What to Know About Child Custody and Visitation in Ohio
Child custody cases are sensitive and require a lot of time and attention because they involve children. If you’re a parent who is recently separated or divorced, you should know that Ohio has its own set of custody laws that should be followed if you would like to open a custody case.
In Ohio, there are different types of custody that you can request. But, before opening a custody case on your own, our family law attorney at Law Offices of William L. Geary suggests that you discuss your situation with an experienced child custody attorney.
Keep reading for information you should know about child custody in Ohio during your divorce.
Types of Custody in Ohio
There are two kinds of custody in Ohio, called sole custody and shared parenting. Either parent can have custody of your children or you can share the custody of your children with your ex.
Legal Custody Shared Parenting
Shared Parenting allows both parents to share the responsibilities of their children. If you are separated or divorced and want to share legal custody, then this would be a good option for you. You and your ex would have the legal right to make important decisions for your children together—depending on how any Shared Parenting Plan was written.
You can work together to:
- Agree on your child’s education.
- Agree on your child’s religious education.
- Make important health care decisions.
- Decide where they will go to the doctor, dentist, or other health care professionals.
- Agree on activities outside of school, like summer vacation or sports.
- Agree on where they will live (their primary residence).
- Agree on where they will travel.
Although you and your ex may share legal custody and have the right to make decisions together, having legal custody does not mean that you have to agree on every decision. What you can agree upon or must agree upon will depend upon the terms of your particular plan.
Legal Sole Custody
Sole custody gives only one parent the responsibility or right to make important decisions. This includes areas such as health care, education, the welfare of your children, religious practices, travel, and more.
You may have different opinions about certain matters from your ex, but you have the right to make decisions alone with sole custody. If you and your ex have little to no communication with each other, you should contact your attorney to explore the type of plan which will best suit your situation.
Like legal custody, physical custody can either be joint or sole.
Joint Physical Custody
Joint physical custody, in Ohio can mean that your children can live with you and your ex if that’s what you agree to do. This doesn’t mean that your children will or must spend exactly an equal amount of time living with you. It’s normal for children to spend more time living with one parent than the other.
Types of Visitation or Parenting Time
Visitation is more appropriately known as “parenting time”. Allocation of parenting time gives your child the opportunity to spend time with both parents.
This is great for you to set a schedule that works for both parents without having to worry about any last-minute hiccups. Here are the different types of parenting time:
- Supervised visitation - used in situations where your child isn’t familiar with their other parent and time between the two of them is being gradually introduced or where the other parent has “issues” and must be watched while spending time with the child.
- Parenting time by schedule – agreed to by the parents or ordered by the court used to minimize conflict and includes a detailed parenting time plan.
Child’s Best Interests
When a judge considers a custody and visitation agreement, they will focus primarily on what is in your child’s best interest. Here is generally what a judge will consider:
- How old your child is.
- Your child’s health.
- Your ability to take care of your child.
- Your child’s current ties to their school, home, or local community.
- History of violence in your home.
- History of substance abuse in your home.
- You and your child’s emotional ties.
Contrary to popular belief, courts do not always favor giving custody to the mother. If you want a fair chance at gaining custody of your child, hiring an experienced child custody attorney is your best option.
Rely on Custody and Visitation Attorney William L. Geary
If you’re ready to begin your custody case with the help of a knowledgeable and reliable attorney who is familiar with the Columbus, OH court system, then Law Offices of William L. Geary is the place for you. William understands how sensitive child custody cases are and will guide you through your entire case.
Reach our office today at (614) 289-1227 to discuss your custody case and file the proper paperwork to get started.