05.13.24 | Child Custody

Securing Full Custody in Ohio: Key Factors & Legal Strategies

Child custody can be a contentious subject, and can become complicated quickly. It’s understandable if you have questions about how to get full custody of your children in Ohio, whether you’re currently going through a divorce or if you feel you need to update your parenting plan.

In Ohio, the court makes decisions based on what it finds to be are the child’s best interests. Learn more about what securing full custody entails and how a Troy family law attorney can help.

What Are the Grounds for Full Custody in Ohio?

Read Video Transcript  

Generally there are two types of custody rights for the parties: there’s sole custody and there’s shared parenting. There’s a backwater area called split custody when you have more than one child that’s very rare when each party would take sole custody of one of the children. But, in general, we talk about sole custody and shared parenting. The grounds for sole custody are really related to the best interest analysis, which is under the statute. The court will look at the inter-relationship between the parties and they’ll look at the adjustment to the home, school, and community. They’ll also, if requested, have a guardian ad litem appointed, and that guardian ad litem will do an investigation, meet with the family, meet with the children if they’re of age enough to express their wishes clearly, and then make a recommendation — non-binding — but a recommendation to the court. All of that and a number of other factors will then go into the court’s determination of what custody is appropriate, whether it’s sole custody or shared parenting.

If you have more questions about custody statuses in Ohio, call Dungan & LeFevre for more information.


Understanding Full Custody

Full custody means that one parent gets to make all the important decisions for the child. This can be about where the child goes to school, what kind of medical care they get, and more.

Sole Legal Custody

Sole legal custody means one parent makes all the decisions. When you have sole legal custody, you decide on major issues like education, health care, and religion.

Sole Physical Custody

Sole physical custody means the child lives with one parent most of the time and the child goes to school in the school district where that parent lives.

Key Factors Courts Consider in Custody Cases

The court wants to do what is best for the child when considering custody. They will look at:

The Best Interests of the Child

This is the most important thing. The court wants to make sure the child is safe and happy. They will look at who has been the primary caregiver and who can provide the most stable environment.

Parental Involvement

The court looks at how much time each parent spends with the child and how involved they are in the child’s life. They want to see that you attend school meetings, doctor’s appointments, and other important events in your child’s life.

A Stable Homelife

The court wants the child to have a stable home where they feel safe. This includes looking at the living conditions, neighborhood, and the presence of other supportive family members.

The Health of the Parents

If a parent is healthy and can take care of the child well, this is a good thing. Mental and physical health are both important factors the court will consider.

What the Child Wants

Sometimes, the court will ask the child what they want, especially if they are older. The child’s opinion can be very influential if they are mature enough to express their preferences.

If There is a History of Abuse or Neglect

If there is any history of abuse or neglect, the court takes this very seriously. They will look at past records and any reports to ensure the child’s safety. If there are records of domestic violence in the household, even if they don’t involve the children, that may affect the court’s custody decisions.

Legal Strategies for Securing Full Custody

Here are some steps you can take to get full custody:

You Should Gather Evidence

Collect proof that shows you are the best person to take care of your child. This can be things like school records, doctor’s notes, and letters from people who know you well. Keeping a journal of your daily interactions with your child can also be helpful.

Choose a Skilled Family Law Attorney

An experienced lawyer can help you understand what the court wants and how to show that you are the best parent for the job. They can guide you through the legal process and help you prepare your case.

Demonstrate that You’re a Good Fit

Show that you are healthy, responsible, and involved in your child’s life. This includes maintaining a clean and safe home, having a stable job, and being financially responsible.

Address Concerns Your Ex Might Bring Up

If the other parent says things that are not true about you, be ready to show proof that they are wrong. Gather witness statements, text messages, emails, and any other evidence that can support your case.

Prepare for Court

Practice what you want to say in court. Be calm and tell the truth. It can be helpful to rehearse with your lawyer and to stay focused on the facts.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Sometimes, getting full custody can be hard. Here are some challenges and how to deal with them:

  • False accusations: If the other parent says things that are not true, stay calm. Show proof that they are wrong. It’s important to document everything and to have witnesses who can support your side of the story.
  • Contentious custody battles: If the other parent fights a lot, try to stay calm and focus on what is best for the child. Avoid getting into arguments and always act in a way that shows you are a responsible and caring parent.
  • Changes in circumstances: If things change, like moving to a new place or starting a new relationship, be ready to show that these changes are good for the child. Explain how the new situation will benefit your child and provide a stable environment.

Call an Ohio Custody Attorney for Help Now

Getting custody of your children can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re working alone. An experienced family law attorney can help ease your burden and ensure your family’s security. The family law attorneys at Dungan & LeFevre have your children’s best interest at heart.

We understand how daunting custody fights may be, and we’re ready to hear your story and work with you to achieve your goal. We have helped many families in the Troy area, and we’re ready to help you.

Call (937) 339-0511 or use our online form.

Work With Our Miami County Legal Team

Whatever your demands, Dungan & LeFevre is the full-service law firm you need. We can help you explore your options, guide you through challenges, and represent you in court. You can rely on our experience and knowledge to steer you to your best decision for the most reasonable price. Get started with a consultation.