Statman Harris, LLCC represents individuals in all aspects of family law including divorces, dissolution and legal separations, probate, estate planning, and wills & trusts. The firm has also represented individuals in a wide variety of parenting issues, including custody and adoption.
Rapidly Evolving and Expanding
As the definition of “family” in the United States continues to evolve, so also does the practice of family law. Family Law is a specialized area of law involving many issues as they apply to the family and domestic relationships. Examples include legalities relating to marriage such as prenuptial agreements, spousal abuse, annulment, separation, mediation, and divorce. Children are also central to family law. Their issues include adoption, surrogacy, embryo ownership, child abuse, custody, support, paternity, and emancipation. At the other end of the spectrum are the aged and their unique challenges, such as grandparent custody rights, elder abuse, estate planning, and probate.
Changing Family Needs
The practice of family law tends to reflect the current needs of a changing society. For example, one of the fastest growing areas of family law at present is the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. These individuals face unique issues such as medical surrogacy, children having sex-change surgeries, adoption, and more. Another important area concerns the needs of the fastest growing segment of society: the elderly. Even senior citizens who have planned for their final years with care often find themselves in need of legal representation to help them accommodate accordingly whenever legal and regulatory requirements change.
Child Support and Custody
Child support and child custody are the disputes most frequently encountered in family court. The law requires parents to provide financial support for their minor children. When child support comes before the court, the amount is usually calculated according to a formula that considers the parents’ employment incomes, the cost of the child’s health insurance, any support the non-custodial parent pays for other minors, and other factors. Both child support and child custody are apt to change in response to parental life circumstances. A parent may be transferred, may receive a substantial raise, lose his or her job, etc. Much of the time that a Family Lawyer is in court will be spent on behalf of clients who are dealing with these types of modifications.
Prenuptial agreements are an interesting and growing area of family law. Half a century ago, divorce was a rare occurrence and prenuptial agreements even rarer. Fifty years ago they were largely the province of the famous or very wealthy. Today, in a society filled with blended families, they have become necessary for couples who are marrying for the third or fourth time and who have children with previous partners and assets they wish to preserve for their heirs. Therefore, today it is common for a happy couple in life’s prime to both get prenups as a routine part of wedding planning. Prenuptial are not about a lack of trust but, rather, about clear communication.
Separation and Divorce
On some life events stress tests, divorce ranks as high or higher than the death of a spouse or child. Separation and divorce are stressful across a multitude of levels, including financial, psychological, emotional, and physical. It’s no wonder many people themselves unable to think clearly. This alone is reason enough to make seeking qualified legal advice a priority. The greater the number of a couple’s assets, the more important it is to secure a good divorce attorney. The horror stories of people who emerged the worst from their divorce are legion. Don’t let yours be the next.
Families are changing rapidly in the 21st century. Statman Harris, LLC family law attorneys are current with the plethora of ongoing issues affecting and shaping the modern family. S&H offers experienced counsel and expert representation in these and other areas of family law. If you have a problem that falls into the category of family law, call today for a confidential consultation to help determine what your next course of action should be.
Divorce and Dissolution Law
At Statman Harris, LLC we understand that marital division can be a very trying time for everyone. Divorce or the dissolution of marriage is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties. This process may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt.
Our team of experts will do our best to understand and help you through this very emotional time in your life and get you the maximum results you deserve. So if you’re interested in legal counsel from one of our professionals contact us for a comprehensive consultation.
Divorce is devastating for large numbers of people and ranks at the top on lists of stressful life events. It involves emotions, children and finances, and all three are areas of vulnerability for many people. To divorce or dissolve one’s marriage is seen by many as an admission of failure. It is a trying time, and a time when important, life-altering decisions are made, decisions that will affect your life for years to come. Ideally, one would approach divorce in the peak of form, but since this isn’t always possible, the next best thing is to hire an attorney with an “A” game, one who will exercise their wealth of expertise and experience on your behalf.
