How Ohio Courts Determine Custody Issues

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Determination of custody, parenting time schedules, and decision-making power with regard to a couple’s children are the most difficult issues couples face in their divorce, dissolution, or custody proceeding in juvenile court. In issuing any custody decision, a court considers several factors to determine what is in the best interest of the children.

Ohio courts typically award custody in two ways: 1) designating one parent as the legal and residential parent of the children or 2) designating both parents as the legal custodians of the children in accordance with a “shared parenting plan.” Whatever a court decides or approves, the best interest of the children is the paramount concern.

In coming to its decision, a court weighs several factors in order to decide what custody arrangement is in the best interest of the children. For example, the court takes into consideration the child’s wishes (if ascertained); the child’s establishment in his or her community, school, and home; the mental and physical health of all persons involved; the parent more likely to honor court-approved parenting time orders and directives; the ability of the parents to cooperate and make joint decisions; and, any other factor the court deems relevant.

There are unique considerations which must be discussed and reviewed in order to successfully navigate the allocation of custody rights, while balancing the need to adequately protect the children of a divorce or custody dispute. Consultation with our experienced family law attorneys will provide valuable insight, guidance, and strategy as to how best to proceed in your specific case.

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