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Family Law

White Law Office, Co. > Family Law

Grandparent Visitation Rights

It is common knowledge that parents can pursue visitation rights in a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation. However, some of you may not be aware that the State of Ohio recognizes the rights of a grandparent to pursue visitation rights with their grandchild(ren) in certain situations. As recognized under Ohio law, grandparents may pursue visitation rights with their minor grandchild(ren) when: Married parents terminate the marriage or separate; A parent passes away; The child’s mother is unmarried; or,  A child is deemed abused, neglected, or dependent. A Court will more than likely grant visitation time to a grandparent in a proceeding for divorce, dissolution, or legal separation if the grandparent files a motion in the appropriate court seeking visitation rights. If the Court agrees with said motion and finds that it is in the best interest of the minor grandchild(ren) then the Court may award reasonable visitation time. If a parent were to pass away, a parent of the deceased parent may file a motion to obtain grandparent visitation. Keep in mind that the motion must be filed where the grandchild(ren) reside(s). If the Court agrees with said motion and finds that it is in the best interest of the minor grandchild(ren), then the Court may award reasonable visitation time. If a grandchild was born out of wedlock, or to an unmarried woman, then the Court may award, upon a motion and a finding that it is in the best interest of the minor grandchild(ren), visitation to the maternal or paternal grandparents. Though the Ohio Revised Code does not specifically allow for grandparent visitation in an abuse, neglect, or dependency case, the Ohio...

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Social Media and the Law

We are in a social media-driven day and age. On average, internet users spend about 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking platforms. Saima Salim, How much time do you spend on social media? Research says 142 minutes per day. With such a significant amount of time spent on these sites, it is wise to be aware of some of the legal issues you could face. There are many aspects where social media and the law collide. Privacy First of all, consider the privacy of the information you post online (or the lack thereof). How often do you put something online and consider whether you would want a judge or prosecutor to view the evidence? Courts are seeing social media used in cases more and more often, especially in divorce cases. If you post something online, it is very possible that it can be used against you in court. Social media sites are built to collect data from you. That is one of their primary goals. They are fueled by companies who advertise to your specific needs and wants. They use a multitude of tricks to get you to give them information, and anyone – including the government – can be collecting this data from you. As the ABA eloquently put it, "In Europe, Canada, and other countries across the world, protection of each citizen's private information is considered to be a human right, secured by statute and enforced by the government and private causes of action. In...

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Finding the Right Fit When Searching for a Lawyer

Lawyers have solutions that can be close to “one size fits all” for simple matters, those solutions are only for the most basic of situations.Every nuance and detail of your situation, no matter how small you might think it is, can cause the recommended solution for your problem to change.This, among other reasons, is why it is so hard to compare attorneys based on price point. Some attorneys will attempt to shoehorn you into a solution that may not be the best for your situation, but it is “low cost.”We have witnessed this when so-called “Trust Mills” come through town.They charge a set price, and they have never met anyone who doesn’t need a Trust.The thing is, we have met plenty of people that didn’t need a Trust.The Trust was overkill for their situation, not set up correctly, and in the end a waste of their money. Legal services should be like a good pair of shoes.They should fit well and last a long time, or at least until your situation changes and you need a different pair.One size fits all solutions in legal services are like one size fits all clothing—they are made in bulk, out of the cheapest material, all to benefit the manufacturer.Yes, it is cheap, but it wasn’t made with you in mind.Having a custom-tailored solution takes time and getting to know you as a person.Sure, at the end of the day, it may be more expensive, but it fits you and won’t wear out too quickly. So if...

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I need a divorce, but where do I start?

