Family Law and Domestic Relations

Divorce, dissolution, adoption, custody, visitation, child support lawyer, estate, trust, living will power of attorney Lancaster Ohio 43130 Family Law and Domestic Relations attorneys work in a variety of practice areas such as a divorce, dissolution, adoption, establishing and modifying child support, child visitation, parenting time, and custody.

Family law and Domestic Relations lawyers assist clients with the legal work that is needed to end a marriage, create a prenuptial agreement, making child custody arrangements or seeking child support, child abuse or neglect allegations, adoption, and other  family related issues. Two of our attorneys in this practice area hold credentials above and beyond their license to practice law: Randy L. Happeney is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law and Norman J. Ogilvie, Jr. is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law; as well as a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Below are some typical Family Law practice areas that our lawyers can assist clients with: 

(Please note that some list items may be linked to other pages to help further define a subject, or answer frequently asked questions)

Do you have an issue that you can’t find on the list above? We would welcome the challenge! Feel free to ask us about the legal, or practical, considerations with your proposed plan by using our convenient Contact Form.

Dagger Law’s Family Law and Domestic Relations Lawyers, are regionally recognized among the best.

When you need a Family Law Lawyer, you need someone that you can trust to protect you and your family. You want legal counsel with experience in the courtroom, and someone who can help you reach your goals. At Dagger Law, the practice of Domestic Relations and Family Law is a frequent part of our daily legal business, but no case is ever routine. Whether you need a divorce lawyer, an attorney to help you finalize an adoption in Ohio, assistance with obtaining or modifying a child support order, or any legal services for your changing family circumstances, we bring the experience you need. For the past two years, Dagger Law has averaged 13 new Family Law cases per month which is over 300 clients served per year. We know that each case has its own unique character and, through our many years of experience, our legal team is able to offer courtroom tested solutions to even the most complex family law issue. 

Our legal team believes that a Lawyer who practices in Family Law should focus predominantly in that area of the law, as well as closely related areas of legal practice such as Estate Planning and Litigation. You wouldn’t want to see a general practice physician for brain surgery, and you wouldn’t want a lawyer who concentrates on criminal defense when what you really need is a divorce attorney. We encourage our attorneys to focus on a particular practice area, and to become skilled lawyers within their area of focus. This has resulted in two of our Family Law Lawyers attaining specialized credentials, and recognition among their peers, for their work in Domestic Relations cases.

Dagger Law’s Family Law practice has been recognized for excellence in the following:

Will an attorney travel to me, or do I need to come to your offices in either Lancaster or Canal Winchester? 

While some meetings with your family law attorney will need to be held in our law offices, we do try to minimize your travel time by offering two convenient locations in both Lancaster and Canal Winchester, Ohio. It is our goal to minimize the disruption to your life caused by legal issues, and many communications or meetings can be conducted through emails or phone calls. In certain circumstances, such as being incarcerated or held in jail, we realize that it isn’t possible for clients to reach us, and visits to your location may be required. If a Dagger Law attorney is retained to represent you, they will travel to the necessary court hearings and legal procedures in order to represent you, anywhere in Ohio! Please note that in some instances the cost to represent your case may require an unusual amount of money due to travel expenses. In such cases, we may recommend using legal representation closer to the location of your case. We are happy to provide referrals in these instances, if we are able. Whether you are located in Central Ohio, Southeastern Ohio, Fairfield County, Hocking County, Licking County, Pickaway County, Franklin County, Lancaster, Baltimore, Circleville, Buckeye Lake, Newark, Logan, Canal Winchester, the Greater Columbus area or other locations nearby; we have you covered. Check out the nearest location to you by clicking Our Locations Page

How can I check the status of my Family Law and Domestic Relations matters? 

