If you and your spouse are considering divorce, struggling to devise a custody arrangement, or handling post-decree issues, our family law attorneys aim to find solutions that are mutually beneficial and protect the co-parenting relationship. And, in the event that is not possible, we will aggressively advocate for you and the best interests of your children. If you are preparing for marriage, a prenuptial agreement can help you protect your assets and know what to expect as you move into this new stage of life.

No matter what your current family law needs are, Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA should be your first call. You can reach us at (614) 602-6550 or use our online contact form.

Divorce and Dissolution

Many of the cases that we handle at Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA include actions that terminate and/or dissolve a marriage. While ending a marriage is a painful choice to make, it may be in your family’s best interest. Careful handling of a divorce or dissolution can pave the way for a successful co-parenting relationship, help both parents maintain strong relationships with their children, and start their new lives on solid financial ground.

If you are considering ending a marriage, the attorneys at Arenstein & Andersen can assist you with determining your options and explaining the process. In Ohio, you can legally end your marriage four ways: 1) a contested divorce; 2) an uncontested divorce; 3) a dissolution; and 4) an annulment.

If you and your spouse are facing a contentious and adversarial divorce, we are ready to fight aggressively for your rights and ensure that you are not treated unfairly during the divorce process. When one party is determined to harm the other person and drag out the process, they may use children against their ex-partner, dissipate marital assets, hide or conceal assets and income, or make false allegations to the court. In these situations, it is especially crucial that you have an attorney you can trust. Our goal is to help you leave your marriage without losing assets that are rightfully yours or giving up any of your rights as a parent.

An uncontested divorce is a process in which parties can obtain a divorce when the other party is not objecting or is otherwise unavailable. Many times, a divorce may start off as contested, but become uncontested when the parties reach an agreement before a trial is necessary. An uncontested divorce may also occur when a spouse cannot be located or is served and fails to participate. In that case, you may find that navigating the court system and completing the necessary steps to resolve the divorce are difficult regardless of whether you face opposition from your spouse.

When parties are willing and able to resolve matters by agreement, they may also seek a dissolution of their marriage. The parties must agree to all terms, including parental rights and responsibilities, a division of assets and debts, and spousal support (if appropriate). Although you may believe that you can and your spouse can work out a fair agreement without legal representation, this is difficult to accomplish without a firm grasp on Ohio’s laws and your rights. You should not underestimate the value of having an attorney assist with negotiations. Otherwise, you could end up stuck with an order that you did not realize was unfair or improper that you cannot change or potentially end up back in court. Involving counsel in your dissolution can give you peace of mind, ensure that you can make positive decisions, and prevent you from ending up back in court fixing mistakes or addressing issues that were not properly addressed the first time.

There are several circumstances under which an annulment may be granted in Ohio. For example, annulment may be granted if one party was forced to consent to the marriage, if consent was obtained fraudulently, or if one party was already married at the start of the marriage. Annulments are much less common in Ohio and the requirements are rather limited; accordingly, you may be surprised to learn that you do not qualify for an annulment even if you have only been married for a short period of time.

Overall, we will help you explore all available options before moving forward and our team have attorneys with various specializations that can assist with any related issues you may have, including addressing business interests, resolving tax controversies, or even updating and modifying your estate planning following a divorce.

Child Custody and Visitation

Even in amicable situations, the topics of child custody and visitation are often difficult to navigate. While the court will rule on child custody matters if both parties are unable to come to an agreement, it is often in the best interests of the children if the parents can come to a mutually beneficial agreement. We will advocate on your behalf to protect your parental rights and achieve parenting plans that are in the best interests of your children. Depending on both parents’ obligations, abilities, and willingness to parent, a number of custody and parenting time arrangements may be discussed. In many cases, it is appropriate for the parties to have shared custody of the children so that you can each jointly participate in decision making for the children. However, having shared (or joint) custody does not always mean that it makes sense for the parents to adopt a schedule have equal parenting time. It also may be optimal for one party to have sole legal custody. Even if one party is granted sole custody, parents can still choose to abide by a schedule that gives the other parent liberal or even equal parenting time. No family is the same and it is important that you work with someone who assist with crafting a plan that works best for your children and your particular circumstances.

In some situations, such as those that involve abuse or neglect, custody disagreements have even higher stakes. Our team has experience dealing with a myriad of difficult parenting scenarios, such as addressing parents struggling with substance abuse or mental illness, addressing children with special needs, or preventing parental alienation when one parent attempts to poison a child against the other parent or injure his/her opinion of the other parent. When securing custody is a matter of physical and mental safety, we will fight aggressively to protect you and your children.

