Whenever a child is involved in an Ohio divorce or a paternity action, the biggest concern for parents is often the custody arrangement. However, not many parents understand how child custody determinations are made in Ohio. At Comunale Law Office, our experienced and knowledgeable child custody lawyers are here to answer all your legal questions and advocate for you during a custody case. To learn more, call or contact our office to schedule a consultation of your case today.
Best Interests of the Child
The phrase most often heard in a child custody matter is the “best interests of the child.” All arrangements for child custody and visitation must be viewed through the lens of what is best for the child, not the parents. When determining what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child, the judge in the case must weigh many different factors. Under Ohio law, these factors include the following:
- Wishes of both parents,
- Adjustment of the child to home, school, and community,
- Parents’ relative likelihood to honor and facilitate parenting time,
- Child’s wishes and concerns (if an interview is conducted in chambers),
- Mental and physical health of both parents and the child,
- Physical or sexual abuse, or neglect by either parent or a member of their household,
- The child’s interrelationships with each parent, siblings, or other persons who significantly affect the child’s best interest,
- Whether either parent resides or intends to reside in another state, and
- Any failure of a parent to make court-ordered child support payments
Other Considerations in Child Custody Arrangements
The court typically encourages parents to agree on the terms of child custody in mediation or collaborative proceedings. So long as the agreed upon arrangement is deemed in the best interests of the child, the court usually approves it. However, if parents cannot come to terms on child custody, the court must do so on their behalf. In addition to considering what is in the best interests of the child, the judge must also consider the following:
- The ability of each parent to promote a close relationship between the child and the other parent,
- The capacity of each parent to cooperate and participate in joint decision-making about the child,
- The proximity of residences, and
- Whether there is any history of child abuse, parental kidnapping, domestic violence, or spousal abuse by either parent.
Generally, the court will presume that joint custody is best for a child unless these factors persuade the judge to award one parent sole custody of the child. If you are interested in learning more about what factors influence a child custody determination in Ohio, talk to our office today.
Call or Contact Us Now
At Comunale Law Office, our experienced Ohio child custody lawyers are prepared to assist you with every step of your case. To learn more about how our knowledgeable lawyers can help, call or contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal case today.