Child Custody Compassionate Advocacy for Families Since 1995

Columbus Child Custody Lawyer

Serving Franklin County

There are two ways for child custody to be determined when parents separate or go through a divorce. The first is for the parents to mutually agree upon a custody plan, with or without the help of a child custody lawyer or outside mediator. The second is for the court to issue a ruling based on the perceived best interests of the child or the children.

In determining a child's best interests, the state will consider:

  • Relationships to parents and siblings
  • School and community relationships
  • Mental and physical health
  • Competence and reliability of each parent
  • Wishes of the child

In most cases, the state of Ohio allocates primary rights and responsibilities to one parent following a divorce. If a petition is submitted for shared parenting rights with a court-approved custody plan, a judge may issue a shared parenting order which grants equal rights and responsibilities to each parent. Our court in Franklin County believes that parents should be involved in the children's lives and the parents have to work together.

How to Prove a Parent Unfit

When two parents are engaged in a child custody dispute, they may accuse one another of being unfit. The fitness of the parent describes their mental and physical ability to raise a child safely and effectively. If a judge were to rule as unfit, your parental rights may be negatively affected. Some of the factors a judge may analyze when making this determination include:

  • If the parent has been accused or convicted of domestic violence
  • If the parent has struggled with drug or alcohol problems
  • If one or both parents are unwilling to work together or follow court orders
  • If the child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned by the parent

On rare occasions, the court may hire an evaluator to monitor the interactions between parent and child. This will give the court a better understanding of what is taking place.

Child Custody & Unmarried Parents

With so many babies being born to single parents each year in Franklin County, divorce is not the only context for establishing child custody. The County believes that parents should share custody if it is in the best interest of the child, and unwed fathers can file motions for child custody and rights to parenting time.

Richard L. Morris Co., L.P.A. has been helping single or divorcing parents establish child custody for the over 30 years. The initial consultation is free, and there is no obligation to you. To schedule a visit, call us at 614-656-4252.

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