Child Custody Compassionate Advocacy for Families Since 1995

Columbus Child Custody Lawyer

Comprehensive Child Custody Services in 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.

At What Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With in Ohio?

There is no set age in Ohio at which a court will decide that children have attained sufficient reasoning ability. However, the court will consider the child's wishes if they are 12 or older. Suppose the court believes the child has enough reasoning ability to express a preference, and it would be best for the child to do so. In that case, the court will listen to where the child wants to live. The court is not obligated to fulfill the child's desires.

Does Ohio Favor Mothers in Custody Cases?

The law in Ohio restricts the court from favoring one parent over the other because of their gender in custody cases. Ohio law states that when two parents come to the court to have their custody determination made, they are on equal ground. However, the court must consider the child's best interests.

How Can a Mother Get Full Custody in Ohio?

In Ohio, an unmarried mother automatically gets full custody of her child from the child's first day of life. However, if the parents are married at the time of the children's birth, they have equal rights to the children.

Can You Do 50-50 Custody in Ohio?

In Ohio, joint custody is called shared parenting. A shared parenting arrangement gives both parents equal rights and responsibilities for their child. However, it doesn't guarantee that the child will spend equal time with each parent.

A bill in Ohio would presume that a 50-50 agreement is adequate. However, a parent can provide "clear and convincing" evidence that proves otherwise. In this case, the judge can reassess who should have primary custody.

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.

Custody Considerations for Unmarried Parents in Franklin County

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.

Over 30 Years of Child Custody Advocacy in Columbus – Contact Us Today To schedule a visit, call us at 614-656-4252.


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