The attorneys at the law firm of Dougherty, Hanneman & Piccin, LLC ("DHP") have produced successful outcomes for many family law clients. Following are several examples of success stories that reflect various family law issues.
False Allegations of Abuse - A Custody Victory
The father and the mother had joint custody of their child. The father alleged that the mother had sexually abused the minor children. The county children services agency performed a cursory investigation of the allegations. The county prosecutor then filed an abuse case against the mother and temporarily suspended the mother's visitation rights with the minor children.
The mother hired Attorney Hanneman who performed extensive background discovery on the father and the child abuse allegations. Attorney Hanneman was able to persuade the county prosecutor and the child's Guardian ad Litem that the sexual abuse allegations against the mother were false. The county prosecutor then dismissed the abuse case against the mother and the mother's custody and visitation rights were fully restored.
The father then began withholding the children from visiting with the mother. Attorney Hanneman filed several motions in domestic court requesting that the court find the father in contempt of court and grant the mother custody of the minor children. Attorney Hanneman persuaded the court to find the father in contempt. Attorney Hanneman then negotiated a settlement with the father whereby the mother's custody rights were fully restored and the mother received additional parenting time with the minor children.
Sophisticated Litigation - A Supreme Court of Ohio Victory
The father and the mother had joint custody of their child. The trial court terminated the father's custody rights. The trial court ruled that the mother was not required to prove that any change of circumstances involving the child had occurred. The court of appeals unanimously agreed. The father hired Attorney Dougherty to represent him in the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Attorney Dougherty persuaded the Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the court of appeals. The Supreme Court ruled that, before a parent's custody rights could be terminated, the trial court must find that a change in circumstances involving the child had occurred. The Supreme Court stated that this new rule protected children by promoting stability and discouraging unnecessary litigation.
Child Support - The Underemployed Spouse
The husband and wife divorced over ten years ago. At the time of the divorce, the wife's income was almost equal to husband's income, so the husband's child support was set at only $150 per month. Over the last ten years, the husband and wife's incomes remained substantially similar so child support remained at $150 per month. The wife then voluntarily quit her job making over $100,000 per year to start her own business and filed for an increase in child support. The child support enforcement agency increased the husband's child support payment to over $1,200 per month.
The husband hired Attorney Hanneman who appealed the child support enforcement agency's child support determination to the court. Attorney Hanneman hired an expert vocational evaluator to determine the wife's earning ability. Attorney Hanneman persuaded the court to treat the wife as though she had the ability to earn a $67,500 per year income. The court overturned the child support enforcement agency's determination that the husband must pay child support in the amount of $1,200 per month and reduced the husband's child support to $210 per month.
Saving Money - Avoiding Unnecessary Work
The husband and wife went through an expensive divorce trial. The husband appealed. The husband filed an appellate brief that raised seven issues. The wife hired Attorney Dougherty to advise her regarding the appeal.
Attorney Dougherty analyzed the brief filed by the husband. He informed the wife that the husband's arguments were very weak and that the court of appeals would probably reject the arguments. Attorney Dougherty advised the wife that she probably did not need to file a brief in response to the husband's brief. Filing a brief would have cost the wife $5,000.00 to $10,000.00. The court of appeals rejected all of the husband's arguments. The wife won the appeal without paying for an appellate brief.
Complicated Assets - Creative Solutions
The wife was married to a professor at a large university. The professor developed new types of seeds that had the potential to grow bigger and better crops. The husband stated that, if he was successful with a certain type of seed, he could be "as rich as Bill Gates." The wife hired Attorney Dougherty to represent her in the case. Attorney Dougherty negotiated an agreement that gave the wife a percentage of any income the husband earned in the future that came from his development of the new seeds.
Spousal Support - The Underemployed Spouse
The husband and wife had been married for approximately thirty years. Before the divorce was filed, the husband was a partner in a business and was earning approximately $100,000.00 per year. After the divorce was filed, the husband left the business. The husband started a new business and claimed that he was only earning approximately $15,000.00 per year. Based on his lower income, the husband argued that he should pay no spousal support to the wife.
The wife hired Attorney Dougherty. At the trial, Attorney Dougherty argued that the husband was intentionally underemployed. Attorney Dougherty persuaded the court to treat the husband like the husband was earning approximately $70,000.00 per year. The court ordered the husband to pay spousal support to the wife based on the assumption that the husband could earn approximately $70,000.00 per year.
Please contact DHP for a confidential consultation with attorney Dougherty or Hanneman or Piccin. Each is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law. They are three of only 115 attorneys in Ohio who have earned this designation as of January 1, 2013. Less than one-half (1/2) of one (1) percent of all family relations attorneys registered in Ohio has achieved this status!
DHP is located in a safe, convenient northwest Columbus suburb with free on-site parking. The building is west of the intersection of Sawmill Road and Bethel Road. (Bethel Road becomes Hayden Road west of the Sawmill Road intersection.) The offices are in the classic redbrick Northwest Law Offices Building:
- next to Bravo! Cucina Italiana Restaurant,
- on the north side of Hayden Road, and
- east of Riverside Drive (State Route 33).
Then turn onto Donnylane Boulevard from Hayden Road. Then turn right into the parking lot behind the building. The main entrance is at the rear of the building.