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Cincy Chic Staff

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Is your home in need of a bit of attention? Paintwork looking marked and faded, décor a little tired? Maybe you’re just bored living in the same environment after a few years and feel like a change. Or perhaps you’re considering putting the house up for sale and want to present it at its best. There are many reasons why you might be thinking about home improvement projects, but you need to think carefully about what is important and what you wish to achieve. Home improvements can be a costly business, so prioritizing the work you have in mind and looking for low-cost alternatives is a good place to start.

Selecting your project if you’re thinking of selling

The kind of project you want to take on will depend on what you are looking to achieve. If you’re thinking of boosting the sales potential and asking price of your house, then decorating right through in neutral colors is the best way to begin. Tidying, cleaning, and generally smartening up every room is the best way to maximize your return when you sell. If you’re thinking of major projects like a new kitchen or bathroom, don’t assume that the cost of the work will be reflected in the asking price. Such projects may add value, they may make no difference, or they may cost you a considerable amount without giving any return. You need to ask for some advice from realtors who know the local market as to what projects are worth undertaking.

Selecting your project if you’re not selling

Adding value to your home may not be such a priority as when you are selling, but it’s still something to consider. If your plans are going to cost considerably more than any value they might add, you need to be sure that the benefits to you in other forms will be at a sufficient level to offset any financial losses. If you will improve your lifestyle and the quality of your home life significantly, then the investment is worthwhile. Home improvement projects can take many forms, from simply redecorating and/or furnishing, to changing what a room is used for, or even enlarging and adding rooms. Open plan living areas have many advantages, and if this concept appeals to you, your project will involve an element of demolition and a rethink of the layout to make the new open space work well and look good.

How good are your DIY skills?

When it comes to costing your project, you might be considering doing some or all of the work yourself. This can be a cheaper option than getting tradespeople in, but the savings you make will only be worthwhile if you have the skills required. If you make a mistake when working on your project, you could end up having to get a professional in any way, or at the very least end up with a job that isn’t as well-done as it could have been. There are some tasks that most people can master with a little tuition and practice, such as painting and decorating. You don’t need to be a master craftsman to sand down floorboards or put up shelves for instance. Other tasks are much harder to do well, like plastering walls, and some are potentially dangerous – it’s not a good idea to interfere with your electrical systems if you’re not an electrician for example. 

DIY versus professional

Your best bet is to make an honest appraisal of your skills, and see what you could realistically do within your skill set and the time you have available. Missing out on extra work or overtime because you’re struggling with tiling the bathroom isn’t a very cost-effective approach to home improvement. You could well be better off earning the extra money and paying for a skilled tiler to come in and do the bathroom for you. Once you’ve determined what you are capable of and want to do yourself, you need to draw up an outline plan listing what needs to be done, when and by whom. You can then look at getting quotes for the professional work you need doing, and will be able to give the businesses a better idea of the timeframe and when you will need them. If the cost of employing tradespeople will take you over your available budget, then a home loan could be the answer. You can find out more about loan options for home improvements by searching online for the deals that will work best for your situation.

Making a plan for your project

It’s always best to make a plan before starting work so that you won’t get any surprises along the way. First of all, you need to be decided on what you want the room to look like; the color scheme, the purpose of the room and how that is changing, the layout of the furniture, and whether you want any new items to be added in. There are also practical actions to take into account, for example where you will put the contents of the room you’re making over, and when your tradespeople are able to fit you in. You’ll need to purchase all your materials in preparation, and you may need to book time off work – or at least check your diary to see what availability you have, so you can accurately predict how long the project will take. 

Completing the project

The plan you’ve made should include a realistic time schedule, which you should try and stick to and revise if necessary as you progress. Sometimes projects can be started with great enthusiasm, only for work to tail off for various reasons. The room then doesn’t get finished, and you will be trying to work around the disarray engendered by the start of the project. Get all the family members involved and lending a hand, in any way that suits them. The more help you get at the right time, the quicker the project will be completed.

Home makeovers can be a lot of fun if you stick to these golden rules and get everything ready before you start your project.

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As national heart health awareness month comes to a close, we learn about a local lady with a personal story that will educate and inspire you to take heart.

