Melissa Graham-Hurd

Melissa Graham-Hurd's Profile Image
Phone: (330) 996-4099
Fax: (330) 643-0732

Melissa Graham-Hurd graduated from the University of Akron School of Law and has been serving clients since 1984. She has practiced before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States, in addition to her work in Ohio state courts.

Ms. Graham-Hurd has established herself as a staple within the Ohio family law community. Her practice is focused on Family Law, a field of law that includes: termination of marriage cases, whether it is Divorce or Dissolution; post-decree matters that arise after the final orders are issued, whether enforcement by contempt actions, or Motions to change the orders regarding parenting time, parenting plans or support issues; problems of people who never married but had children and property together; child support and spousal support; step-parent adoptions; name changes for minors; antenuptial, partnership and cohabitation agreements; relative visitation and custody to third parties such as grandparents, caretaker affidavits for grandparents; cases involving marriages and partnerships of same-sex couples; and mediation of family law issues. She also offers Will preparation, estate planning and administration, including powers of attorney, healthcare and financial; healthcare directives, and Wills and Trusts.

Her zeal for family law reform is demonstrated further through her work to better Family Law for all Ohioans, including certification in general and family mediation, and her past service as guardian ad litem. Melissa has worked endless hours on OSBA committees to revise to the Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Civil Rules as they relate to Family Law.  Ms. Graham-Hurd has been the Chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Committee and the Akron Bar Association’s Family Law Committee. Chief Justice Thomas Moyer appointed her to the Ohio Supreme Court Committee on Children, Families and the Courts.  Her knowledge of the subject has even led to a 10+ year membership on the committee that designs and administers the test for lawyers seeking board certification as Family Relations specialists.  Fairness, child-centered

Ms. Graham-Hurd frequently provides lectures and continuing education seminars for other attorneys in Family Law matters and has written a chapter on Government Pensions in the most prominent Ohio Family Law treatise for lawyers.

Ms. Graham-Hurd served as a member of the Board of Governors for the Ohio State Bar Association, is a Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the Akron Bar Foundation. She has chaired several committees and sections for the Akron Bar Association and Ohio State Bar Association.  She is also a member of the American Bar Association and its Family Law Committee, the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Stark County Bar Association, and the Ohio Women’s Bar Association.

In her spare time, Melissa enjoys reading novels, camping, hiking and enjoying state and national parks.

Areas of Practice

  • Divorce
  • Dissolution
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Allocation of Parental Rights
  • Legal Custody
  • Visitation
  • Antenuptial Agreements
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Never Married cases
  • Property Division
  • Mediation

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1985
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1990
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1999

Education

  • University of Akron School of Law, Akron, Ohio
    • Juris Doctor – 1983
  • University of Akron
    • B.A. – 1980
    • Degrees – English and French
  • University of Akron, Center for Dispute Resolution
    • Certificate in Peace Studies – 1980

Published Works

  • Government Retirement Benefits, Sowald Morganstern Domestic Relations Law, Baldwin’s Ohio Practice Series, West Group Publishers, 1997, Updated Annually
  • “Attorney Fees”, Domestic Relations Journal of Ohio, West Publishing Co., July/August, 2003
  • “Networking Websites”, Domestic Relations Journal of Ohio, West Publishing Co., September/October  2010
  • “Law in the 50 States”, (Ohio Reporter), American Bar Association Family Law Quarterly, several years

