Family law attorney

One of the most difficult things a person can go through is a divorce or a custody dispute. A good family law attorney is someone who can listen, act as a counselor, and give good advice to the client. It is important to know what your rights are before making any agreements, as well as knowing your obligations before you put yourself at risk for failing to meet those obligations.
Our attorneys devote a serious amount of time in family law courts (both Domestic Relations Courts and Juvenile Courts). We have experience with serious issues arising out of everything from custody disputes to handling complex, multimillion dollar property distribution in divorce cases. Additionally, we can handle post-decree modifications and enforcement hearings.

We will handle custody disputes, child support issues, divorce, dissolution, spousal support hearings, and show cause hearings. We are good with everything from simple hearings to complex cases.

Mr. Hooks acts as a court appointed Guardian ad Litem in juvenile cases so he knows how to evaluate different situations and knows what the court is looking for in making determinations about custody and visitation. Additionally, he had the unique position of trying an international custody dispute in Federal Court and Juvenile Court over several years, which was the first Hague case in the Dayton area.

He was successful in keeping the child with his father here in the United States when the child’s mother sought to have him returned to Israel. The case was litigated in both State and Federal Court and even in the United States Court of Appeals. Mr. Hooks was successful in that case at every level.


In the State of Ohio, divorces or dissolutions are the most frequent means of terminating a marriage. The attorneys at Deal & Hooks can help you decide which is the most appropriate route for you. There are a few key differences between a divorce and a dissolution.

A divorce occurs when the husband and wife disagree with each other over one or more issues regarding the termination of the marriage. The most frequently contested issues in a divorce are child custody, child support, spousal support, property distribution and debt distribution. The length of a divorce can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the case. Divorces can also be “non-contested” in certain circumstances. A non-contested divorce applies either when one party does not enter an appearance or dispute the grounds and resolution of the case, or in special circumstances when the party will be unable to show up for Court (i.e. out of the country, military, incarcerated, etc).

A dissolution occurs when both the husband and the wife agree on all of the above mentioned issues regarding their separation. Because a dissolution requires the agreement of the parties, a dissolution can usually be finalized in as little as sixty (60) days. If possible, a dissolution is the preferred method of terminating a marriage as it is the quickest, most efficient and least expensive method.

Ending a marriage can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience for all the parties involved. Let the experienced attorneys at Deal & Hooks protect your interests and assist you through this challenging time.

Divorce Child Custody Proceedings

There are few things that bring as much fear and apprehension as contested, child custody proceedings. This is the case whether the parents are married and the proceedings are happening in Domestic Relations Court or if they are unmarried and the proceedings are taking place in the Juvenile Court. The trial court determining which parent gets custody of the child or children looks at a number of factors. These proceedings can take a significant amount of time. In the meantime, there are short-term considerations that need to be worked out, including where the child will live until the case is decided and what the other parent’s visitation schedule will be.

In resolving the case the client needs to decide whether they wish to have legal custody of the child, seek to enter into a shared parenting arrangement with the other parent, and what type of visitation schedule is desired. These are just a few of the many considerations that need to be made.

An experienced attorney can walk parents through the process. They can explain what factors the court looks to in making the decisions about custody and visitation, and they can help to gather evidence to present the case in the light most favorable to their client. Additionally, an experienced attorney can help facilitate a resolution of the case to the satisfaction of all parties whenever this is possible, saving the client time, money and unnecessary stress about an uncertain outcome.

Our attorneys have experience in resolving these cases and in trying these cases. Mr. Hooks handled a landmark custody case involving international law, as well as Ohio law when the first Hague Petition case was tried in Dayton, Ohio in 2008. His client ended up the victor and the child was allowed to remain with his father here in Ohio rather than be forced to move to Israel. The father was ultimately awarded custody of the minor child. Additionally, both Mr. Hooks and Mr. Deal have experience acting as a Guardian ad Litem in Juvenile Court where they are appointed by the Court to investigate custody disputes and make recommendations to the Court as to what situation may be in the child’s best interest. Both Mr. Deal and Mr. Hooks have tried numerous other cases involving custody disputes and obtained favorable outcomes for their clients in various courts throughout Southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley.

Our philosophy with custody proceedings is to discuss the matter thoroughly with our clients and to investigate the matter before giving our recommendation to the client. The client is involved in all aspects of their case. He or she will make the final decision regarding any settlement discussion, and will actively participate in trial strategy.

Domestic Violence – Civil Protection Order Hearings

Ohio law allows for people who are victims of domestic violence to obtain a civil protection order which requires the individual who committed the offense to have no contact with the victim for as long as five years. These orders can have other consequences as well. For example; a person may be barred from owning a firearm, going to establishments where the victim frequents, and if the two live together the person may be banned from his or her own house. Whether you are the victim or being accused of domestic violence you need effective representation to navigate you through the process. Unfortunately, while most claims are valid there are people who know the laws and try to work the system to their advantage so they claim domestic violence when there was none.

Our attorneys have been successful both in obtaining protection orders and in defending them. We have obtained orders following full hearings, and have negotiated consent agreements where the parties agree to have no contact with each other. Likewise, we have been successful when false allegations were made at defending individuals and dismissing the orders, and at minimizing the effects when our clients have committed acts of domestic violence.