Cleveland Family Law Attorneys
A woman and her daughter playing a game of Jenga together

Does a Custody Order End?

Growing and Changing

Despite the positive impact of spending time with your child, your custody agreement may gradually become emotionally taxing or no longer practical. You might wish to spend more time with your child but are unable to because of the order. What can be done?

Final custody orders can end on their own, but this only happens if certain factors are present. In addition, depending on your personal circumstances, you may be eligible to seek a modification of the original custody order.


A custody order automatically ends when your child turns 18 years old. At that point, your child can make decisions about where he or she would prefer to live as well as legal decisions typically reserved for a custodial parent, such as medical decisions.


Emancipation occurs when a child turns 18 years old. However, this can also happen when a child graduates from high school and turns 18 during their summer vacation.

While some states give provisions for earlier emancipation, Ohio typically does not grant early emancipation of a minor. If for some reason early emancipation is given, that decision is typically made for child support reasons, not custody.

Alternate Agreement

While typically resulting in a new final custody order, your current custody agreement can end if you and your ex-spouse can come to an alternative agreement and present that to the court. It is important to understand a new arrangement does not automatically remove the current court order. You must receive a new order from the Court that issued the original order.


If you are unable to reach an agreement with the other parent, or at any time if you so choose, you can file a request with the Court that your custody order be modified. To go this route, however, you must be able to prove that you, the child, and/or the other legal custodian have experienced a change of circumstance significant enough to warrant a change to your custody order. Examples include a change in employment status or potential relocation.

When seeking a modification, you should know that a judge will make determination of any changes to the custody order based on what is in the best interest of the child.

The Importance of Legal Assistance

Child custody cases are not easy to navigate on your own due to the high stakes involved. Hiring an attorney with experience handling child custody cases gives you a team ready to fight for your rights. At Laubacher & Co., we commit to your family and are dedicated to achieving results.

Call us today at (440) 336-8687 or fill out our form online to schedule a consultation with us.