Child Support and Alimony

Child support and spousal support (also referred to as “alimony”) may be awarded in your domestic matter. In Ohio, child support laws were recently overhauled and it is vital that your attorney understand how to properly calculate child support obligations. Although child support is based primarily on a mathematical calculation found in Ohio laws, there are numerous considerations may affect a child support obligation. For example, one party may be underemployed or failing to appropriate report his/her income. Ohio law also gives credit in a worksheet if the non-custodian parent has a minimum amount of overnight parenting time. Failing to take these considerations into account may result in miscalculating child support. Additionally, even if the support obligation is calculated correctly, one party may be entitled to a deviation (reduction or increase of the obligation) based on various factors. For example, if the parties have an equal parenting time schedule or the child support or is required to pay more child related expenses, such as private school or expensive extracurriculars.

It may also be appropriate to award spousal support (also referred to as “alimony”) in your divorce. Ohio law does not contain a specific calculation for determining appropriate spousal support; rather, it is based on numerous factors such as length of marriage, disparity in income, custody arrangements, and education and work experience. Spousal support, whether temporary or permanent, may be awarded if necessary to support the other spousal while he/she is rebuilding their lives following a marriage or as part of a longer term arrangement if one spouse made significant sacrifices to support the other’s career, served as homemaker or primary parent, or otherwise gave up their own career or education to take care of the family. Whether you are seeking spousal support or your spouse is seeking a spousal support order, we will fight for your best interests at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.

Prenuptial Agreements

Drafting a prenuptial agreement allows you to plan for whatever the future may hold as you prepare to get married. For a prenuptial agreement to be valid in Ohio, it must be entered into without coercion or fraud, both parties must fully disclose their property, and the agreement must not encourage divorce. Prenuptial agreements are relatively common in many situations, including marriages with high-earning partners, marriages in which one party is set to inherit a significant amount of assets, second marriages, and marriages in which one party has substantial assets before getting married.

Whether you are trying to protect your premarital assets or your future spouse wants a prenuptial agreement, we can help. Both parties should be represented by their own attorney before signing an agreement.

Post-Decree Concerns and Issues

Even after a divorce or custody dispute is finalize, disagreements are sometimes inevitable. If these issues cannot be worked out through negotiation, mediation, or other resolution options, they may lead to litigation. In many circumstances, one party needs the assistance of a an attorney because the other party has violated the terms of their divorce decree or custody agreement. For example, if one party refuses to adhere to the legally-binding parenting time schedule, does not pay child support, does not pay spousal support, or otherwise violates the decree, the other party may need to take them to court to have it enforced.

If a family’s circumstances change, both parties may agree to change the terms of the divorce decree or custody agreement in a way that meets the family’s changing needs. For example, if one party’s earning ability significantly increases or decreases, the parents may file a post-decree motion to modify child support accordingly. Or, the parties may desire to modify a parenting time schedule as a child grows older, has his/her own schedule, and/or the parent’s work schedules change. Child support modifications must go through the court or child support administrative agency to be effective. And, although you can agree to certain changes in a custody order, it is always best to formalize changes to ensure that all actions are legally binding and that everyone’s interests are protected.

Contempt Proceedings

When the terms of the divorce decree are violated, the party in question could be found in contempt of court. This involves the court enforcing the original order and penalizing the offending party. As contempt charges can result in jail sentences, fines, and penalties, it is essentially that you obtain counsel in the event that contempt allegations are levied against you. A party who is forced to take action to enforce the terms of an agreement and file a contempt action may also be able to recoup his/her attorney fees. We have helped our clients enforce court orders when the other party fails to adhere to a divorce decree, and we have also defended clients against contempt charges.

Post-Decree Personal Bankruptcy

Separation and divorce can take a massive toll on an individual’s finances. No matter how hard you work to get ahead, sometimes bankruptcy is the best option. If you need a fresh start after getting divorced, you can speak to the team at Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA to find out if bankruptcy is the best option for you. We will take a look at your post-divorce expenses, financial obligations, income, and assets to figure out if you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

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G. Gregory Arenstein

Shareholder

Greg started Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA with Nicholas I. Andersen in March 2010. Greg has many years of legal and tax experience working with clients on a wide array of business, estate planning, and tax issues. Greg is an experienced problem solver with the ability to assist clients with their most complex needs and the ability to communicate with his clients in plain English. Practice areas include: Estate Planning, Business Law, Taxation, Real Estate, Probate and Trust Administration, Legal Services for Healthcare Professionals

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Nicholas I. Andersen

Shareholder

Nick started Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA with G. Gregory Arenstein in March 2010. Nick has extensive experience in civil litigation, business, estate planning, real estate, oil & gas, including pipelines, and representing taxpayers in collection actions. Nick’s practice also includes an expansive and diverse clientele of healthcare professionals, including physicians, dentists, and veterinarians. He believes in being available to his clients whenever they are in need. Practice areas include: Legal Services for Healthcare Professionals, Civil Litigation, Business Law, Real Estate, Estate Planning, Oil and Gas Law, Taxation

