Ohio courts and child custody determination

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2020 | Firm News |

One of the most contentious processes in the legal system is divorce. Some couples may agree on splitting money and debt but cannot come to terms with how to share their children.

Custody is something that weighs on couples going through the process. It may bring out the best or worst in people. When a couple cannot reach an agreement on custody, the Ohio court steps in to decide.

The best interests of children

When it comes to deciding child custody, the court often relies on the evidence presented to make a choice. The overarching theme, however, is what is best for the children. When a judge has to rule on what type of custody parents get in a divorce case, the children’s needs come first. There are several areas that the court explores when reaching this determination, including things like:

  • The children’s age
  • The children’s relationship with the parents
  • The mental and physical health of the children and parents
  • One parent’s ability to foster a positive relationship with the children and the other parent

Many other factors may go into a custody decision. In some instances, a judge may consider what the children want if they are of a mature enough age and mindset.

Different custody types

The court has a few custody scenarios to consider. The first is a pure joint situation. Shared parenting or 50/50 custody depends a lot on how the parents may work together moving forward. In this scenario, the parents may both make decisions regarding medical care, religion and education. However, one parent receives the primary custodial parent designation. This is the one whose address will dictate where the children may go to school. Some situations warrant that full custody goes to one parent. In these circumstances, the other parent will usually get visitation, but cannot make legal decisions or take the children without the other parent’s permission.

Courts like to see parents work together to come up with a shared parenting arrangement dealing with visitation and legal custody. In situations where this does not occur, the court takes the issue to task and decides for them.