LEGAL ALERT: Federal Court Strikes Down Ohio Law Blocking Trans People from Amending Their Birth Certificates

LEGAL ALERT: Federal Court Strikes Down Ohio Law Blocking Trans People from Amending Their Birth Certificates

Equal Protection Clause Allows Discrimated Ohio Transgender Residents To Correct Gender On Birth Certificate

transgender birth certificates discriminationOn December 16th, 2020, federal Judge Michael Watson of the Southern District of Ohio’s Eastern Division found unconstitutional the Ohio Department of Health’s policy which prohibited transgender residents from correcting their gender on their birth certificate. Ohio allowed for gender changes on birth certificates to be made until 2016. Judge Watson stated “the policy resembles the sort of discrimination- based legislation struck down under the equal protection clause in Romer v. Evans  as nothing more than a policy ‘born of animosity toward the class of person affected’ that has ‘no rational relation to a legitimate government purpose.’ ”

Judge Watson ruled in favor for four transgendered Ohioans to legally correct their birth certificate gender marker and overturn the state’s decision to deny the correction of the gender mark on their birth certificates . The case, known as Ray v. Himes  and more recently, Ray v. McCloud , was filed in March 2018 by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Ohio, and law firm Thompson Hine LLP on behalf of four transgender  plaintiffs: Stacie Ray, Basil Argento, Ashley Breda and … Read More... “LEGAL ALERT: Federal Court Strikes Down Ohio Law Blocking Trans People from Amending Their Birth Certificates”

The Importance of Ohio Health Care Documents During the Coronavirus Pandemic [UPDATED]

The Importance of Ohio Health Care Documents During the Coronavirus Pandemic [UPDATED]

Health Care Decisions During The Coronavirus (COVID-19).

PUBLISHERS NOTE: In the rush of the holidays, please do not overlook the importance of helping your family members review their estate planning and health care documents. Doctors are urging people to take this important step! This blog, first published on April 11, 2020, demystifies durable health care powers of attorneys and living wills. For the sake of your loved ones, please don’t put this off.

Coronavirus: Health Care Durable Power of Attorney Covers All Health Care Decisions

health care decisions estate planningA COVID vaccine is coming. So is the beginning of winter.  While a reason for optimism for 2021 exists, the winter of 2020-2021 will be unusually dangerous, with the coronavirus running rampant. Experts are pleading that individuals have their estate planning documents in order, especially power of attorney for health care documents and living wills (advanced directives). With many long-term care residents unable to meet personally with their loved ones, it is more important than ever that those loved ones know the wishes of an individual and can act on their behalf.

DURABLE HEALTH CARE POA:

At least here in Ohio, by virtue of being a spouse or relative of someone does not give you … Read More... “The Importance of Ohio Health Care Documents During the Coronavirus Pandemic [UPDATED]”

Has the US Divorce Rate Dropped to an All Time Low?

Has the US Divorce Rate Dropped to an All Time Low?

Divorce Rate In The US Continues To Drop Amidst Covid Pandemic

divorce rate marriage pandemicThe American Community Survey data released from the census Bureau recently revealed that the divorce rate in the USA has hit a record low. According to the data, 14.9 out of every 1000 marriages ended in divorce which is the lowest rate in 50 years. It is projected, that even though we are in the midst of the pandemic, the drop of divorces is likely to continue. Lower divorce rates translate to longer marriages. The new Census Data, reports that the average marriage length has increased almost one year in the recent decade. In 2010 the mediation duration was 19 years, and the length has increased to 19.8 years in 2019.

Journalists have speculated that there is a rise in divorce as a result of the pandemic, and there have been many headlines declaring it true. However according to Brad Wilcox, a University of Virginia sociology professor and the director of the National Marriage Project at the university, this is simply not true. He was recently interviewed by UVA Today. Wilcox believes that the pandemic may have given spouses a new appreciation for their spouse. It has … Read More... “Has the US Divorce Rate Dropped to an All Time Low?”