First, and foremost, we encourage you to communicate with your attorney, and their support staff, for updates regarding your family law matters. This will provide you with the most recent and up to date information. Communicating frequently with your attorney will allow you to ask questions so that you understand the progress of your case, as well as provide opportunities to give them any new information that your attorney might need to know. If your question is about status of filing, or other basic information, you can follow our step-by-step guide. Currently this guide addresses the following court houses: Fairfield County Domestic Relations Court (located at the Court of Common Pleas); Perry County Court of Common Pleas, and Hocking County Court of Common Pleas. The guide can be found by following this link: Domestic Relations Court Information Guide

Contact one of these Family and Domestic Relations Lawyers for assistance.

Click on photo to access an attorney’s contact information.

FAQ for Ohio Family Law Questions:

Q: What qualifies a lawyer to be a specialist?

A: While the term “specialist” seems like a nice way to describe an “intense focus,” this has a very particular meaning within the legal field. Specialists meet particular training, evaluation, years of experience and time engaged in a particular practice area to obtain the specialist credentials from the Ohio State Bar Association. These credentials can be received in one of eleven practice areas, including:

  • Administrative Agency Law
  • Appellate Law
  • Elder Law
  • Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
  • Family Relations Law
  • Federal Tax Law
  • Insurance Coverage Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Real Property – Business, Commercial, and Industrial Law
  • Real Property – Residential Law
  • Workers’ Compensation Law

A Lawyer can have a wealth of experience and a focus on one area of the law without taking the extra steps to be certified as a specialist. Likewise, a specialist in one area of the law may spend time practicing in other areas as well. While we are proud of those attorneys at law who have obtained their certified specialist title, it is important to know that this may not be the most important factor when making the decision to hire a divorce lawyer in Ohio. 

Q: I wanted to retain your services, but I was told that there was a conflict of interests. What does that mean?

A: In Ohio law, an attorney has a duty to provide effective counsel to a client. To be clear, “effective” doesn’t mean that the client gets the outcome that they desire, but rather it indicates that the legal representation was competent. In a case where an attorney has represented an opposing party, at any time in the past or with the intent to represent an opposing party in the future, there can be considered to be a conflict of interest that creates a serious risk that a lawyer’s action on behalf of one party may have an impact on representation for another party. This is why an attorney cannot represent both souses in a divorce. While there are some grey areas, most attorneys will wisely steer away from even a hint of engaging in a conflict of interests. After all, it is easier to avoid it than to argue that there was no conflict. 

Q: Does hiring the best attorney mean that I will pay more?

A: Terms like “best attorney” are subjective. How would anyone judge that?  Is there a contest for lawyers? To us, getting the best attorney is the one who can do the job effectively, efficiently and advocate for you. This saves you both time and money, and ultimately makes experienced attorneys an affordable option. Nobody wants to be stuck living through a legal matter for over six months, let alone years. While the client controls a lot of the delays in the legal process, your lawyer plays a role as well. Experience can allow an attorney to quickly move past the research and planning phase into taking action on your legal issue. At Dagger Law we are proud to have two Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialists. Whether your family law case is complex, or straight forward, we can still offer the same efficient and effective representation which saves you money and moves you quickly through the process. 

Q: Why do you ask for a retainer?

A: Retainer fees are collected so that our family law attorneys have an operating fund with which to represent you. Some legal proceedings can take a long time, and we don’t want to drag out that process by waiting for money to pay for some basic expenses associated with almost any legal case. Whether this money is used to cover filing fees, pay for an attorney to write motions on your behalf, or even cover the cost of complex legal research, you will be presented with an itemized account of how that retainer is spent. We believe in being good stewards of your resources, and keep records of how we spend our time on your family law issue so that you can be confident that your money is being used wisely. While it doesn’t happen often, if your case can be completed without using all of your retainer fee we will issue a refund for the unused portion. It is more usual that divorce cases cost more than the original retainer. If this is the case you may be asked to pay an additional retainer, or we will provide you with a billing statement on a month to month basis.

Q: How can I pay for my Family or domestic law matter?

A: We are sympathetic to the fact that some family law matters can be expensive. Because we understand this, we try to be flexible in how we accept payment. We do take cash, check, money orders, all major credit cards, and in some unique situations we may be able to arrange payment plans. There are also many lenders who offer loans to cover legal fees, or you may want to consider borrowing money from a family member or friend.