The domestic relations attorneys
you can trust
to protect your interests
Divorce, child custody and child support issues, civil and criminal protective orders, and domestic violence can be the most emotional and difficult issues for a person to endure. The very foundation of our lives and our society are our families. To feel as though they are falling through our hands can leave one feeling alone and lost. The domestic relations attorneys at Smith's Law Offices can assist by alleviating some of this pressure, protecting your legal rights and the rights of your loved ones, obtaining solutions that fit your circumstances, and helping you see that you will make it through these tough times.
Family Law Services
Each couple, each family, each child is unique, therefore the Family Law Attorneys at Smith's Law Offices tailor their approach to the particular needs of each person they represent. We do so by listening to you, your wants and needs, and the concerns you hold. By knowing and listening to what you want, what you know is best for you and your loved ones, we can tailor our approach to either negotiating agreements such as dissolutions that meet everyone's needs, or standing strong with you and fighting for you to obtain the best possible legal resolution for you.
The Family Law Process
Family Law, often called domestic relations law, may involve a series of complex steps and issues that the family law lawyers at Smith's Law Offices can assist you to navigate.
Civil Protective Orders (CPO) Attorneys
Unfortunately, families can come to an end after an explosive altercation or perhaps dissolve after years of abuse. If there has been domestic violence or threats of domestic violence, a civil protective order may provide you with a tool to find some peace of mind. At the same time, you may find yourself working toward a divorce only to find your former spouse has filed for a civil protective order against you solely to obtain an advantage in the divorce proceedings. In either situation, the ability of CPO’s to provide peace of mind or to have implications during a divorce and perhaps cost you your job, mean that they are should be taken seriously. A family law lawyer such as those at Smith's Law Offices can help you effectively at the CPO hearing with their trial lawyer skills, experience, and knowledge of the law.
Separation Agreements Attorneys
When spouses separate, they often plan a trial separation to wait and see whether they should try to reconcile or whether they should move forward with a divorce or dissolution. There are critically important decisions that need to be made immediately, however. Further, as the informal separation continues, each spouse is at risk of the other abusing their ability to increase marital debt or get rid of marital assets and income. The legal process provides a tool to minimize the risks of separation while still providing the spouses the time they want to come to a decision regarding divorce. Additionally, separation can allow the spouses to maintain religious obligations and medical coverage. By agreeing to a separation agreement early, with the assistance of an experienced family law lawyer to explain the options, many couples find themselves able to stop problems before they occur and ease through the divorce process more amicably if they choose.
Smith's Law Offices offers Free Initial Consultations. We also offer a variety of fee arrangements to choose from to best meet your needs. For Family Law cases, we may offer choices of flat rates, hourly rates, or a combination. We can also accept credit cards for convenience. Our goal is always to provide high quality legal representation to the working men and women of Ohio. Contact the Family Law Lawyers at Smith's Law Offices for your free consultation.
Dissolution / Divorce Attorneys
A marriage may be ended civilly through either a divorce or a dissolution. A dissolution is an agreement the spouses come to before they go to court regarding their assets, debts, and children. An attorney can assist the spouses to draft a dissolution agreement, file it with court, and between 30 and 90 days after, the court will hold a brief hearing to adopt the dissolution if there are no irregularities. Another approach is for one spouse to file for a divorce immediately rather than wait for a dissolution agreement. This choice is often made when it seems that a dissolution agreement cannot be obtained or will take time. The divorce filing will immediately provide protections with regard to assets, debts, and children. As the divorce proceeds, the spouses may still come to an agreement with respect to as many issues as possible. An experienced divorce lawyer is a valuable tool to protect your rights during this process, ensure you understand the implications of your decisions, and to advocate for you if a hearing is required to resolve remaining issues.
In Ohio, an equitable distribution of marital debt and assets is sought. What is considered a marital debt may often be surprising. For example, you may be responsible for your spouse's credit cards even if your name is not on them and you never used them. If either spouse owned a business, an analysis of the business' net worth may be needed. Even if the court orders one spouse to be responsible for a debt, if both names are on the debt (e.g., a car loan or mortgage), the lender may still pursue both spouses even after the divorce decree. Spousal support has tax implications different from child support, as can the manner in which pensions are divided. There are many financial implications of a divorce but an experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the available tools to ensure that the division of marital debt and assets is done in a manner that achieves your goals, with knowledge of the tax implications, and in a manner that protects your credit rating.
Smith's Law Offices provide family law services in communities such as Cuyahoga County, Lorain County, Lake County, Erie County, Huron County, Ottawa County, and Geauga County.
Child Custody Attorneys
If child custody is in dispute, the court will make its decisions based on what it believes is in the best interest of the children. As you advocate for what you believe is in the best interest of your children, there are a variety of issues and tools that must be addressed and used. You may hear terms such as custody, shared parenting, visitation, parental rights and responsibilities, and residential parent. Each of these issues are complex and require consultation with an attorney to fully comprehend their meaning and the available options. Additionally, each party may have tools at their disposal to build their cases such as home studies, guardians ad litems (GAL’s), drug and alcohol assessments, and psychological assessments. Determining what happens to your children after your divorce may be the biggest responsibility of your life. This is a complex issue that should not be faced without an aggressive, experienced, effective child custody lawyer to protect your rights and the best interests of your children.
20545 Center Ridge Rd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
Satellite Office Locations:
Port Clinton, Ohio
South Euclid, Ohio