My Divorce Timing – Should I File Now or Wait Until After the New Year?

My Divorce Timing – Should I File Now or Wait Until After the New Year?

Covid-19 Pandemic Just One Of Many Factors That Lead To Divorce In 2020

divorce holidays

The timing of filing for a divorce can be a complicated decision. There are many factors to consider even in the normal Non-Covid times. But now there are even more factors to consider!

First off, in Ohio it is now too late to file a divorce or dissolution and get it finalized before the end of 2020. So, if that was your hope, you have missed that window of time.

I have been meeting with clients helping them formulate exit plans and discuss the timing options for filing their divorces. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Are You Safe?
     

    Needless to say, that the presence of domestic abuse is a huge factor to consider. If there is ongoing abuse, formulating an immediate ;escape plan’ should be a top priority. Figure out where you can move on a minute’s notice – perhaps temporarily stay with a family member, friend, co-worker, safe haven facility, or a church member? The existence of abuse may trump all the rest of the considerations mentioned below.

  2. COVID-19 Factors:
     

    Virtually everyone I meet with these days is grappling one way or another

Read More... “My Divorce Timing – Should I File Now or Wait Until After the New Year?”

Blast From The Past: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DISSOLUTION AND DIVORCE IN OHIO?

Blast From The Past: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DISSOLUTION AND DIVORCE IN OHIO?

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This blog on the differences between dissolution and divorce in Ohio from April 21, 2018, is as meaningful today as it was when we originally posted several years ago. We have a ton of interesting articles in our archives of the Ohio Family Law Blog. Use our Search tool and enjoy a few oldie but goodies!

Marriages In Ohio Can Be Ended In One Of Two Ways, Dissolution Or By Divorce

Ohio dissolution divorce differenceA dissolution and divorce in Ohio is different than most states. In most states, those terms can be used synonymously, but they are alternate proceedings with different statutory regulations in Ohio. Marriages in Ohio can be ended in one of two ways – by divorce or by dissolution.

Dissolution

A dissolution proceeding is the quickest and easiest of the two methods to terminate your marriage, but in order to proceed with a dissolution there are certain considerations that must be met. Primarily, there must be a total and full agreement signed by both parties as to ALL terms of the dissolution. This means that both parties have to have a full agreement on all issues, including alimony, custody, child support, division of assets, debt allocation, division of … Read More... “Blast From The Past: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DISSOLUTION AND DIVORCE IN OHIO?”

LEGAL ALERT: Need Money? The CARES Act Changed the Rules about 401(k) Withdrawals through Year End

LEGAL ALERT: Need Money? The CARES Act Changed the Rules about 401(k) Withdrawals through Year End

New CARES Act Provision Allows Early Retirement Money Withdrawl From Retirement Account Without Penality During COVID-19 Pandemic

covid-19 money retirement cares act

Are you aware that the CARES Act  made significant changes to the rules about withdrawing money from accounts? If COVID-19 and the pandemic has created an extreme hardship on your financial situation, you MAY have an option that you have not yet considered – but only through the end of 2020. Not many Americans have taken advantage of this new provision thus far.

As you may know, the general rule was that, you couldn’t take money out of your retirement accounts before you were 59 1/2 without incurring an “early withdrawal” charge or penalty. That 10% tax penalty was included by the IRS to discourage folks from taking money  out of their retirements early.

CARES Act Changes:

  1. If you meet the criteria, you may withdraw up to $100,000 per person from certain qualifying retirement  accounts without owing the 10% penalty. NOTE: This does NOT waive income tax owed on the withdrawal amount.
  2. You may ONLY withdraw the amount needed to overcome a specific group of defined hardships such as defending a foreclosure action, home repairs from a disaster, or medical
Read More... “LEGAL ALERT: Need Money? The CARES Act Changed the Rules about 401(k) Withdrawals through Year End”
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