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Eric R. McLoughlin

Shareholder

Eric has many years of experience representing clients in probate and trust administration, business, and estate planning matters. He has a strong passion for helping people with their legal matters, and strives to provide all his clients with the personalized service they deserve. Practice areas include: Probate and Trust Administration, Business Law, Estate Planning

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Jessica L. Sohner (née Samuel)

Shareholder

Jessica has years of experience representing clients in family and domestic matters, including divorce, dissolution, and post-decree matters. She believes in providing quality representation for clients while maintaining sensitivity to their individualized needs during stressful litigation. Practice areas include: Family Law, Civil Litigation, Oil and Gas Law

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Erin L. Sanford

Shareholder

Erin joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a Shareholder in February 2022. Erin has over 12 years of experience working in all areas of family law. Erin understands that when you are navigating through the court system, whether it is a divorce, child custody matter, the need for a guardian of a loved one, or the loss of a loved one it is a stressful time and she is there to be by her clients’ side.

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Ryan L. DeYoung

Senior Associate

Ryan is a Senior Associate at Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA. Ryan joined the firm in August 2020. Ryan’s practice is devoted to assisting clients in civil litigation matters. Prior to joining Arenstein & Andersen, his practice focused on the representation of individuals and small business debtors as an attorney with a small bankruptcy law firm for almost 7 years. In addition to his practice of bankruptcy law, Ryan also has prior experience in the litigation of housing and employment related claims, including claims brought under the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Civil Rights Act, as well as been an adjunct lecturer in The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. 

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James W. Park

Associate

Jim and Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA formed an “of counsel” relationship in 2015 to assist the firm’s clients in the areas of bankruptcy and creditor protection. Jim has been working in personal bankruptcy since 2005. He began practicing as an attorney solely in the area of personal bankruptcy in 2007, with a focus mainly in Chapters 7 and 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Jim understands that financial distress is common today and strives to provide clients with the respect and understanding they deserve while helping them through their difficult times. In December of 2021, Jim became a full-time associate attorney at the firm.

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Robert E. Putman

Associate

Robert joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a full-time associate attorney in October 2021. He is eager to provide clients with legal assistance in the areas of estate planning, business law, and general civil matters. He believes every client matter is unique and deserves careful professional attention to ensure the client’s interests are protected. 

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Erin M. Haughey

Associate

Erin joined Arenstein & Andersen Co., LPA as a full-time associate attorney in October 2021 and earned her J.D. from Capital University Law School. Erin focuses her practice on estate and trust administration and understands the difficulty of losing a loved one. Erin works diligently to ensure that her clients are given the care and attention they deserve so she can best help them understand and achieve their desired goals.

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Joseph A. Downing

Of Counsel

Joe has extensive experience representing clients in estate planning, probate, business, real estate, elder law, and Medicaid planning. Joe prides himself on his ability to build long-term, trusting relationships with clients, and enjoys assisting them with their short and long-term legal needs. Joe and his law firm, Joseph A. Downing Co., L.P.A., are of counsel with our firm. Practice areas include: Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Business Law, Real Estate

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Christen M. Shore

Of Counsel

As a former adjunct professor at Capital University Law School, Christen has been practicing intellectual property law for over 20 years. She has represented multi-national corporations, universities, small business, and individuals in the protection of their intellectual property – including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Christen and her law firm, Christen M. Shore Co., L.P.A., are of counsel with our firm. Practice area include: Intellectual Property

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Ian A. Heyman

Of Counsel

Ian Heyman has over 23 years of legal experience counseling clients on all aspects of business matters, including acquisitions and transfers, corporate governance and structures, taxation including state and federal tax audits, commercial and residential real estate, wealth management, professional and business licensing, internal and government investigations, government relations, risk management, strategic structuring and commercial finance. Mr. Heyman represents businesses and individuals across many industries by creating innovative solutions, while always planning two steps ahead.

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Kathleen A. Hanley

Retired

Kathi is retired and living in Tucson, Arizona. She serves as a valuable advisor to the firm, and assists with continuity of service to her longtime clients that continue to entrust their legal needs to us.

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Prepare for Your Future by Talking to a Columbus Family Law Attorney

With locations in Dublin, Tipp City, and Mount Vernon, Arenstein & Andersen Co. LPA is readily available to help you figure out your family law needs. Whether your divorce is amicable or adversarial, having an attorney to represent your best interests is highly recommended. The decisions made during a divorce can affect you for the rest of your life, from how much time you get to spend with your children to the financial obligations you have to your ex-spouse.

The sooner you reach out to our team, the more quickly we can begin helping you take the first step into the next stage of your life. To have someone from our office contact you, please fill out our online contact form. You can also set up a consultation by calling us at (614) 602-6550. We look forward to talking to you.