Divorce Ohio Custody

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All legal formalities associated with a divorce may vary the divorcing spouses have a child or children. The divorce custody is ordered at a very initial stage of the process in order to maintain the upbringing of the child. Chapter 3109.042 mentions that "if an unmarried female delivers a child, she is the sole legal custodian and residential parent of the child. The previous sentence holds true till any court of competent jurisdiction might designate another person as a legal custodian and residential parent. While the court makes such a designation, it regards the father and mother in an equal manner." Most important, during settlement of divorce custody in Ohio, more emphasis is given on the best interest of the child. At the same time, various factors are taken into consideration before the final decision is made.

Factors contemplated by Domestic Relations Court during custody related proceedings

This court takes into account the below mentioned factors. However, the court's order is not limited to the impact of these factors. Using its own discretion, the court might consider other issues.

  • Which parent would possibly honor and ease the companionship rights, visitation and parenting time rights that have been ordered by the court?
  • The physical and mental health of all the individuals linked to the child custody case
  • The adjustment of the child in the community, school and at home
  • The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his/her siblings, parents and any individual who considerably impacts the best interests of the child
  • Let us assume that the court conducts an interview with the child. During such an interview, what concerns and desires has the child revealed to the court?
  • The desires of the father and mother regarding the custody plan
  • Has any parent established or desires to establish a home outside this state?
  • Has any parent intentionally and continuously denied the rights of the other parent regarding the parenting time?
  • Was any member of the household convicted of a sexually oriented offense towards the members of the household?
  • Whether any parent or member of the household had committed an act or convicted any crime that caused neglect or abuse of the child?
  • Has the obliger of child support payments failed to disburse these payments, inclusive of arrears?
Visitation rights and shared parenting

In Ohio, the decision regarding the formation of visitation schedule is one of the important actions taken during such legal process. In most of the cases, a definite visitation schedule is ordered for the non-custodial parent. These visiting schedules can be decided for having a meet on every weekend or keeping a child for full week in every month and likewise. On the other hand, the divorcing spouses may also experience the shared parenting. The shared parenting allows both the parents to have equal rights about all matters associated with their child. The divorcing parents in this state are also allowed to spend equal time with the child.

Prominent Statutes pertaining to Divorce Custody

Most of the child custody cases in this state are governed by the following two statutes.

Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 3109.04

  • This guides the Domestic Relations Court regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities in case of parents undergoing divorce
  • The "best interest of the child" standard is observed
  • The factors to be considered by the Domestic Relations Court have been given in the previous section
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 2151.23(A)(2)
  • This statute should be applied when there are no divorce proceedings in the Domestic Relations Court
  • The Juvenile courts are offered exclusive jurisdiction for deciding the custody plan of a child when this child is not a ward of some other court in this state
  • The Juvenile court is expected to observe the "best interest" standard in case of the following
    • Unmarried couples
    • Married couples who wish to determine the custody plan but have not begun divorce proceedings

The legal proceedings regarding divorce custody in Ohio focuses on specific factors like the distance between the residences of both the parents, and the bonding of a child with each parent, however, the domestic relations court has the authority to grant custody to a person who is not a parent. This is very unlikely and generally, true in cases where both parents are not suitable to perform the role of a custodian. Moreover, it is considered whether it is in the best interests of the child or not.

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