The attorneys on Taft’s Private Client and Domestic Relations teams provide peace of mind during clients’ personal planning processes. We work closely and confidentially with our clients, forging lifelong relationships. Our clients depend on us, from birth to death, through marriage, family and transitions in finances and businesses. We support our clients, new and longstanding, with personalized, attentive and comprehensive counsel and care.
Domestic Relations Practice
Taft’s experienced Domestic Relations lawyers are dedicated to helping families transition smoothly through the termination of marriage process. By providing sound counsel, we deliver favorable client outcomes in divorce, dissolution of marriage and juvenile court matters. We also regularly negotiate prenuptial agreements, both for high-profile clients and for families desiring to retain family wealth.
Taft’s Domestic Relations lawyers are distinguished in the industry and boast an impressive array of credentials. Four of our partners have been certified by the Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Specialty Board as specialists in Family Relations Law. Several of our partners are fellows of the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Our depth of experience includes:
■ Complex business valuation analysis.
■ Tax treatment and division of qualified and non-qualified retirement benefits.
■ Valuation, division and distribution of stock options and other incentive plans.
■ Analysis of complex executive compensation arrangements.
■ Tax considerations related to the division and disbursement of property.
■ Determination of spousal support.
■ Calculation and determination of child support, especially in high income cases.
■ Issues related to allocation of parental rights, parenting time (visitation) and custody.
■ Negotiation of shared parenting plans.
■ Negotiation and enforcement of divorce decrees, including the separation agreements and shared parenting plans incorporated therein.
■ Negotiation of prenuptial agreements.
We regularly work with our clients to identify an alternative process to litigation through which we can negotiate and finalize their termination of marriage proceeding, including: collaborative divorce, mediation, arbitration, cooperative divorce, and principled negotiation.
Our Domestic Relations lawyers are also skilled negotiators and litigators, with extensive courtroom experience. We have the necessary experience to handle complex and delicate situations with sensitivity and effectiveness.
The Domestic Relations practice is chaired by Cleveland partner Jill Friedman Helfman, a well-respected attorney and family advocate. She focuses her practice on family and divorce law, particularly in high net worth cases. Jill is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the recipient of multiple honours for her practice. She also serves as co-partner-in-charge of Taft’s Cleveland office.
Other partners in the practice include:
■ Aimee L. Keller, Partner (Cincinnati).
■ Eugene (Gene) B. Lewis, Partner (Columbus).
■ Jessica A. Mager, Partner (Columbus).
■ Carl A. Murway, Partner (Cleveland).
Practice Estate Planning.
Taft works with clients on a private and personal basis to help them pass their property to their families and to charities both during lifetime and upon death. Our extensive counsel includes an analysis of each client’s personal, business and tax needs and intentions. Considerations include generation-skipping transfer tax and income tax issues, closely-held businesses, planning involving second marriages, asset protection, special needs of children or other heirs, possible disability, life insurance and more.
Business Succession Planning.
We counsel owners of closely-held businesses in establishing organizational structures that satisfy their current and long-term needs. We help clients implement new structural strategies, prepare clients for the transfer of their business to the next generation (whether during the owner’s lifetime or upon death) and provide for liquidity for taxes and family members or investors not active in the business.
Wealth Transfer Litigation.
We integrate the knowledge and experience of our business and commercial litigators and tax, estates and trusts practitioners to deliver collaborative and comprehensive services. Our team advises and represents individual and institutional clients in matters and controversies. We represent interested parties including fiduciaries, beneficiaries, creditors, health care providers, individuals, charities and others in these matters.
Taft’s Private Client practice is co-chaired by partners Susan Wheatley (Cincinnati) and Alison Midden (Minneapolis). Susan works with clients on their estate and business succession planning. Her extensive knowledge of estate planning issues and her successful track record are among the reasons why she has received consecutive honors from numerous publications. She has a particular interest in working with art and collectibles, including donations to charities. Susan is an elected fellow on the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and is certified by the Ohio State Bar Association Specialty Board as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law.
Alison Midden advises clients on estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, charitable planning, asset-protection planning, and disability planning. She is a trusted adviser to clients in estate and trust court proceedings as well, including will contest litigation and tax controversies. Alison also works with a variety of tax-exempt corporations and charitable trusts.