One of the most difficult questions that one may ask themselves is, “I need a divorce, but where do I start?” Unfortunately, this is a question that you or a loved one may be asking yourself. Here at White Law Office, Co. we strive to help individuals understand their options and bring peace of mind when facing such tough questions. When facing this tough question, the first option that we discuss with clients is one that White Law Office, Co. strongly suggests and recommends. We strongly suggest that the individuals first attempt mediation. There is an abundance of mediation services throughout the region. In an attempt to save the marriage, we strongly encourage parties to seek mediation first.  However, mediation may not be the best option for you. Depending upon your situation and the issues that you are facing, your starting point may defer. Under Ohio law, there are several options for dissolving a marriage. For instance, a divorce may not be the right choice for you or your loved one. Instead, it may be best for you or your loved one to pursue a dissolution or legal separation.   When you and your spouse cannot agree as to whether the marriage should be dissolved, and a dispute arises between the parties involving marital/ separate property or custody of the minor children, a divorce action may be appropriate. The first step in the divorce process is to draft all the necessary pleadings- including but not limited to:   1.     The Complaint for Divorce; 2.     Motion for Temporary Orders (if necessary); 3.     Required...

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5 Questions to Ask When Looking for an Attorney

Finding an attorney adds stress to an already stressful situation. So, when you realize you need an attorney how can you be sure that you find the right one? 1. Does the attorney have a reputation for being able to handle your kind of matter? The single greatest factor in most people’s search for an attorney is personal recommendations. Ask your friends, family, neighbors, pastor, or other service providers who they recommend. Then ask them why they recommend that attorney. Is it because they got the job done quickly? Did the attorney keep them informed? What exactly was it that made them recommend that attorney to you. After looking for personal recommendations, search out the attorney on the internet and on social media. What are other people saying about the attorney? Do they advertise the kind of work you need? Have they written articles on the work you need? Using a combination of personal recommendations and online reviews can help lead you to an attorney that may fit your needs. 2. Does the attorney listen to your situation before recommending a solution? Once you are found an attorney you need to meet with them. This is usually in person, but it can also be done over the phone or via video chat. When you are meeting with the attorney the first time, who is doing most of the talking? That first meeting should start with you doing most of the talking and the attorney asking questions. Every situation is unique, and if the attorney doesn’t take time to...

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Protecting the Family [Tree] Farm: Part 2 (For Future Generations)

My last post mentioned some ways to protect your tree farm from misuse or abuse when logging or selling the timber off your property. But what will become of your tree farm in the future? What if you want to preserve it as a tree farm for future generations? If you have family that will carry on the legacy, a simple Will could be sufficient to keep the property in the family. If, however, you don't have family who wants to preserve the property, or you want to make sure property remains forested long after you and your family are gone, you may be interested in a conservation easement. A conservation easement basically preserves the land as it's being used, whether for typical agricultural products (corn, wheat, soy, etc.) or as a tree farm. You would be giving an organization, such as a land trust or conservancy, the right to permanently enforce the easement on the land – to use the property only for the stated purposes. In Ohio, if you want to receive compensation for having a conservation easement on your land, you could do this through a grant from the Clean Ohio Fund's Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). In that case, your land would have to meet certain requirements, such as having a minimum of 40 acres, it must contain a restriction against subdividing parcels in the future, and for forested land, it has to have a written Forest Management Plan in place. If you aren't concerned with...

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Giving Testimony: High Anxiety Part 2 – The Number One Mistake

Welcome to Part Two of my series of observations on the high anxiety of giving testimony. In this part, the number one mistake made by witnesses. Giving testimony is really a fairly simple procedure. Attorneys ask questions and witnesses give answers. Most questions are about something the witness has experienced. So, a good pattern of questions is similar to a journalist conducting an interview: who, what, when, where, how and why? Simple, right? Not so much. Especially with the "why" question, witnesses often commit the number one mistake in testifying: they guess. Whenever a witness says: "I guess," "I would imagine," "I'm pretty sure," "I suppose," or "from what everyone has told me," you know the witness is heading for trouble. Most of the time the last answer "what everyone has told me" is not allowed by the hearsay rule, but if you are an attorney whose witness is guessing, any objection you make in effect says "Sorry, Your Honor, my witness is an idiot and doesn't know what they are talking about." This is not a good position to be in when it is your witness testifying, much less if it is your client testifying. Why is guessing an answer the number one mistake in testifying? Because most of the time you will guess wrong! It never fails. Most guesses given under oath are just plain wrong. Trust me on this. I have had almost 40 years' experience of listening to bad guesses. Good trial attorneys know that. This is why if it is...

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