Mills, Mills, Fiely & Lucas
Contact Our Attorneys Today. 330-754-1888

Ohio General Law Blog

Divorce could impact your child's college fund

When a couple in Ohio is going through the divorce process, there are a lot of matters to consider. The emotions involved in the situation could make it difficult for both parties to see things clearly. This is especially true when finances or children are involved. Things can get especially heated when the divorce negotiation touches financial issues that could negatively impact a divorcing couples' children's college savings fund.

After the divorce, the ex-spouses will likely face a reduction in income. This will have an impact on any plans that they have for funding a child's college education. Even if each spouse on their own still makes the same amount, they will have to use that money to care for two households.

Alternatives to incarceration for violent crimes

Some federal prisoners in Ohio might have their sentences reduced by the First Step Act, which became law in 2018. However, the reach of this legislation is limited. Incarcerated people who are not federal prisoners are not eligible, and it only applies to nonviolent offenders.

While many people who have committed violent crimes should remain imprisoned as a matter of public safety, this isn't the case with all offenders. It is possible for someone to be charged with simple assault without actually doing physical harm to a person. Furthermore, not all offenders incarcerated for violent offenses are in serious danger of recidivism.

How doctors can limit liability for medication errors

Doctors in Ohio can often find themselves in a bind when prescribing medication, especially pain medication. If they prescribe too much, they are accused of aiding an addict, and if they prescribe too little or dismiss a patient's pain, they are seen as being negligent. It's important, then, that they take certain steps to limit their liability in case medication errors do occur.

The FDA estimates that 1.3 million patients are injured every year as a result of preventable medication errors. These mistakes can arise at the prescription, dispensing and administration stages or in the administration records. As two studies published by the BMJ illustrate, the majority of mistakes in pediatric facilities are administration errors whereas family practices usually make prescription errors.

Tips for dividing a 401(k) in a divorce

When a divorcing couple in Ohio needs to divide a 401(k), they must be careful to avoid potentially costly errors. A 2016 survey of the American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers found that pensions and retirement accounts were second only to alimony as the most contentious issue in a divorce.

A document called a qualified domestic relations order is necessary to divide a pension plan or a 401(k) in a divorce, and multiple accounts will require multiple QDROs. The QDRO must be consistent with the divorce agreement, specify how distributions will be made and get accepted by the plan administrator. If the distribution is rolled into an IRA, taxes will not be incurred. A direct distribution following divorce is exempt from the early withdrawal penalty but still subject to income tax.

Can I refuse a sobriety test?

After a night of fun, you find yourself on the side of the road, headlights in the rearview mirror. You’ve been pulled over and you’re worried you may be considered legally impaired. What can you do?

Many people in this same scenario may consider refusing a sobriety test if the officer asks for one. Can you do this legally?

Electronic record systems can cause medical errors

Ohio patients may be vulnerable to safety errors when being treated by a medical professional. According to one study, electronic health records (EHRs) could be a reason why they occur. Specifically, issues with electronic records could result in medication errors including prescribing an inappropriate level of a given medication. These conclusions were drawn after looking at 9,000 patient safety reports from 2012 to 2017.

Medication dosing was a common problem resulting from issues with being able to use electronic record systems. This can be an even bigger problem when dealing with children as there are no differences in the systems used for younger patients as opposed to adults. According to the study, 36 percent of errors were caused by usability issues, and it was believed that 18.8 percent of those errors resulted in harm to the patient.

Divorce doesn't have to dampen a child's holiday spirit

Divorce is stressful for families across Ohio and the nation. Unfortunately, the holidays often bring out deeper emotions of sadness for those sharing custody. On top of facing the normal stress involved in the breakup of a family, divorced parents and their children also have to meet new challenges when it comes to visitation and custody. To add to this, younger children especially have a hard time understanding why they are unable to keep family holiday traditions alive with both parents. They may be averse to taking part in new traditions.

To combat these potential issues, children should be made aware of holiday plans well in advance so that they know where they will reside and with whom. It's also important that parents allow each other to celebrate with the children in their own ways without voicing judgment or disapproval. The goal is for children to enjoy the holidays in whatever setting they are placed in, and attempting to one-up the other parent can put a damper on the joyous spirit of the season.

Medical errors are a leading cause of death

Preventable medical errors harm patients in Ohio every year. Over 40 percent of Americans feel that healthcare is a top political issue. However, neither Democrats nor Republicans have addressed preventable medical errors. The statistics regarding preventable medical errors are shocking. Reportedly, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death in the United States. A 2016 study found that over 250,000 patients likely die every year as a result of preventable medical errors, and a recent survey of nurses found that 35 percent felt not enough is being done to improve patient safety.

Some of the most common types of errors are diagnostic errors and medication errors. Diagnostic errors are estimated to affect over 12 million patient a year, and over 4 million are believed to suffer serious harm as a result. Despite internal investigations into these problems, they remain widespread at medical facilities across the country.

Taxes, overspending and other financial mistakes in divorce

Knowing ahead of time about some of the common financial mistakes people make in divorce can help people in Ohio avoid those mistakes. For example, some people might sell assets to cover divorce bills without realizing that there will be taxes to pay as a result of that sale.

Another tax-related mistake is not realizing that certain steps must be taken in dividing a 401(k). To avoid tax consequences and penalties, a distribution must be done with a document called a qualified domestic relations order, and the distribution has to be rolled into a 401(k). If the divorce is finalized starting in 2019, there will not be any taxes on alimony payments. However, this also means that those payments will not be tax-deductible for the payer, so the recipient might get less money overall. People should not quit their jobs to avoid alimony payments. This will cost them more money than making the payments over the long term.

Co-parenting through the holiday season

Co-parenting means compromise, and that is never more apparent than during the holidays.

The season is packed with family, presents and days off school. They also contain lots of potential for arguments, schedule conflicts and general frustration. Here are a few tips for getting through the holiday season as a co-parent without losing your mind:

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You? Complete the short form that appears below and a member of the Mills, Mills, Fiely & Lucas staff will
contact you within one business day. If your matter is urgent, please call our office directly.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Mills, Mills, Fiely & Lucas
101 Central Plaza South
Suite 1200
Canton, OH 44702

Canton Law Office Map

Phone: 330-754-1888

Toll Free: 855-336-7955

After Hours: 330-495-1917

Fax: 855-764-3543