Susan Cox, a St. Elizabeth patient

 

Susan Cox did the unthinkable—she drove herself to the hospital, even though she thought she could be having a heart attack.

Her children had already been through so much when they lost their father to heart disease, so she didn’t want them to see her leave in an ambulance.

Susan said, “Just two years ago my husband Randy was at St. Elizabeth for heart surgery. That was the most difficult time of my life. Randy was everything to me, we were together for 20 years.”

After Randy suffered a heart attack, Dr. Victor Schmelzer performed triple-bypass surgery. Soon after surgery, Randy suffered a stroke. When he woke, he remembered the names of family members, but most of his memories appeared to be gone. Randy then went to rehab to get stronger, but he suffered a second heart attack and stroke. He returned to St. Elizabeth for care and in the end was under the care of Hospice.

“Dr. Schmelzer was there for me every step of the way when Randy was sick. Not only was he caring for Randy, he was there for me. He would always ask how I was doing, put a hand on my shoulder, or sometimes let me cry in his arms,” Susan said. “Although Randy didn’t make it, Dr. Schmelzer did everything he could for Randy and my family. He was unbelievably good to me.”

Nine months later, Susan arrived at St. Elizabeth Edgewood Emergency Department and learned she was having a heart attack and would need surgery. There was one thing Susan was sure of when she arrived, she wanted Dr. Schmelzer to care for her.

“I found out I had small arteries and they may need to transfer me for surgery. But I knew if anyone could take good care of me, it was St. Elizabeth and Dr. Schmelzer, and so I stayed at St. Elizabeth for surgery.”

Dr. Schmelzer discussed his care for Susan and her family, “I had the opportunity to become acquainted with Ms. Cox and her family while taking care of her husband, Randy, a few years ago. It’s extremely gratifying when family members of previous patients choose our team at St. Elizabeth Heart and Vascular Institute for their heart care.”

Dr. Schmelzer added, “When Ms. Cox needed surgery we took into consideration that she has school-age children that relied on her every day. Getting to know our patients and their unique life circumstances is an important element in our ability to provide the personalized care for each and every patient that they deserve. Our staff, nurses, and physicians work together daily to meet the unique needs of every patient and their families.”

Susan believes it takes a special kind of person to care for someone when they are at their weakest, and she felt that kindness throughout her experience with her husband and during her care.

Susan said, “Dr. Schmelzer means so much to me. I can’t say enough about the support and compassion he gave me when my husband was sick. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met. Then when I needed surgery, he was there for me again.”

After surgery, Susan attended the St. Elizabeth Cardiac Rehabilitation program. Today, she is doing well—she has quit smoking, exercises regularly and eats a healthy diet.

Many women, like Susan, don’t immediately recognize the symptoms of a heart attack, because they might not experience classic chest pain. Instead, women are likely to experience symptoms such as:

• Nausea

• Shortness of breath

• Overall discomfort and fatigue

Susan hopes not to need another heart surgery, but she knows, “if I ever need Dr. Schmlezer or St. Elizabeth, they will be there for me.” She added, ”I will also never drive myself to the Emergency Department if I think I am having a heart attack.”

Learn more about heart attack symptoms.

This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

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See how one local healthcare network is taking the stress out of regular exams by making them as simple as a fun lunch with friends.

 

Everyone has at least one friend that has fallen behind on getting her annual mammogram. The friend that has made every excuse in the book, “I’m too busy,” “I will make the appointment next month,” “They didn’t find anything last year.”

At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we have taken the stress out of getting an annual mammogram, and made it a fun and powerful way to take control of your health.

If you have a friend who has put off having her mammogram, get together seven of your closest friends and schedule a Power Lunch.

What is a Power Lunch?

Power Lunches are held on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Covington and St. Elizabeth Ft. Thomas. You and seven friends get free lunch, conversation with a medical expert on the latest developments in women’s health, digital screening mammograms and free chair massages.

“Power Lunches are meant to encourage women to get a mammogram in a relaxing environment with other women they love and trust,” said Terri Bogan, RN, Interim Nurse Manager at St. Elizabeth’s Women’s Wellness Center.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare first began Power Lunches in 2010. Today, hundreds of women each year help an anxious loved one get their annual mammogram during a Power Lunch.

