially married prior to 1991, there may be an exception to the current rule, however most people do not fall under this exception.

If you are in a similar situation, it is still helpful to speak with an experienced Dayton divorce lawyer. There may be assets that are held jointly in both partner’s names and the fact that you are not married will not prevent you from exercising rights to jointly held assets. There also may be an enforceable contract between the partners that provides for some support after a break up. Additionally, if your ex-partner is the parent of your child, you may be entitled to child support. Child support is owed whether or not parents are married. The marital status of the parties only affects which Court orders that support (if married, child support is sought through the Domestic Relations Court, if unmarried, child support is sought through Juvenile Court).

Marriage is sometimes optional these days for many people. The trend seems to be to live together and have children but not officially “tie the knot”. However, people should think carefully about the protections that the “tied knot” brings, before discounting its value. Married people receive many benefits under our laws. All children born during the marriage are presumed to be children of the marriage, there are tax advantages accorded to married people, health insurance benefits, pension benefits, and privileges (such as the right not to testify against one another in Court). It is true that ending a marriage can be messier than ending an unmarried relationship, but that is because in an unmarried relationship there are often few rights of one party to enforce.

For more information about child or spousal support, please contact Dayton family lawyer at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law Moves Into New Office in Washington Township

Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is pleased to announce that she has moved her growing Dayton family law and Dayton bankruptcy practice into new, larger office space in Washington Township, Ohio. If and when you are in the neighborhood, please visit her there at 7601 Paragon Road, Suite 103, Dayton, Ohio 45459!

For a consultation to discuss your legal issue, please contact Helen today at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Tax Refunds and Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

If you are thinking about filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and also expecting a tax refund, please contact an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney! There are many important things to consider. When a person files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all of their assets, including their tax refund, become part of the bankruptcy estate. The theory behind Chapter 7 bankruptcy is that the trustee, the attorney appointed to administer the bankruptcy estate, can use a person’s assets (unless exempted or protected as discussed below) to pay off unsecured creditors.

If you file bankruptcy before receiving and spending your tax refund for the year, the unspent refund is considered part of the estate. The tax refund is looked at as money that was unnecessarily paid to the IRS, therefore it is treated like cash or money in a bank account. If you receive a significant refund every year, you may consider adjusting your withholding to reduce the refund to a lesser amount. This will allow you to get more money in each paycheck and make the refund too small to be of value to the trustee.
 
Planning the timing of your bankruptcy with the receipt of your tax refund is advisable. If you have already received your refund, you are allowed to spend it on necessary expenses prior to filing bankruptcy. Necessary expenses include mortgage payments, rent, home or motor vehicle repair, food, clothing, utilities, medical expenses, etc. However, be careful! Do not use the refund to purchase luxury goods, or to pay a friend or family member, or to pay one particular creditor (this may be a preferential payment – a payment made to one creditor and not others. Preferential payments can be avoided, meaning the trustee can order the creditor to return it to the estate).

Even if you file bankruptcy prior to receiving and/or spending your tax refund for the year, therefore making the tax refund part of the estate as discussed above, you may be able to exempt or protect it. The bankruptcy code (or law), provides exemptions for certain property including some that can protect your refund. For example, the earned income and child tax credits allow many people who file Chapter 7 to keep their entire refund. The wildcard and cash on hand exemptions may also be used to protect some or all of your refund.

If you are expecting a tax refund and also considering bankruptcy, please consult with an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney who can analyze your particular situation and help you determine both the best use of your refund and the best time to file bankruptcy.

For more information about bankruptcy, and/or to schedule a consultation please contact your Dayton bankruptcy attorney at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Bank of America Settles Bad Mortgage Claims for over $10 Billion

Your Dayton bankruptcy attorney is pleased to report that Bank of America has agreed to pay the federal government more than 10 billion dollars to resolve claims stemming from bad mortgages (risky mortgages that were incurred questionably by Bank of America and then later packaged and sold by Bank of America to Fannie Mae). Please click on the link below to an informative article in The New York Times to learn more:

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/bank-of-america-to-pay-10-billion-in-settlement-with-fannie-mae

To learn more about past or present foreclosures, mortgage debt forgivenss, loan modifications, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton bankruptcy attorney at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Parenting Through Divorce

Your Dayton divorce law firm is pleased to announce that the Supreme Court of Ohio has published an helpful guide entitled “Planning for Parenting Time – Ohio’s Guide for Parents Living Apart”. The guide provides sample schedules and recommendations for parenting time with children at each age and developmental stage. There is also a section that addresses special issues, including but not limited to re-location, blended families, how to handle a situation where a child does not want to spend time with a parent, and long distance parenting. Below is a link to the guide:

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Publications/JCS/parentingGuide.pdf

For more information about parenting issues in a divorce, and/or to schedule a consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Things To Do and Not to Do When Contemplating Bankruptcy

It is very important to do and not to do certain things when preparing to file bankruptcy. Your Dayton bankruptcy attorney can give you a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts similar to the one below. If you wonder if something is appropriate to do before bankruptcy – CONSULT YOUR ATTORNEY BEFORE DOING IT!

