Located in a Safe and Convenient Northwest Suburban Location

Certified Specialists in Ohio Divorce Cases

Certified Specialists

Each of the three founding members of the Dougherty, Hanneman & Snedaker, LLC ("DHS") law firm, Douglas Dougherty, James Hanneman and Robert Snedaker, are board certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law. They are three of only 117 attorneys in Ohio who have earned this designation as of January 1, 2015.

Specialist Status

To earn the "specialist certification," an attorney must pass a rigorous written examination administered by the Ohio State Bar Association and meet other strict legal professional requirements. Less than one-half of 1 percent of all family relations attorneys registered in Ohio has achieved this status.

Specialty Board

Attorneys are certified as specialists by the Ohio State Bar Association Family Relations Law Specialty Board ("Specialty Board.") The Specialty Board is accredited by the Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists. The Specialty Board is primarily composed of individuals recognized as experts in family relations law.

Testing Requirements

To earn specialist status, an attorney must pass a rigorous written examination. This specialist examination tests the attorney on multiple aspects of Ohio and Federal family relations law. The exam also covers ethical issues relating to family law. The exam is prepared and graded under the authority of an independent testing service.

Enhanced Education Requirements

In addition to the normal ongoing legal education requirements that all attorneys must meet, family law specialists must complete extra educational requirements. Every two years, family law specialists must complete a minimum of 12 hours of legal courses, which are approved by the Specialty Board and deal with family law issues. These courses must be of an "intermediate" or "advanced" nature.

Additional Requirements

An attorney applying for specialist status must meet additional requirements regarding competence and ethical practice. One current judge or magistrate must endorse the attorney. At least five highly qualified lawyers must also endorse the attorney. The attorney must demonstrate substantial involvement in the field of family law. Finally, the attorney must be in good standing with the Supreme Court of Ohio and have no history of problems regarding legal ethics or legal malpractice.

Client Financial Protection

Family relations law specialists are required to take various actions to protect their clients financially. A specialist must maintain professional liability (malpractice) insurance. The insurance must be continually maintained and purchased through an appropriate insurance company. Finally, a specialist must have the ability to pay any claim regarding a loss up to the deductible amount of the insurance policy.

Family Law Topics

For specialist certification purposes, family law includes specific lawsuits and specific issues.

The lawsuits include:

  • Divorce
  • Dissolution
  • Separation
  • Annulment
  • Domestic violence
  • Paternity

The issues include:

  • Property division
  • Debt division
  • Shared parenting
  • Child custody
  • Child visitation
  • Child support
  • Spousal support or alimony
  • Health insurance
  • Taxes

Family relations law also includes premarital planning and premarital or prenuptial agreements.

Success Stories


The DHS law firm attorneys have produced successful outcomes for many family law clients. Please click here to read about success stories that reflect various family law issues. Perhaps you will see your marital issues reflected in one or more of these brief stories.

Contact Us

Please contact DHS for a confidential consultation with attorney Dougherty or Hanneman or Snedaker. Each is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law. They are three of only 115 attorneys in Ohio who have earned this designation as of January 1, 2013. Less than one-half (1/2) of one (1) percent of all family relations attorneys registered in Ohio has achieved this status!

DHS is located in a safe, convenient northwest Columbus suburb with free on-site parking. The building is west of the intersection of Sawmill Road and Bethel Road. (Bethel Road becomes Hayden Road west of the Sawmill Road intersection.) The offices are in the classic redbrick Northwest Law Offices Building:

  • next to Bravo! Cucina Italiana Restaurant,
  • on the north side of Hayden Road, and
  • east of Riverside Drive (State Route 33).

Then turn onto Donnylane Boulevard from Hayden Road. Then turn right into the parking lot behind the building. The main entrance is at the rear of the building.