Classes/Seminars

  • Gender Fairness, Akron Bar Association, 2012
  • Property Division – Separate and Marital Real Estate, Ohio State Bar Association, 2012
  • Case Law Update, Akron Bar Association, 2009
  • Ohio Spousal Support Law, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2006
  • New Ohio Family Law Legislation, Akron Bar Association, 2005
  • Ohio Spousal Support Proposals, Ohio Association of Magistrates, 2005
  • Ohio Family Law Legislation, Akron Bar Association, 2004
  • Post-Decree Children’s Issues, Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Committee – Annual Conventions, 2003
  • Tax and Divorce – A Practical Approach, Ohio CLE Institute, 2003
  • Ethics and Malpractice, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 2002
  • New Lawyers’ Seminar, Domestic Relations, Akron Bar Association Young Lawyers Committee, 2002
  • Coordination/Organization of Seminar, Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Committee – Annual Conventions, 2001 – 2002
  • Parenting Case Law Update, Akron Bar Association, Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 2000
  • Shared Parenting Case Law Update, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 1999
  • Tax Aspects of Divorce in Ohio, Miscellaneous Tax Provisions and Ethics, National Business Institute, 1999
  • Coordination/Organization of Seminar, Ohio State Bar Association Family Law Committee – Annual Conventions, 1998
  • Family Law in Ohio, Analysis of Financial Information, Preparation and Trial of a Divorce Case, National Business Institute, 1996
  • Parenting Issues in Domestic Relations Cases in Ohio, Modification Proceedings, Evidentiary Problems in Initial Allocations and Modifications, National Business Institute, 1996
  • Tax Aspects of Divorce in Ohio, Miscellaneous Tax Provisions and Ethics, National Business Institute, 1995
  • Rules Update, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 1995
  • Case Law Update, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 1994
  • The New Child Support Statute, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 1993
  • Tax Aspects of Divorce in Ohio, Miscellaneous Tax Provisions and Ethics, National Business Institute, 1993
  • Bridge the Gap Seminar, Domestic Relations Section, Ohio CLE Institute, 1993
  • New Lawyers’ Seminar, Domestic Relations Sections, Akron Bar Association Young Lawyers Committee, 1990 – 1993
  • Tax Aspects of Divorce in Ohio, Tax Treatment of Property Transfers Incident to a Divorce, Miscellaneous Tax Provisions, National Business Institute, 1992
  • Creative Approaches when Seeking Visitation and New Developments in Child Custody Cases Involving the Use or Misuse of MMPIs, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers – Annual Family Law Seminar, 1991
  • The Need to Value Marital Property, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 1991
  • Ethical, Procedural and Evidentiary Considerations in Sexual Abuse Cases, Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers – Annual Family Law Seminar, 1990
  • Deviation from Child Support Guidelines, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 1989
  • Complication of Handbook of Forms for Portage, Stark and Medina, Akron Bar Association Family Law Section – Annual Seminar, 1987

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Ohio Supreme Court, Advisory Committee on Families, Children and the Court 2003 – 2007
  • Ohio State Bar Association – Board of Governors, 2010 – 2013
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Council of Delegates, 2001 – Present
  • Special Committee to Review Gender Fairness Task Force Report – Co-chair 2009 – 2012
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Family Law Committee, Chair 2002 – 2004; Vice-Chair 2000 – 2002; Secretary 1998 – 2000; member 1987 – present
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Chair, Family Law Legislative Drafting Subcommittee, 1996 – 1998, member 1990 – 2002
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Family Law Committee spousal support committee 2000 – present
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Family Relations Specialty Committee 2004 – present
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Vice Chair Juvenile Committee, 2004 – 2005, member 2001 – present
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee member 2006 – 2012
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Professionalism Committee, 2012 – present
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Solo and Small Firm Section, 2006 – present
  • Ohio State Bar Association College, Member, 1987 – Present
  • Ohio State Bar Foundation, Member, 2003 – Present
  • Ohio Women’s Bar Association, member
  • Federal Bar Association, member
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, member
  • American Bar Association, Family Law Committee, 1987 – Present
  • Akron Bar Association, Family Law Section, Chair, 1994; Vice-Chair, 1993; Secretary/Treasurer 1989 – 1992; member 1985 – Present
  • Akron Bar Association, Law Week Committee, Vice Chair 1989 – 1991; member 1984 – 1993
  • Akron Bar Association, Member, 1984 – Present
  • Akron Bar Association, Mentoring, 1990 – 1992
  • Akron Bar Association, Bar Applicants Interviews, 1993 – 1994
  • Akron Bar Association, Grievance Committee, 1989 – 1991
  • Akron Bar Association, Young Lawyers Committee, 1984 – 1992
  • Akron Bar Association, Women in the Law, 2009 – present
  • Akron Bar Foundation fellow, 2013-present
  • Stark County Bar Association, member
  • Stark County Bar Family Law Committee, member

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