Things Not to Do When Contemplating Bankruptcy

1) Don’t pay off or pay down any debts without consulting your Dayton bankruptcy attorney. 2) Don’t buy, sell, give away or transfer any property. 3) Don’t fall for companies or individuals promising debt consolidation without extensively researching their legitimacy. There are many fraudulent, criminal enterprises out there that will take your money and never pay down your debt. 4) Don’t borrow or cash out your retirement without first talking to your Dayton bankruptcy attorney. In Ohio, most retirement/pension accounts are 100% exempt (meaning they are completely protected) in bankruptcy. This means that a person may file bankruptcy, emerge after a successful discharge without any unsecured debt but with their full retirement account(s) intact. 5) Don’t take out new loans or create new debts prior to filing bankruptcy. 6) Don’t wait until the last minute to talk to your Dayton bankruptcy attorney about bankruptcy. Having time to plan and properly prepare a bankruptcy is the best case scenario.

Things To Do When Preparing to File Bankruptcy

1) Do tell your Dayton bankruptcy attorney about ALL of your debts and creditors. Often clients think that leaving out one credit card to use after bankruptcy for emergencies will be ok, but this can often lead to problems. Tell your Dayton bankruptcy attorney about absolutely every creditor and together you can decide what is the best course of action in your situation. 2) Do keep in contact with your Dayton bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy is a process which can take 4 – 6 months. It is important that your Dayton bankruptcy attorney can reach you when needed. If you change your phone number or address, be sure to inform your attorney. 3) Do tell your Dayton bankruptcy attorney your complete story (including but not limited to all your assets and, as discussed above, all of your debts) in order to help you make the best legal decisions for your particular situation. 4) Do consult with your Dayton bankruptcy attorney to learn whether bankruptcy is a good option for you.

For more information about bankruptcy, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Mortgage Debt Relief Act Extended Through 2013 As Part of the “Fiscal Cliff Bill”

Your Dayton bankruptcy attorney is pleased to report that Congress has extended the 2007 Mortgage Debt Relief Act through 2013. The Mortgage Debt Relief Act prevents debt that is forgiven through short sales, loan modifications or foreclosures from being taxable income to the homeowner. Without the extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act, homeowners may have decided that short sales (when a home is sold for less than the amount owed on the mortgage) were not in their best interest, because the difference between the amount paid by a buyer on the home, and the amount owed on the mortgage, would be taxable income to the homeowner (as it was prior to the initial passing of the bill in 2007). Similarly, without the extension of the Mortgage Debt Relief Act, principal forgiven by a bank as part of a loan modification may also have reverted back to being taxable income to the homeowner.

To learn more about mortgage debt forgivenss, loan modifications, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Mediation and Dissolution are Alternatives to Divorce Litigation

Your Dayton family lawyer Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law will analyze your domestic relations situation and let you know if ending your marriage via a dissolution or a divorce with mediation is a good alternative for you. Dissolutions and mediation of issues through a divorce filing are often less expensive and more efficient ways of ending a marriage than divorce. Mediation and/or a dissolution of marriage usually facilitate a less acrimonious resolution of issues for a couple who wish to end their marriage.

In a dissolution, the parties sign a petition asking the court to grant them the dissolution, and file it along with a separation agreement (in addition to other required documents such as a Financial Affidavit disclosing all the parties’ assets and liabilities) that provides for the division of all assets such as real estate, motor vehicles, retirement plans, bank accounts, and also provides for the division of debts. In addition, the separation agreement addresses parental rights and spousal support and usually includes various waivers, along with an agreement to execute all necessary documents to facilitate the division of property. Within 90 days of filing the petition and separation agreement, the Court will schedule a final hearing which both parties must attend.

Mediation can occur after a divorce has been filed if the parties agree to the mediation process. The Court usually screens all filed divorce cases to determine if they may be appropriate for mediation, but your Dayton divorce lawyer can also file a motion on your behalf requesting mediation. Mediation helps the couple identify and resolve issues in an efficient and less adversarial environment. If there are children involved, the mediator will help the couple make responsible parenting choices in the best interest of the children. Mediation is not binding, meaning a party cannot be forced to agree to anything against their wishes, and is also confidential. If mediation is not successful, the mediator may not later be subpoenaed into court to testify for a party. If the parties are able to reach an agreement on some or all of the issues, then a signed agreement is sent to the judge assigned to the case.