Schedule a Power Lunch Today

Learn more about our Power Lunch program. Call (859) 655-8777 to schedule your lunch, available at St. Elizabeth Covington and St. Elizabeth Ft. Thomas locations.

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Keeping fit is something a lot of people view as very important and many of us would like to put more effort into. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, have better cardio fitness, bust stress, or all of the above, there is no doubt that most people can benefit from putting more fitness activities into their lives. However, this isn’t always easy. The pressures of work, family life, and having a full schedule can make going to fitness classes or even attending the gym seem like an impossibility, and this means some people forgo the exercise they want to do or rely on less efficient ways of keeping fit, like trying to walk wherever they can.

Because of this, some fitness businesses have spotted a gap in the market for home fitness, and this is an area where there has been a lot of innovation in the last few years.

The Downside of Old-School Home Fitness

While exercising at home is nothing new, in the past, people would purchase a fitness video or DVD and use that. While the workouts could be quite good, the monotony of doing the same exercises every day with the instructor on the video saying the same things soon made even the best-made workout videos boring. As a result, people tended to either abandon the programs or end up buying dozens of the videos just to give themselves enough variety to stay motivated. 

How Online Fitness Gets Around This

Lately, there has been a huge rise in services that offer home fitness videos online, such as Studio SWEAT onDemand spin class videos. These services have the same benefits as the old fitness DVDs in that you can do them at home on your own and fit them around your life, but they also counteract a lot of the drawbacks fitness videos and DVDs have. You gain access to lots of different classes, which means you don’t have to listen to the same instructor saying the same things over and over to get your workout. They also allow you to join communities where lots of other people are training on the same program. People feel more supported and enjoy the sense of being held accountable that you get at a physical gym.

Is Online Fitness Right for You?

Online fitness programs have a lot of advantages and you can find all sorts of classes that can allow you to work out at home effectively, depending on what kind of activity you like doing and what equipment you have (for instance, for spinning you need a stationary bike, but there are plenty of workouts you can do where all you need is a towel and some space, too). These can help you have a structured workout rather than just using whatever fitness gear you have at home on the fly, and can also save you a lot of time and money compared to going to a gym.

It is interesting to see how well online fitness is catching on, and the great results many of its fans are getting.

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The Jewish faith has many important traditions. One of these is eating kosher food. For a Gentile, navigating the complexities of kosher and non-kosher can be something of a minefield. The last thing you want to do is offend your Jewish friends and family by giving them an unsuitable gift, yet following traditions shows that you respect the recipient’s Jewish heritage. 

There are certain rules to keep in mind when purchasing gifts for Jewish friends and families. To help you make the right decision and ensure your gift is welcomed with open arms, read on for some helpful advice. 

The Rules of Kosher

“Kosher” means “appropriate” or “fit”. Kosher food may or may not have been blessed by a Rabbi, but if it follows the prescribed practices of Kashrut, it is kosher. 

There are three categories of kosher food: meat, dairy, and pareve, or neutral. Meat and dairy are self-explanatory, but pareve includes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, eggs, fish, etc. In addition, meat must be slaughtered in a kosher, or more humane, way.

When looking for kosher gifts, you need to remember that meat, dairy, and pareve must not be mixed. This means any gift containing both meat and dairy is not kosher. Manhattan Fruitier offers beautiful kosher gift baskets featuring seasonal fresh fruit, kosher chocolate, babka, nougat, and honey! These baskets are perfect for any occasion.

What are Kosher Gifts?

Kosher gifts are usually identified by special symbols, which makes it easier to ensure you don’t inadvertently buy a non-kosher gift and cause offense. However, if giving a kosher gift for a special holiday, for example, at a Hanukah celebration, you should check whether the meal is dairy-based or meat-based, so you can buy a suitable gift. Otherwise, the recipient must wait six hours to enjoy the gift.

Kosher Holiday Traditions

Jewish holidays such as Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah often have their own gift traditions. For example, it is customary to give fruit baskets at Tu B’Shvat and dairy-based gifts such as kosher cheese baskets on Shavuot. Purim is a time for the celebration of kinship, so give your friends some tasty kosher ready-to-eat snacks. 

