When you are a parent facing divorce, you know your split will impact your children. You likely also are concerned about what your custody agreement with your ex will look like. You may want to push for sole custody of your children or you may want to share joint custody of your children, where you have your kids 60% of the time and your spouse has them 40%. Yet, how do Ohio courts decide the amount of parenting time you will get or if you will receive sole custody of your child?
Child custody in Ohio
In Ohio, courts favor parents sharing custody of their children. Even if you gain sole custody of your child, your former spouse is likely to receive visitation time in your custody agreement. When determining which parent may have more physical custody time with their child, Ohio courts evaluate what is in the best interests of the child. Some of the factors considered when determining a child’s best interests include the following:
- What the child’s relationship is with each parent
- The mental and physical health of each parent and how that impact their ability to care for their child
- The child’s preferences for custody (if the courts believe the child is old enough and mature enough to make this choice)
- What each parent’s relationship with the child is like
- What the child’s school and personal situation is like and how well the child would adapt to a new situation
- If either parent has a criminal record
Getting help before a child custody hearing
Because a judge has a lot of leeway in determining child custody arrangements in Ohio, you should work closely with your family law attorney before your child custody hearing. You want someone who can gather evidence to show you deserve the parenting time you are asking for. You also want an attorney who can help you prepare your testimony for your hearing.
Working through a child custody arrangement can be complicated. With the right help, you can advocate for a child custody agreement that works best for you and your child.