Child Custody and Parenting Time
Cases involving child custody or parenting time are often among the most complex and contentious issues in family law. This is why it is absolutely essential that you have dedicated and experienced legal counsel to aggressively pursue your rights and interests, and those of your children.
Courts in Ohio resolve Child Custody issues through the best interest of the child test. There is no strict guide to exactly how a Court will decide a case, but there are a variety of factors which are typically included on a case by case basis in the Court’s determination of what is in the child’s best interest. These factors include:
- 1.The child’s relationship with each parent
- 2.Suitability of each parent as a custodian
- 3.The emotional and developmental needs of the child
- 4.Any history of abuse or domestic violence
- 5.The ability of the parents to communicate and work together
- 6.Any past failure to pay a support agreement
- 7.Custodial Agreements between the parents
- 8.The wishes of the child (if they are deemed mature enough to express them to the Court)
To help make all of these decisions, the Court will often hear testimony from numerous experts and other witnesses. Further, a Guardian Ad Litem will frequently be appointed to represent the interests of the child. After hearing all of the evidence, the Court will set a parenting time schedule, which specifies which parent will be in charge of making decisions such as school placement and extracurricular activities, when each parent will have parenting time with the child, and what, if any, child support is appropriate.
An alternative option to proceeding with a full Court hearing and allowing the Court to set the terms by which the parents will have to abide, either parent can request Shared Parenting, commonly referred to as joint custody. If a parent does request Shared Parenting, the Court will consider additional factors, such as the distance between the parents, the impact of frequent travel on the child, where the child should attend school, and each parent’s willingness to work together with the other to re-schedule normal parenting or holiday time if necessary.
Regardless of how you choose to proceed with your custody dispute, it is crucial that you have experienced counsel to help you navigate this extremely difficult process. The attorneys at Soroka and Associates, LLC, have the skill and experience necessary to aggressively defend your interests, and help you achieve the . You can contact our Columbus office at 614-358-6525, or fill out our online contact form. We offer free initial consultations, and are available to assist our clients 24 hours a day.