Ohio courts ultimately base their child custody decisions on what is in the best interest of children. The court prefers shared parenting, as there is no such thing as “joint custody” in Ohio. If one or both parents submit a shared parenting plan, the court may approve the plan and order shared parenting. However, if the court finds that the plan is not in the child’s best interest, the court can request a change in the plan or deny a shared-parenting situation. If a plan is not submitted, the court will name one parent as the sole legal custodian of the children.
At one or both of the parents’ request, the court will talk to the child concerning the child’s wishes about the parenting arrangements if the child is of appropriate age. The court is not bound by the child’s wishes and concerns; the child’s wishes are only one factor to be considered. Alternatively, a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) may be appointed at either party’s request to conduct an investigation and provide an independent report and recommendation to the court as to what is in the child’s best interest. Much like the child’s preference, the GAL’s recommendation is just one factor taken into account by the court. Other factors include:
- The child’s mental and psychological development
- The interaction between the child and other significant persons
- The child’s adjustment to the home, school and community
- The ability of a parent to be the legal custodian
- Whether child support has been paid
- Whether visitation has been allowed or withheld
- Whether any abuse has occurred
- If one parent intends to move out of state
The child custody and family law attorneys at Dungan & LeFevre can answer your questions and help you achieve your goals as a parent. To learn more, please see these tips regarding child custody determinations. To discuss your goals and concerns with a child custody attorney, contact us today. Dungan & LeFevre’s family law attorney Jack Hemm represents clients throughout the Miami Valley and Ohio.
How Are Visitation Rights Decided?
In all cases involving minor children, the court orders a schedule for visitation and parenting time. The main consideration will be what is in the best interest of the children, however many factors are considered. Each county in Ohio has a standard order of visitation or parenting time. These standard orders can be changed to meet the needs of individual children. Each case involving visitation is fact-specific. It is essential that you meet with a family law attorney immediately to address your concerns, protect your rights and guide you through the complicated process of trying to obtain the level of visitation you want.
How Is Child Support Determined?
Ohio law requires that child support must be determined by a procedure outlined in the Ohio Revised Code and a basic support schedule must be used to determine the appropriate amount of child support. This schedule is based on the average cost of raising children in households across a wide range of incomes. Child support is based on the number of children and the combined gross income of the parents.
To calculate the appropriate amount of child support, the court combines the incomes of both parents. The costs of medical insurance and necessary child care are added. This total is divided according to the percentage of each parent’s income into the total combined income. The court can decide, in certain circumstances, to deviate from the basic support schedule when it would be inequitable to apply for the basic support. The court will also issue orders for the medical needs of the children, including insurance. Child support must be paid to the Child Support Enforcement Agency and is usually deducted from the responsible parent’s paycheck by the employer.
Contact A Child Custody Attorney At Dungan & LeFevre
Our family law attorney Jack Hemm has decades of experience in resolving child custody issues for parents and other family members throughout the Miami Valley. With offices in Troy, we represent clients statewide. To set up a consultation regarding your goals and concerns, please call XXX-XXX-XXXX or contact us by email. We can help.