For more information about Ohio divorces, mediation or dissolutions, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton divorce law firm at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Happy New Year – Drive Safe!

Happy New Year from the Dayton criminal lawyer and Dayton DUI attorney at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. I wish you all a safe and happy 2013. If you go out to celebrate and find yourself without a sober driver to take you home, please be advised that a free cab ride is only a phone call away if you reside in Montgomery County, Ohio. ArriveSafe, a program sponsored by Mat Heck, the Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney, with support from AAA Miami Valley, Heidelburg Distributing Company and Sandy’s Towing and Recovery, will be offering free cab rides home during the New Year’s weekend starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and ending at 6 a.m. Jan. 2.

Call ArriveSafe at (937) 449-9999 and request a free ride home. Cab fare is covered up to $50.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/news/local/free-cab-rides-to-be-offered-on-holiday-weekends/nMxyQ/

If you find yourself the target of an OVI traffic stop, the following are a few tips to assist you in protecting your constitutional rights:

Be respectful and calm with the officer. If the officer ask you where you are coming from or if you have been drinking, rather than making potentially incriminating statements, invoke your right to legal counsel. RESPECTFULLY state that before you do or say anything, you want to speak to an attorney.

If the officer asks you to exit your vehicle, you should exit the vehicle. Likewise, if the officer asks for your driver’s license or registration, you should also provide him or her with the requested documents.

Field sobriety tests (HGN, Walk and Turn, Heel to Toe, Finger to Nose, etc..) are VOLUNTARY. Rather than consenting to taking any test, invoke your right to legal counsel and respectfully state that before you do or say anything, you want to speak to an attorney. Should the police officer(s) ask you for consent to search your vehicle, politely and respectfully SAY NO. Do not give your consent to any searches. Chemical tests (breathalyzer, blood, urine) are VOLUNTARY. Again, invoke your right to legal counsel and respectfully state that before you do or say anything, you want to speak to an attorney. The police officer will most likely tell you that refusing the chemical test automatically results in a 1-year driver’s license suspension. The warning may be worded in such a way that you may think you have to submit to the chemical testing. However, it is important to know that if your driver’s license is suspended due to a refusal to submit to a chemical test, that suspension can be appealed. If in doubt, respectfully and calmly state that prior to making any statements or decisions, you want to speak to your Dayton DUI attorney .

Stay safe, and Happy Holidays from Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law.

For more information about Ohio DUI law, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton DUI attorney at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Ohio Law Will Significantly Increase the Bankruptcy Exemption for Home

As stated in last month’s blog by your Dayton bankruptcy attorney, the Bankruptcy Code allows an individual to protect (and therefore retain) some property from the claims of creditors because it is exempt under federal bankruptcy law or under the laws of the debtor’s home state. 11 U.S.C. § 522(b). Some of the current Ohio Exemptions (O.R.C. 2329.66) are listed below:

1) Personal residence = $21, 625 2) Motor vehicle = $3,225 3) Cash = $400 4) Household Items (aggregate) = $10,775 5) Jewelry = $1,350 6) Tools of trade = $2,025 7) Award for personal bodily injury (received within 12 months of bankruptcy) = $20,200.

The first exemption listed above, the exemption protecting equity in a personal residence, will be increased in March 2013 when Ohio House Bill 479 takes effect. On December 20, 2012 the Governor of Ohio signed into law House Bill 479, which contains a provision that increases Ohio’s homestead exemption from $21,625 (current) to $125,000. This increase will protect over $100,000 more of equity in a person’s home. House Bill 479 also expressly provides that 529 plans, and qualified retirmement plans, and Roth IRAs are 100% exempted under Ohio law.

To learn more about bankruptcy, or to discuss your personal financial situation with an experienced Dayton bankruptcy attorney, and/or to schedule a free consultation please contact your Dayton bankruptcy attorney at Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law today by clicking on the preceding link, by e-mail to hw@helenwallacelaw.com or by telephone to (937) 654-6800.

The contents contained in Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog and Web Page(s) are for educational and informational purposes only, and shall not be construed as legal or tax advice. The reading of Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law’s Blog or Webpage does not create an attorney/client relationship with Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law. Please consult an Attorney in your jurisdiction (where you live or where the legal action arose) if you are seeking legal advice or representation. Please further be advised that Helen Wallace, Attorney at Law is a debt relief agency and helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the United States Bankruptcy Code.

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