Why should I hire Mary Antonelli to handle my Family Law matter?
Mariellen has extensive experience practicing in nearly half of the Family Courts in the state of Ohio. She has practiced both in Central and Northern part of the state. While she typically settles most of her cases, she is always prepared to go to trial if necessary. Mariellen is compassionate and caring, and she prides herself on making sure her client’s needs come first. Mariellen is selective about the clients she agrees to take, and she expects the client to become an active team member. Throughout her career, Mariellen finds that as a result of representing her clients, she becomes very close to them and stays in touch with many of her clients long after the case is completed.
What will my case cost?
Each domestic relations/family law matter is unique. Thus, it is impossible to provide a client with an exact dollar amount even after meeting with a potential client for an initial consultation. Many factors play a role in determining one’s fees, including the attorney your spouse may hire and the behavior exhibited by your spouse during the case. During the initial consultation, Mariellen usually quotes a retainer fee. It is her goal to work with clients to allow them to obtain the best legal representation possible in a financially manageable manner.
Is my initial consultation private and confidential?
I take every potential client’s confidentiality and privacy very seriously, and all communications with remain confidential, beginning with the initial consultation. Once I meet with a client and obtain confidential information from that client, that information is protected by the attorney-client privilege, and it is not discussed outside the office without the client’s permission.
Should I leave the marital home? Could this negatively impact my case?
This answer truly depends on the individual circumstances of your case. The choice to move out of the marital home does not forfeit your right to an equitable division of marital property. However, if you move out and want to move back in, the potential for complications may arise. Therefore, if this is an issue, this question needs to be discussed at the time of the initial consultation.
How will property be divided? Does my spouse automatically get 50% of our marital assets and debts?
Under Ohio law, Ohio Courts have jurisdiction to equitably divide the parties’ marital property. There is no preset rule regarding the division of assets. Instead, the Courts consider a variety of factors set out in our statute including: duration of the marriage; spousal support awarded; child custody arrangements; physical and emotional health of the individuals; financial/economic circumstances of the individuals; vested retirement benefits of each spouse; need for additional training or education to achieve a spouse’s income potential; liens or encumbrances on marital property; any separate property claims; marital debts; the tax consequences of divorce; any support being paid or received by either spouse as it relates to a prior marriage or child(ren); desirability of either spouse wanting to retain the marital residence; a spouse’s contribution to the marriage; financial misconduct of either party; and any other factors necessary to obtain a fair, just and equitable resolution. Therefore, it is impossible to completely answer this question, as it is the Court’s job to apply these factors to the case before it.
What is the difference between marital and non-marital property?
On a very basic and general level, non-marital property is usually considered any asset owned prior to the marriage, inherited by a spouse during the marriage, or given to a spouse by third party as a gift during the marriage. Marital property includes all real and personal property acquired by the parties during the marriage, gifts between spouses given during the marriage, vested and non-vested benefits or funds accrued during the marriage such as retirement accounts, pensions, and real property. There are, however, many exceptions and nuances to this list, and there are situations where non-marital property can turn into marital property. To adequately protect your interests, Mariellen, will give you sound legal advice tailored to addressing any of these topics that specifically pertain to a client’s individual situation.
Can my spouse and I use the same attorney?
No. Every divorce, regardless of how amicable, is inherently adversarial. Thus, Ohio’s Rules of Professional Conduct do not allow one lawyer to represent both parties. (This statement does not apply to instances where parties hire an attorney to act as their mediator. In this case, the mediator cannot represent or give either party legal advice, but the mediator can help the parties reach a mediated agreement that they can later use as a Settlement Agreement that the Court can approve and make an Order of the Court.)
What factors may the Court consider when awarding custody?
The paramount consideration the Court looks to in all child custody controversies is the best interests of the child standard. There are a variety of other factors the court may consider when awarding custody such as: religious faith; child’s reasonable preference, when appropriate; domestic violence issues; the character, fitness, attitude and inclination on the part of each parent as he or she impacts the children; who has been the child’s primary caregiver; immoral conduct by a party that would be detrimental to the welfare of the child; the psychological, physical, environmental, educational, medical, family, emotional, and recreation aspects of each child’s life; and any written agreement between the parties. Given the complexity of custody cases and the unique nature of each case.