The following is a brief description of some of the services offered by our office. This information is not, nor is it intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney regarding your own situation.


This is a civil action filed in the Domestic Relations Court in which the parties have mutually agreed to terminate their marriage. The action is started after the parties have reached a Separation Agreement resolving all issues of property, spousal support, and child(ren), if applicable. The final hearing generally occurs 31 to 60 days after filing. The dissolution process is usually less stressful since the parties have an agreement in place. The dissolution is also the cheaper alternative to a divorce. When a minor child or minor children are involved, a parenting class must be attended by both parties prior to the hearing.


This is a civil action filed in the Domestic Relations Court, asking the Court for an order terminating the marriage. Generally, the parties have not been able to resolve their problems, and are asking the court to make the final decision and order concerning property, support and children. This action is initiated by one spouse and almost always takes longer than dissolution. When a minor child or minor children are involved, a parenting class must be attended.


This is a civil action that does not legally terminate the marriage. However, it does allow the court to make orders concerning property division, support and children. This action may allow for the division of assets while still allowing one spouse to remain under the health insurance coverage of the other spouse.


This is a civil action filed in the Domestic Relations Court after a Decree of Dissolution or Decree of Divorce has been granted. This motion is used to either enforce the terms of the judgment ordered, or to request a change or modification of the order, relating to custody, support or other issues.


Also known as a premarital or antenuptial agreement, this is a contract between a man and a woman in contemplation of their future marriage. The agreement declares how property will be divided if the marriage is dissolved. To be enforceable, there must be full disclosure of assets and entered into without coercion. An Ohio attorney can not represent both parties to the agreement and it is recommended that each employ their own separate counsel.


This is the process by which legal title of property is transferred from the decedent’s estate to his or her designated beneficiaries or legal heirs. The process is generally initiated by the Executor or Administrator and is supervised by the Probate Court and Judge. This involves, if applicable, validating the decedent’s will, appraising property, accounting for assets in an inventory format, paying the decedent’s debts and expenses, and distributing the net estate according to will or state law. There are three primary types of estate administrations in Ohio, a Full Estate, Release from Administration and a Summary Release from Administration. Asset value generally determines which administration must be used.


This is a process involving professional advisors who are familiar with your assets, goals and concerns. The desired result is an orderly disposition of your assets upon death while minimizing the exposure and expenses associated with probate court and or inheritance tax. The process may also alleviate disputes among family members in that your wishes regarding distribution of assets are clearly stated. A variety of “tools” are used in the estate planning process, including but not limited to survivorship deeds, transfer of death deeds, beneficiaries, POD designations, TOD designations and JTWRS designations.


The will is your written declaration of how your assets are to be distributed after your death. In this document, you are able to name an executor, who shall be in charge of distributing your estate to your chosen beneficiaries, after debts are satisfied. Additionally, you may nominate a guardian for minor children and create a trust to care for their assets until they reach a more mature age.


This document gives the individual you nominate the full power to act on your behalf and sign all documents you are otherwise able to sign. This document may avoid the need for an appointed guardian in Probate Court, should you become mentally or physically unable to handle your own affairs. Great care should be exercised when choosing your attorney-in-fact, because the potential exists for them to abuse their power, and use your assets for their own expenses.


This document provides the individual you nominate the authority to make health care decisions for you and express your intentions regarding medical treatment, should you be unable to do so yourself. If you are unconscious and or do not have the mental capacity to make decisions, your health care power of attorney has the authority to discuss matters with your doctor or hospital, and make decisions based on their recommendations.


The living will is your written declaration regarding the removal of life sustaining treatments and in some cases is the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration. This document differs from a power of attorney in that you, not a power of attorney are making the decision for withdrawal of treatment. This alleviates the family member or friend from having to make such a difficult decision. The living will only applies when you are in terminal condition or permanently unconscious and have lost the capacity to make decisions.


This is a legal entity that can hold title to property or assets for the benefit of the creator and or others. There are numerous types of trusts each designed to meet a particular goal of the creator, such as asset protection or tax avoidance. The trust can be a valuable estate planning tool, but is not necessary for everyone.