Ideal Kosher Gifts

You should choose your kosher gifts carefully, but there are some great gift ideas if you’re stuck for what to buy your Jewish friends and family. 

  • Kosher Chocolate – Gourmet kosher chocolate is perfect for a dairy-based celebration. I defy anyone to be disappointed with a box of gourmet chocolate treats!
  • Kosher Candy – Kosher candy is another great choice for anyone with a sweet tooth. Children will love kosher chocolate pretzels, lollipops, and taffy.
  • Kosher baked goods – Look for kosher baked pies and cakes that are dairy-free, so they can be gifted for any celebration. So long as you stick to the kosher guidelines, you can create a tasty chocolate cake that’s dairy-free. 
  • Challah – Traditional Challah braided Challah bread is always welcomed. You can pick up Challah bread from a Jewish bakery or have a go at making your own. 

Other Kosher gift ideas include rugelach pastries, kosher wine, matzah ball soup, and latke crisps.

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Breaking a habit like a drug addiction is a long and difficult process. It is a journey that is incredibly difficult to complete. Consequently, a drug rehabilitation center is the best chance that many people will have in beating their addiction. All addictions are complex, psychologically speaking, and so there is no set of hard and fast rules dictating what the best course of action is. However, it has been repeatedly proven that a specialized drug rehabilitation program is the best hope for the majority of addicts out there. Getting the most out of drug rehabilitation requires individuals to have an understanding of both their illness and the purposes behind the various activities and treatments employed while in rehab.

Don’t Forget Why You Are There

This is possibly the most important piece of advice you can receive. Rehab is, by its nature, difficult, and it requires patients to put into it as much as they expect to get out. It is vital that while you are there, especially when things seem tough, that you remember why you are there and what motivated you to opt for rehab in the first place. 

Ask Questions

If you are unsure about anything during your stay, then ask staff about it. Being in such an unfamiliar environment can bring on feelings of anxiety in a number of people. However, there is nothing to worry about; the staff at the rehab center will be happy to help allay any concerns that you might have about your treatment.

Follow the Rules

Even if you don’t agree with specific points of policy or procedure at the rehab center you use, you should still do everything you can to ensure that you are complying with everything that is expected of you. During withdrawal, it is normal for patients to feel irritable and this might make minor annoyances seem like a big deal. Try to remember, however, that there is a reason for any rules you are required to follow and the people who decided those rules are the same people working to help you overcome your addiction. 

Be Patient

Breaking a drug gambit will require that you are patient with both yourself and with the staff who are helping to treat you. The process of reintegration back to a normal routine after a sustained period of drug addiction can take a long time, longer than most people realize. In fact, while the physical effects of withdrawal are usually over relatively quickly, there is still the psychological aspect to addiction, which can often prove much more difficult to break and is the main cause of relapses further down the line. It will take time and willpower to overcome your addiction. Finding a rehab center near to friends and family can also be helpful. If you live in Georgia, for example, then try searching the web for Georgia Drug Rehab.

Quitting drugs is a long and difficult process and in order to be successful, it requires the patient to engage and to use as much willpower as they can muster.

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Watching somebody that you love and care about go through an addiction problem is never an easy experience. However, it’s important to bear in mind that even after you have encouraged them to reach out for help and perhaps even arranged a rehabilitation period for them, along with medical and psychological treatment, being there for them and supporting them does not stop there. For many people who are recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the recovery process goes on for months or even years after they leave the rehabilitation center; for some, it is a lifelong process of working to avoid relapsing back into old habits and routines. Here are some effective things that you can do to support your loved one on their recovery journey. 

#1. Trust Them

First and foremost, it’s important that you try and trust your loved one to look after themselves and stay sober if they have told you that they will. Although you cannot guarantee that this will happen, it’s vital that you give them space and trust that they need to carry on with a journey that is very personal to them. Of course, it can be easy to become overprotective when you are concerned about a loved one. However, this can often have the opposite effect, as they could feel that they have let you down, which can contribute to self-esteem problems. Check in with them regularly, but be sure that you are not overbearing or too protective of them – let them figure it out for themselves and step in if you feel it is necessary. 

