divorce and dissolution attorneys in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Divorce, Dissolution and Juvenile Custody Legal Representation

Family law, also known as domestic relations law, includes divorce and dissolution, juvenile custody, child support matters, and many other areas. Many clients also need family attorneys to help with post-divorce issues like child support, custody modification, and contempt proceedings. The law firm of Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller brings a family law background that is robust enough to serve clients with various needs. Several of our Cincinnati family lawyers are seasoned veterans of the metro’s family law courts. Based on their tremendous experience, they work hard to represent the best interests of their clients.


scissors cutting through both a marriage certificate and an orange roseIn a divorce, one party appeals to the Domestic Relations Court to request the termination of a marriage. The person making the request must file a Complaint for Divorce. After the filing of the complaint with the court, the other party submits a response. Once the case begins, either party may make one or more requests, including temporary orders involving child custody, spousal support, or child support. Also, either party may file a restraining order regarding the use of shared assets or the marital residence. Unlike a dissolution where the parties decide the outcome, the Court makes the final determination of the terms of a divorce, including spousal support, child custody, and other matters outlined in the case. More specifically, the Court determines how the spouses will divide their assets. It also decides which party receives primary custody of the children and how much child or spousal support is paid. Both parties agree on the majority of the divorce terms in most circumstances, with the Court deciding a few of the issues. However, a family attorney cannot guarantee that the Court will always act fairly or in favor of their client. The experienced lawyers at Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller are committed to helping you reach a divorce agreement that is just and in your best interests. They also strive to involve the Court as little as possible.


In a Dissolution, both parties submit to the Court a Separation Agreement that outlines all the issues on which they both approve, including spousal support, the division of the assets and debts, and support and custody of the children. Parties who agree on equally shared child custody may file a Shared Parenting Plan that outlines their children’s care terms. After the parties have reached an agreement on all matters, a Petition for Dissolution is filed with the Court, which will then hold a hearing no sooner than thirty (30) and no later than ninety (90) days after the filing. Both parties must be present at this hearing, which is limited in scope and very brief. Unlike a divorce proceeding where the Court decides what a fair outcome is, the parties in a Dissolution get to determine what they believe to be acceptable. They also decide what provisions are in the best interest of any minor children.

Divorce v. Dissolution

The terms divorce and dissolution are similar in that they result in the termination of a marriage. When deciding which type of proceeding is best for you, you should consider cost, time, and the need for temporary orders. For example, if you anticipate the need for a temporary restraining order, you should consider a divorce because temporary orders are not available in a dissolution. Talk to your Domestic Relations Lawyer in Cincinnati about which proceeding will most likely yield a fair outcome and represent your best interests.

Juvenile Custody and Support

In the State of Ohio, if an unmarried couple has a child, custody and support of that child are under the jurisdiction of Juvenile Court. While the issues of child custody and support are very similar to those of married couples, procedure and substantive law differ significantly between Domestic Relations Court and Juvenile Court.

Regardless of which Court handles a child custody hearing, the Ohio courts always try to serve the child’s best interests. When determining juvenile custody, the judge will listen to what each parent claims to want for their child’s care. A judge will often speak with a child who is old enough to determine what the child wants.

The court will also observe and evaluate how the child interacts with each parent and other family members. The Ohio courts prefer custody arrangements that preserve and strengthen existing family relationships. For instance, judges avoid separating siblings as much as possible. They also try to keep all relationships between family members intact. If letting the child stay in the same house or at the same school can help maintain a degree of continuity, this also becomes a consideration for child custody.

Courts will also consider the extent to which both parents have followed previous custody decisions. For example, did both parents fulfill their obligations to child support and amount of child care? Did both parents respect and follow the agreed-upon schedules for visitations and holidays?

The decision-making process also factors in any abuse, either in the immediate family or among extended relatives. Reports of sexual, physical, or domestic abuse will be entered into the public record for the judge to consider.

Post-Divorce Issues

After a couple finalizes their divorce, they should not be caught off-guard by issues coming up later, even years after the divorce has been granted. For example, some custodial arrangements might need modification as children grow up. Also, changes in one party’s financial circumstances might warrant a spousal support modification. If a parent is not following the Court’s earlier order regarding support, visitation, or property division, that Court has jurisdiction to determine whether that parent should be held in Contempt. The family attorneys at Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller have experience in all post-divorce issues that may arise. They can help you anticipate, address, and resolve any post-divorce issue, even when it comes to enforcing adherence to court orders or requesting the necessary modifications. Their goal is to rectify any situation with as little friction and in the most efficient and affordable way possible.


You should always seek the advice of a family attorney before entering into an adoption agreement, whether it is with a surrogate mother or an adoption agency. Prospective adopting parents, surrogate parents, and individuals putting your biological child up for adoption are entitled to know and understand their rights. If you are trying to adopt or serve as a foster parent before adopting, you should be prepared to jump through potential hoops, such as presenting yourself to the adoption agency in the best light. A family attorney can guide you through the application process, which can get complicated. They can also help protect you if an adoption agency attempts to bypass or dishonor their contractual agreements. Adoption proceedings are neither easy nor straightforward, and there are many potential pitfalls you will need to avoid. The Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller team has Cincinnati-based attorneys with wide-ranging expertise and experience in handling adoptions.

Other Reasons to Contact a Family Attorney

Other family matters like paternity, interstate jurisdiction over custody and support, neglect and abuse, guardianships, and criminal non-support can be too much for any individual to handle. These and other issues require a Family Attorney’s assistance to resolve.

Family cases can be complicated and overwhelming, and they require the help of a lawyer you can trust. Make sure you are comfortable with your attorney and that they are readily accessible to you to address your questions or concerns.

At Donnellon, Donnellon & Miller, our attorneys are sensitive to the delicate nature of family-related negotiations and discussions. Family law requires finesse and diplomacy, and it calls for an innate ability to diffuse tension and resolve conflict. If you choose to work with our team, we can assist you in managing the complex emotional terrain of these proceedings.