When parents aren’t able to agree on how to share responsibilities regarding their children, they must turn to the courts for a custody decision. The best interests of the child are the most important consideration in a custody decision. Ohio law determines what the best interests of a child are by requiring courts to examine all relevant factors.
In Ohio, custody of a child is referred to as the "allocation of Parental Rights and responsibilities." and is equivalent to the term "custody and control." In any proceeding in which parental rights and responsibilities for the care of a child are allocated, the court may make the allocation in one of the following ways: sole custody, shared parenting, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities to a relative of the child, or certification of jurisdiction to the juvenile court to determine custody of the child.
The objective of the court in making the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities is to render a decision that reflects the best interest of the child. The court may later modify an allocation order.
A court may allocate the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of a child to one of the parents, designating that parent as the residential parent and legal custodian, and dividing the other rights and responsibilities for the child's care between the parents, commonly referred to as "sole custody" or the court may allocate the parental rights and responsibilities of the care of a child to both parents and require the parents to share all or some of the aspects of the child's physical and legal care. Shared parenting is commonly referred to as "joint custody."
A judge will consider what each parent wants for their child’s care. If the court determines that a child is old enough to voice their wishes then the judge will interview the child in their chambers as well. The Court will look at how a child interacts with the parent and any siblings. Judges prefer custody arrangements that are both supportive and healthy for the minor child. The court will also consider how well a child might adjust to a changed living arrangement, as well as the physical and mental health of both parents and children.
The actions of the parents are also important. Courts are grateful of parents who have shown respect for past custody decisions and for the other parent’s relationship with the child.
In order for courts to grant shared parenting, the Court will also look at how well the parents cooperate and each parent’s willingness to encourage the child to maintain a strong relationship with the other parent.
For more information on custody, contact us today. 440-322-5522
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The Law Office of Jeffery S. Brown provides legal representation in DUI, OVI, traffic violations, criminal defense, felonies, misdemeanors, divorce, dissolution, child custody, visitation, parental rights, paternity, adoption, child support and probate to clients throughout the state of Ohio, including the cities of Amherst, Avon, Avon Lake, Cleveland, Elyria, Lorain, Medina, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Oberlin, Lakewood, Vermillion, Westlake, and the surrounding communities. Counties include: Cuyahoga County, Geauga County, Lake County, Lorain County, Summit County, and Medina County.