Options to End a Marriage
The primary ways to legally end a marriage in Ohio are through the processes of divorce and dissolution. While the results are identical, the two are not the same. A divorce requires either the husband or the wife to file what is called a “complaint” of divorce. This document must put forth one (or more) of the legal grounds for divorce, which include the following:
- Extreme cruelty
- Fraudulent contract
- Gross neglect of duty
- Habitual drunkenness
- Incompatibility (must not be contested and must include a one year period of separation)
- Willful absence of the non-filing spouse for a continuous year prior to the filing for divorce
Dissolution, on the other hand, alleges no fault. In this instance, the husband and wife file a petition together asking to end their marriage. They must have been separated for one continuous year, and established between them the details of property division, issues with support, child custody, visitation, and payment of debts. At any time before the court grants them a decree of dissolution of marriage, either party may file a complaint requesting divorce. Agreeable couples often favor dissolution of marriage because it is less involved and less expensive than a divorce. A decree of dissolution of marriage is often called a no-fault divorce.
Issues to Determine
It is recommended that couples seeking to terminate their marriage meet, either separately or together, with a Divorce Attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of Divorce and Dissolution Law. The more acrimonious a couple’s relationship and the greater the value of their assets, the more important it is to seek qualified advice. Although there are other issues to negotiate, two of the most contentious are the division of assets and child custody.
Under Ohio law, property is to be divided equitably. This doesn’t mean equally, but rather, fairly. If a couple is unable to reach a mutually agreeable decision about the division of property then the court will do so at its discretion. In the latter circumstance, the court considers the number of years married, assets and debts, property liquidity, the tax effects of property division, and other factors that are relevant to the division.
Where child custody is concerned, the court is primarily interested in serving the child’s best interests. Divorce can be traumatic for children, and the court will seek to minimize its effect to the degree it is able. Often, parents are able to make satisfactory custodial arrangements for the children. When they cannot reach an agreement, the court considers such issues as the parents’ wishes, the child’s wishes, any pertinent relationships the child has such as to siblings or other relatives, any prior criminal convictions of parents, where each parent plans to reside, and more.
Statman Harris, LLC has a top-notch staff of divorce attorneys who are skilled and experienced in helping individuals successfully negotiate the emotional terrain of marital termination. They provide stable, thoughtful and caring legal counsel at a time when you may not be at your best. If you are facing the end of your marriage, give them a call today. You may rely on their expertise to watch out for your interests as you negotiate this emotionally difficult time.
At Statman Harris, LLC out team of experts have over 10 years of probate expertise. Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under the valid will. Probate law interprets the instructions of the deceased, decides the executor as the personal representative of the estate, and adjudicates the interests of heirs and other parties who may have claims against the estate.
At S&H you can be sure that we will handle your case with the upmost care and the respect that you deserve. Our team will inform you of the most recent changes and legal ramifications regarding the handling of your estate and when the time comes, your assets will be protected and managed to your exact direction.
Probate is a process which begins when an individual passes away. This legal process oversees the administration of the person’s estate and the resolution of any claims that may be placed against the estate. Upon completion of the debt resolution process, assets are distributed as prescribed by the person who passed away. Probate law is the area of law that interprets any instructions of the person who is deceased and determines who will become executor of the will and serve as this person’s personal representative. In addition, it adjudicates the interests of anyone who has a claim against the estate, including heirs and other parties.
The Administration Of Probate Law
The first step in the probate process involves formally declaring the will of the deceased to be valid. Legal notices must be published and all creditors notified when the individual passes away. The law outlines how assets must be distributed and creditors paid and puts time constraints on the filing and object of claims against this estate. Separate procedures are needed when an individual has a lawsuit pending over his or her death or there are other pending suits which will now continue.
The law evaluates any tax obligations, inheritance taxes, gift taxes, or estate taxes that are to be attached to the will. In addition, the law addresses administration costs of the will, including taxation. Any costs associated with administering the will must be deducted from the assets of the estate before distribution of the assets can take place. In addition, assets need to be transferred to the appropriate parties as outlined by the will.
The Process Of Probate
Certain assets pass to heirs contractually and never enter probate. Any items held in revocable or irrevocable trusts don’t go through the probate process either, as long as the trust was created during the deceased’s lifetime. The court will not become involved in these cases, although any assets transferred in this manner remain subject to estate taxes. When probate is required, the personal representative collects and inventories any property of the deceased. Debts and taxes must then be paid and remaining property distributed. Parties may challenge any portion of this process, from the validity of the will to the naming of a personal representative.
Individuals often wish to know how to avoid probate and the associated costs. A living trust allows one to avoid probate, and assets may be transferred without going through the probate process with the aid of transfer-on-death or paid-on-death accounts. Joint tenancy with survivorship allows for property to be transferred without going through probate, and a beneficiary may also be named on a life estate deed to have property passed down through the generations.