#2. Do Fun Things Together

One of the main pieces of advice given to recovering addicts is to find new, healthier habits and hobbies to replace the old routines of taking drugs or drinking alcohol. This is certainly something that you can help your loved one with, and trying out new hobbies and activities with them can also be a lot of fun for you. You can do simple yet fun things together, such as taking your dogs for a walk, going shopping for new outfits, re-decorating a room, taking art classes, cooking together, or even learning a new sport – all of this can help to reintegrate them back into a substance-free lifestyle, boost their self-esteem, and improve their relationship with you too. 

#3. Actively Listen

Keep in mind that after coming out of a rehabilitation program, there may be a lot that your loved one will want to talk about, whether it’s their hopes and dreams for the future, or sharing their experiences of heroin withdrawal with you. As a supportive friend or relative, it’s important that you are there to actively listen to them. Be aware that they may not always expect you to do something to help, but rather just need a listening and understanding ear. Communicate openly with your loved one and ask them if there is anything that you can do to make their journey easier for them. 

With your help, your loved one can enjoy a successful recovery journey to a fulfilling, life of sobriety. 

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Learn about the latest research, unique symptoms for women, and the most important things you should know about stroke.

 

St. Elizabeth offers signs of a stroke and how to prevent them.

According to the National Stroke Association, more women die from stroke than men. In fact, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in women (compared to being the fifth leading cause of death in men). Surprised? Remember, women generally live longer than men, so they are more likely to live alone when a stroke occurs.

Signs of a stroke

Remember to act FAST when you suspect a stroke. FAST stands for:

  • FACE: Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS: Does one arm drift downward when the person is trying to raise their arms?
  • SPEECH: Is the person’s speech slurred or does it sound strange?
  • TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

Other symptoms which may be especially unique to women include:

  • Loss of consciousness or fainting
  • Generalized weaknesses
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Confusion, unresponsiveness or disorientation
  • Sudden significant behavior change
  • Agitation
  • Hallucination
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Hiccups

Women also have unique risk factors when it comes to having a stroke:

  • Taking oral contraceptives, especially with additional risk factors including age, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Natural changes in the body during a normal pregnancy can cause increased blood pressure and stress on the heart.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), prescribed to relieve menopausal symptoms, this combined hormone therapy of progestin and estrogen can increase a woman’s risk for stroke.
  • Migraine headaches with aura not only cause debilitating pain, they can increase a woman’s risk of stroke by two and a half times.

Stroke prevention in women

  • If you experience migraines with aura and smoke, stop smoking immediately.
  • Monitor your blood pressure carefully during and after your pregnancy.
  • If you are over 75, get screened for atrial fibrillation
  • If you are starting oral contraceptives, make sure your physician screens you for high blood pressure.

To learn more, join us for Women Take Heart: Wine and Watercolor, an event focusing on women’s unique stroke risk. Learn more about stroke and enjoy time with female friends in a fun painting activity. Tuesday, Oct. 10, 5:30-8:30. Learn more at stelizabeth.com/wineandwatercolor.

Editor’s note: Written by Debbie Marques. This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

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Some people are born with thick, voluminous hair that doesn’t seem to get affected by anything, irrespective of what they do with it. However, most of us are not that lucky and the little volume we do have tends to thin out after just a few coloring and styling experiments. The good news is that there are ways to get thicker hair even if your hair is naturally thin and we will now take a look at how to do exactly that.

Pancake Your Braids

Braids themselves are a good way to make thin hair look thicker but you can add even more thickness to your braids by simply pinching and pulling a bit of each loop on one side. This is known as the pancaking technique and it adds volume to every braiding style out there.

Mousse for Thickness

If you are looking for instant thickness, the mousse will do that for you, but you will need to be careful so that you don’t overdo it. Spray some of the stuff onto your hand and then run your comb through it, instead of directly applying it to your hair. Comb from mid-to-end as you don’t want the mousse near your roots. Also, make sure that your hair is damp (not dripping wet) before applying that comb on your hair. 

Cortex Enlarger Spray

The hair thickener spray from ScalpMed is actually a cortex enlarger, which physically thickens the hair shafts and fibers to make hair not just look fuller but more voluminous in reality as well. All you need to do is spray it directly on your hair in the morning and you are good to go. Whether you style your hair or keep it open after that, it will look fuller and thicker for the rest of the day. This is one of the few solutions out there that actually thickens the hair instead of just making it look thick.

