Domestic Relations Attorneys
Defending Your Family Interests
Your lawyer is your voice and advocate, telling your story and fighting for your interesets as if they were his own. "Change is the law of life, and those who only look to the past or present are sure to miss the future." JFK
Smith Legal Services will provide you direction when your family is in crisis.
Family law is one of the most difficult areas of the law. Often times, the process is extremely emotional. Further, the issues can be very complex. Smith Legal Services will guide you through this arduous journey.
Divorce & Dissolution
Custody & Visitation Rights
Child Support & Spousal Support
Division of Property
Civil Protection Orders & Domestic Violence
Change is Difficult.
Change is the Law of Life
Representing Your Interests with
Strength and Compassion
Smith Legal Services provides services in all areas of family law. We defend your family interests with dedication and compassion. As your legal advocate, we will do our best to help you navigate difficult family situations.
Most importantly, we understand the stress of disolving relationships. We strive to expedite proceedings and negotiate with strength and determination to help you move forward to a new chapter of your life.
Contact our office today.
We are here to protect your rights.
The state of Ohio requires a six month residency period for both parties before hearing a divorce action. For those not meeting this requirement, a legal separation will address such issues as spousal support, child custody and visitation, child support, property division, and or payment of marital debts in the interim.
A separation agreement can later be converted into a divorce or dissolution and can also be very helpful for clients who may yet be undecided on ending their marriage permanently. Legal separations are sometimes a solution for those who have religioius issues concerning divorce.
Divorce & Dissolution
Dissolution is commonly referred to as a no-fault divorce. In fact, spouses are both referred to as petitioners in a dissolution, rather than "plaintiff" and "defendant" as they would be in a divorce. Both will result in a legal end to your mariage.
Domestic relations attorneys represent you and your interests the same in a dissolution as in a divorce. A dissolution may only be filed after both parties have reached agreeement on all issues in the matter such as the division of assets, custody arangement, support, etc. Hence, it is most often beneficial to have an attorney as your advocate during this process.
In a Divorce, one party is claiming "Fault" of the other and seeks to end the marriage regardless of the wishes of their spouse. When you are seeking a divorce in the sate of Ohio, you must charge your spouse with 'grounds' or unacceptable actions including:
Separation for More Than One Year
State or Federal Imprisionment
Temporary orders may be put into place to protect your interset during the divorce process. Temporary orders include those for designation of residential parent and allocation of the parental rights and responsibilities of minor children, child support, spousal support, and payment of attorney fees and litigation expenses.
Shared Parenting Agreements
A shared parenting agreement is a tool that helps establish a consistent set of rules to guide parents and make the transition easier for them and for their children.
A shared parenting agreement establishes the rights and responsibilites of both parents who want to take an active role in raising their child or children in separate households. Shared parenting plans encouage parents to work together for the well being of their children.
Civil Protection Orders & Domestic Violence Situations
If your reasons for seeking to end your marriage include domestic violence or threats, we have provided a list of links below to state agencies that can offer you assistance.
A civil protection order or CPO is a court order directing an individual not to have any contact with the protected person(s). It is a separate action from a divorce case and can remain in effect for up to five years. A violation of a CPO may result in a criminal charge for the perpetrator. Law enforcement officers must enforce civil or criminal protection orders. A CPO may contain additional provisions such as removing the abuser from the parties' home, awarding temporary child custody or temporary support to the domestic violence victim, and requiring the abuser to stay at least 500 feet away from the the home or workplace of the victim(s).
In the alternative, during the pendency of a divorce, the court may issue a restraining order in order to protect one spouse from the other, if necessary. The restraining order remains in effect and is enforceable as long as the divorce or legal separation case is pending. The protected spouse may file a motion for contempt against the violator in the same court which granted the restraining order. Police and other law enforcement officers do not enforce restraining orders.
Ohio Domestic Violence Network
Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center
Domestic Violence Help: 216-391-HELP
Family Help: 216-229-8800
Genesis House - Lorain County Safe Harbor
24 HOUR HOTLINE
633 West Broad Street, Suite 200
Elyria, Ohio 44035