If You Are Facing a Divorce, What Makes a Certified Specialist Different?
Licensed Ohio attorneys can become certified as specialists in particular areas of law, including family relations law (i.e., legal matters involving divorce, dissolution, custody, support and related subjects).
Certification in Ohio is a voluntary process that requires a commitment to excellence. Ohio attorneys who are certified as specialists must take and pass a written examination in their specialty field, demonstrate a high level of substantial involvement in the specialty area, fulfill ongoing education requirements and be favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with their work.
These standards ensure that an attorney certified as a specialist in family relations law possesses an enhanced level of skill and expertise as well as substantial involvement in family law.
An applicant for certification as a specialist in the field of family relations law must be an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Ohio and in good standing and must meet the following mandatory requirements:
- Substantial Involvement in family law for a minimum of six years.
- Peer Review/Recommendations from seven (7) separate individual references, at least one (1) of which must be from a judge or magistrate familiar with the applicant’s competency level in the specialty. References must come from attorneys already certified in family relations law (or from an attorney who meets the “substantial involvement” requirement), sitting judges, and magistrates, each of whom must be familiar with the applicant’s competency in the specialty.
- Pass a detailed Written Examination to test the knowledge and skills of the substantive and procedural law in family relations law, and include professional responsibility and ethics as they relate to family relations law. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: dispute resolution, allocation of parental rights, annulments, antenuptial agreements, bankruptcy, child support, COBRA, dissolution, division of property, domestic violence, ethics, federal and state income tax laws, jurisdiction/venue, legal separation/divorce, parentage, practice and procedure, retirement benefits/QDRO, separation agreements, spousal support, taxation, and parenting time/companionship.
- Complete a minimum of thirty-six (36) hours of continuing legal education in the three-year period preceding his or her application and thereafter twelve (12) hours every two (2) years of certification that are in the field of family relations law. Eligible courses are only those that are determined to be courses which are intermediate to advanced in nature.
If your family law matter involves complex issues or challenges such as a business interest, separate property, retirement plans and assets, real estate, stock options, or spousal and child support questions, or if your marriage is of significant duration (ten or more years), consider finding a certified specialist to help you with your divorce. We represent clients needing divorce guidance throughout the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio communities including the counties of Cuyahoga, Summit, Medina, Geauga, Lake, Portage, and Lorain.