How is the Custody of My Children Decided During My Divorce?

In the State of Ohio, the utmost concern during a divorce or dissolution, is who will have custody of the child or children. Custody of a child or children is the most challenging part of a divorce. Ultimately, the best first step you can take is familiarizing yourself with Ohio’s child custody laws. Below, we answer some commonly asked questions about child custody agreements in Ohio.

How will custody of my children be decided in my divorce?

The Ohio family court that oversees your divorce will make final judgment as it pertains to child custody. This determination is based on the best interests of your children. Therefore, it is very important that you have an experienced attorney to raise all of the important issues that give you the best chance at obtaining custody of your child or children. The court will rule and then create an order for sole custody or shared custody. The final judgement will also direct major decision-making for the children and determine visitation. A parent who has sole child custody can make all of the major decisions, such as schooling, religions, and medical care, without having to consult the other parent. Shared custody (also known as “shared parenting”) agreements, requires both parents to make those decisions together. Courts in Ohio usually start a custody case with a presumption of shared custody. The court may later decide to award sole custody should the facts and circumstances warrant it.

How Are Visitation Schedule Decided in a Divorce Case?

The court will also establish and order a final visitation schedule in your case. This order is also known as “parenting time.” The court uses a guide to create a child visitation schedule. This usually involves the children living with one parent and visiting with the other parent on holidays, weekends, and during summer break. Divorcing spouses should try to come to an agreement concerning parenting time based on the kids’s activities and the parent’s schedules. The court usually honors any agreements the spouses reach outside of the courtroom. However, the court will use its best assessment should you and your spouse not come to a child visitation or custody agreement together.

Can I Change My Existing Ohio Child Custody Agreement?

The courts understand that the child custody and visitation arrangements might not work as the children become teenagers or one spouse is moving far away do to a job change. When these matters happen, you should try to make these changes with your former spouse and then legally amend the child custody and visitation agreement. If you and your ex-spouse are able to work out a new agreement, you can file a joint motion to amend the agreement, and the court will usually approve the ammendament. It is important to know that you can change certain provisions of your child custody agreement or replace it entirely. However, if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree, you must file a motion yourself with your attorney. The court will then listen to both sides prior to making a final decision. 

If you are going through a divorce in Ohio or want to change your existing divorce agreement with regard to child custody, Contact Dawes Legal, LLC, today by calling (614) 733-9999.