Frequently Asked Questions

At Gertz & Rosen, we are committed to helping you navigate the complex legal landscape with confidence. Below are answers to some of our clients’ most frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact our office to learn more.


Who gets to keep the house in a divorce?

Regarding property division during divorce, Ohio is an “equitable distribution” state, which means courts will consider various factors to determine the most fair, or equitable, division of property and assets. The home will be valued and the party retaining the home will often need to refinance the home and possibly pay the other spouse a share of equity in the home.

How does the court determine child custody?

Ohio courts make child custody decisions based on the best interests of the child. Factors considered include the parents’ health, each parent’s relationship with the child, and the ability of each parent to provide a stable environment. The court may also consider the child’s wishes, depending on their age and maturity level.

What is the difference between custody and parenting time?

Custody refers to the legal right to make decisions regarding a child’s upbringing, including education, religion, and healthcare. Parenting time, on the other hand, refers to the time a parent spends with their child. Both custody and parenting time schedules can be decided by the court or agreed upon by the parents.

What is shared parenting?

Shared parenting means that both parents share the rights and responsibilities to make decisions about their child’s upbringing. This includes decisions about education, health care, and religious training. However, having shared parenting does not necessarily mean the parents will have equal parenting time.

My ex is behind on paying child support. Can I prevent visitation until he pays?

No, child support and parenting time are separate issues in the eyes of the law. You cannot deny parenting time rights because of unpaid child support. If your ex is not meeting their child support obligations, you should seek legal advice or contact your local child support enforcement agency.

Probate & Estate Planning

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process for administering and distributing a deceased person’s estate. This includes validating the deceased individual’s will, assessing the value of their assets, paying any debts or taxes, and distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries as specified in the will. It’s overseen by a probate court, ensuring everything is done according to the law.

What happens if a person dies without a will in Ohio?

If a person dies without a will in Ohio, the estate will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws. These laws provide a specific order of distribution among the deceased’s relatives, starting with the surviving spouse and children. If the deceased has no spouse or children, the assets are distributed to other family members in a specific order, such as parents, siblings, or more distant relatives. It’s important to note that dying without a will, or “intestate,” may result in the decedent’s assets not being distributed as they may have wished, which underscores the importance of creating a will.

What is a trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement where one party (the grantor) gives another party (the trustee) the right to hold and manage certain assets for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary), who for a time may be the same person, along with others who the grantor designates. Trusts are often used in estate planning to provide more control over asset distribution and to potentially avoid or minimize the probate process.

Do estate planning documents need to be updated?

Estate planning documents should be reviewed whenever there’s a significant change in your life. This could include marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, a significant increase or decrease in your estate’s value, or a change in your health status. Even if there are no major changes, it’s a good practice to review these documents every three to five years.


What is the difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy?

Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy are both legal ways to discharge your debts and get a fresh financial start, but they operate in different ways.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows individuals and businesses to eliminate many debts by liquidating non-exempt assets to repay creditors. It’s typically a quicker process than Chapter 13, usually taking about three to six months.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, on the other hand, is more of a reorganization of debt. It involves creating a repayment plan to pay back your debts over a three to five-year period. This type of bankruptcy is often preferred by those who have a regular income, significant equity in their home or other property, or debts that cannot be discharged under Chapter 7.

How can I determine which type of bankruptcy is right for me?

The best type of bankruptcy for you depends on your unique circumstances. Some factors to consider include your income, the type and amount of debt you have, your long-term financial goals, and your ability to repay your debts.

For instance, if you have little to no disposable income and few assets, Chapter 7 may be the better choice. Conversely, if you have a steady income and want to keep your assets while catching up on missed payments, Chapter 13 might suit you better. However, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced bankruptcy attorney before making any decisions. They can help you evaluate your situation and guide you through the complexities of the bankruptcy process.

Commercial Litigation

What is commercial litigation, and when is it necessary for a business?

Commercial litigation is a broad term that covers any type of legal dispute within a business context. This can include disputes between businesses or between a business and an individual. It encompasses various matters such as breach of contract, partnership disputes, business torts, and more. Litigation may be necessary when the parties involved cannot resolve the issue amicably and need legal intervention to reach a fair resolution. For example, if a supplier fails to deliver goods as per a contract, and the two parties cannot agree on a solution, commercial litigation may be necessary.

What are some common legal issues that businesses face, and how can an attorney help?

Businesses can encounter a wide range of legal issues, from contractual disputes to intellectual property challenges, employment issues, regulatory compliance, and more. For instance, a business might face a lawsuit from a disgruntled employee alleging wrongful termination or a competitor might accuse a company of infringing on their patent rights.

At Gertz & Rosen, we offer comprehensive legal services to address these challenges. Our seasoned attorneys have extensive experience in business law, real estate, bankruptcy, and more, enabling us to provide strategic advice and representation for your specific needs.

What can business owners do to prevent future legal disputes?

To help prevent legal disputes, business owners should consider proactive measures such as drafting thorough contracts, implementing compliance programs, regularly reviewing and updating company policies, and seeking legal advice before making major business decisions. A knowledgeable attorney can help you understand your legal obligations and rights as a business owner, anticipate potential issues, and develop strategies to mitigate risks. Additionally, having legal counsel can save you time and money by preventing costly mistakes and disputes.

Real Estate

What types of property disputes can Gertz & Rosen help me with?

The attorneys at Gertz & Rosen have extensive experience handling different types of real estate issues and property disputes for both homeowners and commercial clients. These include boundary and title disputes, easement conflicts, landlord-tenant disputes, and issues related to homeowners’ associations. We also handle cases involving zoning laws, real estate contract disputes, and fraudulent conveyance. Our team of skilled attorneys is well-versed in Ohio’s specific property laws and can provide comprehensive legal advice tailored to your unique situation.

I am a landlord facing a dispute with my tenant. Can Gertz & Rosen assist me?

Whether you are dealing with issues related to evictions, lease agreements, security deposits, or property damage, our experienced attorneys can guide you through the legal process. We can help you understand your rights and obligations under Ohio law, negotiate with tenants, and represent you in court if necessary.

Can Gertz & Rosen assist with real estate transactions and contracts?

Absolutely. Gertz & Rosen has a wealth of experience assisting clients with all aspects of real estate transactions and contracts. We can review, draft, and negotiate contracts on your behalf, ensuring your interests are protected. We will work together through the due diligence and and closing processes. Our deep understanding of Ohio real estate laws enables us to provide reliable advice and prevent potential legal issues.

Can Gertz & Rosen serve as an advisor to my business?

Certainly. Serving as ongoing counsel to businesses and enjoying a long term relationship with our business clients is rewarding for both clients and attorneys. The more we can learn about your business and industry, the more we can help your business grow and avoid the pitfalls that any business is bound to encounter. Having Gertz & Rosen to counsel and review your contracts and be involved in the decision making process is certain to be a good investment.

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