Velcro Rollers

Roll two or three Velcro rollers all the way to the top of your head and blow some warm air onto the rollers for half a minute. Now, let the rollers cool for about 10 minutes before taking them out of your hair. Remember to do this only when your hair is dry. If you manage to do it right, your hair should look full, voluminous and fluffy.

Dry Shampoo

An unusual but effective way to increase your hair’s volume is by using dry shampoo in it at night before going to bed. By the time you wake up in the morning, the dry shampoo will have absorbed the oil from your hair, in addition to giving it a much fuller look. Strangely enough, you can also use baby powder for the same effect.

None of these techniques are really hard, but they all work. You can try any or all of them over the course of time. However, taking care of your hair at the root level should always be your priority over styling because the healthier your hair is, the thicker it will look naturally, making any hair thickening method you use all the more effective.

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Though the prospect of having to go through a divorce isn’t one that most women entertain when they get married, the risk is always there. Indeed, Ohio couples who have reached the age of 50 or over arechoosing to divorce more and more frequently, with divorce increasing by a factor of three in Ohio couples over the age of 65. While further analysis reveals that divorce rates in Ohio have fallen in younger couples, most young women are waiting longer before choosing to marry; a factor that clearly affects the context of the data.

More findings of interest relate to divorce and pregnancy in Cincinnati. According to aScottsdale divorce lawyer,“an integral component of any divorce with children is a court enforceable joint parenting plan”.While Ohio law doesn’t officially give any judge the authority to refuse a divorce on the basis of pregnancy, it seems that the system isreluctant to allow couples to divorcewhile the wife is pregnant to ensure that child support will be established and to save the parents from going through a second court action to establish parental responsibility in the future.

Although Ohio is by no means leading the way in terms of high divorce rates – with that present title going to Detroit in Michigan –  it still ranks fairly highup on the list. With this in mind, we’ve decided to share some of the basic features of Ohio Divorce Law with you in this post. Hopefully, it will help to orient you a little during what is bound to be a troubling time full of change.

1. Fault-based divorce

Ohio remains one of the few states in the U.S. that still allows fault-based divorces. This is when either you or your partner chooses to file for a divorce due to the actions of the other. In Cincinnati and across the state, grounds for fault-based divorce can include the following: adultery, extreme cruelty, gross neglect, imprisonment, drunkenness and willful absence which has lasted more than a year. When a fault-based divorce is granted it can impact on property division, alimony and child custody.

2. Collaborative law

Collaborative law simply offers you and your divorcing spouse the means of reaching an amicable agreement outside of court. It’s a process during which you will both work closely alongside your respective lawyers, which meanschoosing a good divorce lawyer is keyand is one of the options available to you when divorcing in Cincinnati.

3. Will I have to go to court?

Divorces that remain amicable significantly reduce the need to attend court, as lawyers are then able to attend court on their clients’ behalf. However, even if you are in the middle of a no-fault divorce, you will eventually need to appear before the judge and testify to confirm that you are in agreement with the outcome as laid out. If your divorce is less than amicable, however, you may have to attend various court hearings and even be prepared to go all the way to trial.

4. Am I eligible to file for divorce in Ohio?

If you are legally married and you’vebeen living in the Cincinnati area or elsewhere in the state for at least six months, you are eligible to file for a divorce under Ohio state law. These rules equally apply to couples in same-sex marriages, following the Obergefell / Hodges U.S. Supreme Court’s case.

5. Equitable distribution

Under Ohio state law, marital property and assets are divided according to equitable distribution rules. It’s important to clarify that “equitable” doesn’t always mean “equal”. A number of factors are taken into consideration – including financial loss due to gambling, or marital funds that were spent on an affair – before the judge can make a fair decision as to how funds, assets and property gains are to be shared.

6. Children and sole custody

In general, Ohio state law favors joint custody over sole custody. Most courts lean towards offering both parents some share in the parental rights and responsibilities of all children involved. However, sole custody can be awarded to one of the parties if it can be unequivocally proven that this would be in the best interests of the children.

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