As different assets may be distributed in various ways to ensure they aren’t part of the probate process, it is best to seek legal advice. The cost of creating trusts, joint tenancies, and more need to be compared to the costs of probate. Doing so ensures the person creating the will, estate plan, or trust reduces the burden on those left behind. A probate lawyer works with clients to determine which documents they need and which they do not.
The passing of a loved one is a difficult time. Individuals responsible for overseeing a person’s will need to move through the probate process as smoothly as possible, yet doing so can be a challenge. Individuals in this situation often turn to Statman Harris, LLC., as this firm is known for handling probate cases with the respect and care parties deserve. The legal team informs clients of any legal ramifications and changes in the law that impact the handling of the estate and works with the executor of the will to ensure the deceased’s assets are protected and managed exactly as the client wanted them to be. Individuals deserve nothing less.
Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning
Statman Harris, LLC helps individuals design an estate plan which will transfer wealth while minimizing the tax ramifications. S&H lawyers assist clients in drafting wills, creating trust arrangements and developing retirement planning and compensation arrangements. The typical estate planning documents include a will, durable general power of attorney, health care power of attorney and living wills. Trust planning may include the drafting of various types of trusts such as generation-skipping trusts, life insurance trusts and annuity trusts.
No individual wants to think of his or her death, yet this is an eventuality everyone must prepare for. There are numerous ways to do so, from preparing a will to establishing a trust or completing estate planning. Numerous individuals seek legal advice when preparing these documents, as they wish to ensure they have control over who gets their assets once all debts are paid. Understanding the different documents involved in Wills Trusts and Estate Planning one may wish to have is the first step in this process.
Wills function to distribute a person’s assets once they pass away. In the event a person passes away without a will, the state then becomes responsible for determining who receives his or her assets without regards to the wishes of the deceased or the needs of the heirs. In cases such as this, debts must be paid first, and then any remaining assets are divided amongst the children and surviving mate. If no spouse or child comes forward, the state determines which blood relatives receive any assets.
Wills cannot do certain things, and this explains why many individuals turn to a will and trusts attorney for the drafting of this document. They want to ensure their wishes are carried out upon their death. Joint tenancy property, often referred to as community property with right of survivorship or tenancy by the entirety, cannot be left to another party in a will. It automatically goes to the joint tenant. Property transferred in a living trust cannot be given to another party in a will, nor can the proceeds of a life insurance policy in which the deceased is named as a beneficiary. Stocks, bonds, and possibly real estate or vehicles held in beneficiary cannot be transferred to another party in a will, and the same is true for money remaining in a payable-on-death bank account. Other items may not be distributed via a will and an attorney will explain these items.
Living trusts remain the preferred option of many, as this type of trust allows assets to be divided without going through probate. Any items left in a will must go through the probate process, meaning heirs must wait to receive their items. The living trust saves the heirs time, money, and effort. In addition, the trust remains private, while a will becomes a part of the public record, and it may take effect while the person creating the will is still alive in the event he or she is incapacitated.
Other types of trust are also available. A person may select a testamentary trust or one that only exists at the time of the person’s death. An irrevocable trust remains in the control of the person who created the trust, yet allows the recipient of the trust to qualify for a gift tax exclusion each year. Other trust options include an irrevocable life insurance trust and an A-B marital deduction trust. An attorney can be of great assistance in helping individuals determine which type they need to create.
Estate planning may involve numerous tasks. Individuals need to create a will to ensure they protect their heirs and allow them to receive the desired assets. Some people also need to create a durable or health care power of attorney, a living will, or a life insurance trust. During the estate planning process, it is determined which documents should be drafted and what steps need to be taken upon a person’s death or when they become incapacitated. As laws can be complex, it’s best to see an attorney to handle the preparation of this paperwork to ensure all bases are covered.
Turn to Statman Harris, LLC for assistance with estate planning or the creation of a will or trust. This firm assists clients looking to design an estate plan that minimizes the tax burden on heirs while still allowing for the transfer of wealth. The lawyers draft wills, create trust arrangements, develop compensation and retirement plans, and more. Contact an attorney with the firm today to start the process, as it is never too early to plan for the protection of loved ones.
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