The legal right given to a person to be responsible for a minor or incompetent individual. The guardianship can be granted over the person only or the person and their assets.


This is a permanent change in which the applicant assumes all parenting rights and responsibilities for another. Depending on facts and circumstances, can be completed with or without consent of the natural parent(s). Upon completion, the birth certificate is updated accordingly.


This is an action usually filed in Probate Court allowing an individual the opportunity to legally change his or her name from that received at birth, marriage or adoption. Publication is required. The request will not be grated if it is found to be based on fraudulent or other illegal purposes. A name change may also be obtained through the Domestic Relations Court in conjunction with a pending dissolution or divorce.


This document is a statement of your preferences concerning your burial and or cremation. In addition, it appoints a representative to exercise the right of disposition for your body after death. In many cases, this declaration can alleviate disputes among family members in that your wishes regarding burial and or cremation have been clearly stated.


Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Also known as DWI, Driving while intoxicated. Often times this citation will be coupled with another traffic violation such as speeding, left of center, marked lanes or traffic control device.


A citation or summons issued to an individual alleged to have violated a motor vehicle law. The citation may or may not require a court appearance.


Individuals and businesses use bankruptcy as a way to obtain relief from debts owed to creditors. The two most common individual bankruptcy filings fall under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. In the Chapter 7 filing, known as straight liquidation, the trustee may liquidate or sell the debtors non-exempt assets to pay all or a portion of debts owed to creditors. The trustee may also decide to abandon items of property, meaning the debtor gets to keep them. This is generally done when the money raised from the sale is expected to be less than the exemptions and any liens or mortgages. The successful result of the Chapter 7 filing is a discharge of the debtor’s debts, and creditors cannot require any further payment. The Chapter 13, known as individual reorganization, generally allows the individual to keep his or her property. The individual must have regular income and meet certain debt and asset limits. The individual will repay all or part of their debts through a plan based on their disposable monthly income. The payments are made over a period of time, up to five years. Chapter 11 is typically used by corporations or businesses and Chapter 12 is a special reorganization for family farmers. All debtors in bankruptcy court must complete pre-filing and pre-discharge education. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the bankruptcy code.


This is the document covering the terms of a purchase/sale of a parcel of real estate. The agreement should contain a description of the real property, terms of sale, price, payment, date of possession, proration of real estate taxes, deed to be provided, contingencies and rights of buyer and or seller. Most finance companies require this document to be executed prior to completing the mortgage approval. The agreement must be in writing and signed by the buyer, seller and if married, the seller’s spouse. In most circumstances, the seller of a home is required to provide disclosure forms pursuant to the Ohio Residential Disclosure Law. An additional Lead Paint Disclosure form is required for homes built before 1978.


This is an action filed in count by a landlord requesting the removal of a tenant from rental property. A notice to vacate is required by law to be given to the tenant prior to filing the formal legal proceeding.


This is a contract between a buyer and seller for real estate in which the seller provides the financing to buy the property at an agreed on price. Generally, the seller retains title to the property while allowing the buyer to take possession. The buyer then makes scheduled payments, with or without interest to the seller until the purchase price is paid in full. An initial down payment from the buyer to the seller is usually required. Land Contracts offer benefits to a buyer who might not otherwise be able to obtain financing. The seller may have more potential buyers by offering sale under land contract, but assumes all the requirements and risk a bank may encounter.


A deed is the document used to transfer some type of ownership interest in real estate. There are many different types of deeds, depending on the ownership interest being created. These include but are not limited to warranty, quit-claim, survivorship, transfer of death and life estates. Deeds need to be recorded in the county in which the real estate is located.


Simply put, this is a type of matter that seeks damages for an injury to the body, mind or emotions of the individual and/or family member. Generally, this is a case based on negligence, when one person or company causes harm to another. Although most people associate this type of case with road traffic accidents, personal injury also includes such matters as slip and falls, accidents at home or someone’s residence or business, product defects, dog bites and medical and dental negligence. There are strict time limitations in these case in which the injured must bring a claim or be forever barred from recovery.


This is a contract between a “maker” and a “payee” in which the maker promises in writing to pay a sum of money to the payee in either monthly installments or at a fixed time in the future, with or without interest.