Cleveland Family Law Attorney
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About Mary Catherine Bennett
For over 25 years, Attorney Mary Catherine Barrett has specialized exclusively in surrogacy and adoption law. Mary Catherine provides compassionate, confidential assistance to young women looking to place their child for adoption, as well as families seeking to adopt domestically. In addition, she has assisted in the complicated process of international adoption with countries including Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand, Morocco, and India.
She has successfully assisted in over 300 domestic adoption arrangements. In addition, she has established parental rights for intended parents through surrogacy arrangements in over 10 counties in Ohio where it was a case of first impression. Mary Catherine is a frequent presenter speaking on topics including private placement adoptions, international adoptions, ovum donor legislation, and legality and enforceability of surrogate parenting contracts.
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About Cleveland Family Law
Divorce is never easy but sometimes it's the only solution. Whether you chose to end your marriage or you're struggling with your spouse's decision, the process is often complicated. Divorce is an emotional restructuring of your family's life but it's also a financial and legal process. If you've already made the critical divorce decision, it's important to work with the best Cleveland family law attorney who understands that everything you do can affect your future.
Whether you choose to contest your divorce or work out a mutual agreement, you must still comply with state and local statutes and legal and financial responsibilities. When you have children, you must resolve custody issues. If you have a home, a car, and other financial assets, you must establish a method for equitable distribution. If only one spouse works outside of the home, spousal support is also a consideration.
An attorney who specializes in Cleveland family law can help you take the proper steps to resolve your divorce-related issues. A family lawyer provides services that protect your legal, financial, and familial rights while resolving your legal complications.
Experienced Legal Advocacy
Family lawyers specialize in divorce cases and other issues involving children and families. Their focus on family law gives them a comprehensive understanding of Family Law statutes, divorce procedures, and regional courtroom traditions. A family lawyer has the experience to work through anticipated and unexpected issues.
- Child custody arrangements
- Child visitation
- Child support agreements
- Spousal support
- Hidden financial assets
- Distribution of assets
Family attorneys represent your legal interests and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your family. To accomplish this, they look at the evidence and issues and make objective assessments. They get to know you, your family and every detail about you and your spouse's circumstances. Only then can they provide honest feedback about your most favorable legal and financial alternatives.
Comprehensive Case Preparation
A divorce is a legal process. Just like other legal issues, preparation makes a big difference in the ultimate outcome. As a family lawyer reviews your case, they consider what they need to succeed on your behalf:
- Court Requirements: Filings, pleadings, agreements, statements, depositions
- Expert consultants: Specialists in family, financial, and social issues
- Witnesses: Personal and professional support for your financial, family, and legal positions
- Hearings: Compliance with a court-ordered discovery and negotiation schedules
- Communication: Interaction with court officials, judges, and opposing counsel
No matter the relational or marital status of two parents, Cleveland, Ohio laws require that they each contribute financially to the child's upbringing. When two parents live together or are married, the Cleveland family courts typically don't need to get involved in these matters. However, when parents don't live together or seek a divorce, often a court will need to determine and enforce child support. Typically, the Cleveland custodial parent or parent with primary custody won't need to pay child support to the other. However, the court typically orders the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the other parent. The amount will depend on state laws, both parents' incomes, and the child's needs. Parents who want to find out more about whether they will receive or possibly need to pay child support should meet with an experienced Cleveland family law attorney as soon as possible.
Divorce is challenging for everyone in the family, especially when it comes to child custody and visitation matters. In fact, child custody and visitation issues in Cleveland, Ohio are often the most challenging to resolve when a marriage ends. A compassionate Cleveland family practice lawyer can help you reach long-term solutions that are workable for you, your kids, and your ex-partner. Divorcing parents need realistic advice and a practical parenting plan that takes into account the best interests of the children. They also need a reasonable child support award that is fair to both parties. Sometimes this can be achieved between two cordial parents or through simple negotiations with the assistance of legal counsel. Other times it may require mediation or the intervention of Cleveland family courts. Either way, an experienced Cleveland family law attorney can help you minimize the disruption for your children during this time emotional time of transition.
Many Cleveland spouses make various sacrifices in their marriage to make their partner's wishes or dreams come true. Some make them in an effort to do what is best for their children or their entire family as a whole. While this seems like the right thing to do at the time, it can come back to haunt them if the marriage breaks down. For example, if one spouse quit their job or forewent an education to stay home and raise the children, they not only lost income but also their place on the corporate ladder. Similarly, suppose one spouse worked full-time so that the other could go to medical school to eventually earn a better living. These are the kinds of situations that Cleveland, Ohio family courts take into consideration when determining which spouse, if any, should receive alimony and how much. Alimony can be temporary while a spouse gets further education and training to go back to work or get a better job. Depending on each Cleveland family's unique history and situation, it can also be long-term or even permanent. Spouses who want to know if and how alimony might apply in their divorce should seek out the advice of a knowledgeable Cleveland family law lawyer.
The Cleveland family law lawyer understands that to resolve your pending divorce case, you and your spouse must address the key issues. This is usually difficult for divorcing couples to accomplish without a family law attorney's communication and negotiation skills.
- Negotiated settlements: Attorneys resolve cases by negotiating your position with the spouse's attorney.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: Divorcing parties and their attorneys participate in a facilitated negotiation process such as mediation. Parties present their evidence in a neutral setting, discuss their positions, and sometimes resolve difficult issues.
- Court Hearings: Attorneys and the divorcing spouses eventually appear before an arbitrator, magistrate, judge or another court official. During a hearing, court officials encourage settlement negotiations. During a trial, parties present their evidence and a judge issues a decision on the divorce and all unresolved issues.
Contact the Best Family Law Attorney in Cleveland
Divorce is hard. The certainty that you're making the right decision doesn't prevent the roller coaster highs and emotional lows. Family lawyers can't take away the anxiety or eliminate a lifetime of memories, but through their efforts, they can help you gain peace of mind.
While you're taking care of your family and adjusting to your new reality, your family lawyer in Cleveland handles the difficult interactions and issues. They protect your rights and help you work through the legal, financial, and family complications.
Reach out today to schedule an appointment to discuss your legal needs and the availability of Mary Catherine Bennett to handle your matter.
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