If you are considering a divorce and children are involved, you might be wondering how child custody is divided specifically in Ohio, as it is different in various states. While it was traditional for children to go with their mothers, times have changed. Both parents are now given an equal opportunity to parent their children, as long as the couple can come up with a reasonable parenting plan. If you are not able to come up with an agreement, then both of you are leaving this important decision up to the courts. Agreeing on a parenting plan is the easiest way to determine child custody, visitation, and a parenting schedule.
Shared Parenting Is Determined Using a Number of Factors
If you are not able to come up with a parenting plan, the courts look at a number of factors when establishing child custody. The courts consider if both parents are physically and mentally stable, the relationship each parent has with the child, the wishes of the child, and whether either parent has missed child support payments. If the courts decide that each parent should have an equal opportunity to parent the children, then a parenting schedule will need to be created. Both parents will share in the parenting responsibilities and will have to work together in the best interests of the children.
When parents share legal custody of the children, each is responsible for making educational, medical and any other important decisions regarding their children in a cooperative way with the other parent.
A Divorce Attorney Will Help You Understand Your Parenting Options
When you contact a family law firm about your divorce and children are involved, issues of shared parenting come to the forefront immediately. If you are worried about the level of parenting you will be allowed, or if you are afraid that your former spouse won’t honor a visitation agreement, it’s time to sit down with an attorney who can help you.
Any Parenting Plan Created Must Be Practical
If you have established a living arrangement within close proximity of your child’s school or near your recently vacated address, then the courts will look favorably upon you. If you move out of state or if you decide to move a considerable driving distance from your ex-spouse, you may not be granted as much parenting time as you would like. The court looks at what would be the least disruptive to your children, and living in two homes that are spread apart causes avoidable stress for your children. The children should be allowed to attend the same school, if possible so that they can maintain a sense of security with their environment.
If neither you nor your former spouse is capable of caring for your children at the time of your divorce, child protective services will become involved. This can happen when two parents become so angry with each other that they are continually trying to get one another in trouble with the authorities. If neither parent has been able to establish a safe, secure home environment for the children during the divorce, a temporary guardian might be considered. As a parent seeking custody, it is in your best interests to secure housing and work hard to get along with your former spouse for the sake of the children involved.