Falke & Dunphy, LLC

Family Law

Few things in life are more difficult than the breakup of a family. People frequently become emotionally distraught as they watch the demise of all of their hopes and expectations. In the midst of this emotional turmoil, they have to make financial decisions and parenting arrangements that will impact their lives for decades to come.

It is the goal of our firm to help people through the legal process while maintaining their dignity. Frequently there are ways of dividing assets that can be a benefit to both parties. We work very hard to be thorough and fair while at the same time be compassionate and creative.

Divorce, Dissolution and Annulments

In Ohio, there are essentially four methods for dissolving a marriage:

  1. A divorce – one spouse files a complaint for divorce and the court determines the division of assets and debts and the custody of arrangements for the children,
  2.  A dissolution – the parties resolve division of their assets and debts and the custody arrangements for their children themselves – with the help of their lawyers. They file a petition for dissolution along with a Separation Agreement with the Court. After a 30 day waiting period, the court will hold a brief hearing and grant the dissolution thus dissolving the marriage.
  3. A legal separation – similar to a divorce, one spouse filed a complaint for legal separation and the court then determines the division of the parties’ assets, debts and the custody of the children. However, with a Legal Separation, the parties are still married but no longer financially obligated to each other.
  4. An annulment – essentially, an annulment is a declaratory action that determines that the marriage was defective. The most common scenario is when a party is married to someone else.
Paternity and Juvenile Matters

In addition to handling child abuse and neglect matters, the Juvenile Court also resolves custody and parenting time (visitation) arrangements for parents who were never married. Juvenile Court also has jurisdiction to hear cases involving minors who have been accused of crimes. Our firm has experience in all aspects of Juvenile Court: dependency, criminal, and custody.

Adoption and ART Matters

Adoption establishes a legally recognized, lifelong relationship between a parent and child. The adoptive parent becomes legally and morally responsible for the child’s safety, education, health care, value development, development of life skills, as well as the day-to-day care of that child. Our firm regularly handles step-parent adoptions and relative adoptions.

Medical advances in Reproductive Technology have changed the way individuals and couples create families. These medical techniques include IVF procedures, donation of genetic material, embryo donation, and surrogacy, and are known as Assisted Reproductive Technology.

Knowing the laws, your rights, and the legal process will not only answer your questions but will help protect you.

Laura M. Woodruff is experienced in the legal aspects of ART and is committed to helping clients through a collaborative and compassionate approach.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most difficult things we ask our Courts to decide is the custody arrangements for children. Each case is unique. In determining custody, the Court tries to determine what is in “the best interest of the child.” Some parents want to “win custody” as if the child were a prize and as a way to appease the pain they suffered in the breakup of the relationship with the child’s other parent. At Falke & Dunphy, LLC, we strive to help parents put their children first and to present the facts clearly and compassionately to the court. We also offer guidance through the custody battles to and to negotiate the emotional challenges. We pride ourselves with seeking creative solutions that allow parties to heal and to become better parents.

Additionally, several members of our office regularly serve the Courts as a Guardian ad Litum. A Guardian ad Litum assists the judge by gathering information in custody cases. A GAL will interview parents, children, visit the parents’ respective homes, review relevant documents, visit day care centers or schools, etc. In order to serve as a GAL, the Supreme Court of Ohio requires extensive training. Both the additional training coupled with the experience of serving as a GAL provides our office with a unique perspective to assist you through your custody case.

Child and Spousal Support

In Ohio, state guidelines establish the amount of child support based upon such things as the income of each parent, cost of childcare and health insurance. Nevertheless, a number of other factors may vary the amount of support a parent is ordered to pay. An experienced family law attorney can help you to determine whether certain perks, such as the cost of a company car, should be included in a parent’s income, or whether the extraordinary costs of extracurricular activities might warrant a deviation in the amount of support a parent is ordered to pay.

Guardian ad Litem

In certain juvenile and domestic relations cases, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is appointed to represent the best interests of a minor child. A GAL can be requested by the parties or appointed by the Court. The Guardian ad Litem must conduct an independent investigation and make a recommendation to the Court about the best interests of the child or children. Additionally, the Guardian ad Litem has the ability to file motion, review discovery, and present and examine witnesses.

GALs serve an important function in cases involving divorce, child custody, and in cases involving Children’s Services or where there are allegations of abuse, neglect or dependency. If you have questions about a GAL in your case, please contact us.

Office Location

30 Wyoming Street
Dayton, OH 45409-2731

Falke & Dunphy, LLC Falke & Dunphy, LLC
30 Wyoming Street Dayton ,
OH 45409-2731

Reach Us

Call for an appointment: 937-222-3000
Fax: 937-222-1414