Navigating Shared Parenting Agreements in the State of Ohio
The issue of child custody laws and visitation rights are often the two most challenging and sensitive issues in any divorce proceeding or when unmarried parents separate. While both parents navigate the nuances involved in a custody battle, it’s ultimately the children who should be the primary focus. As with most states, Ohio courts do their best to focus on the children’s best interests when it comes to parenting agreements.
In Ohio, shared parenting is similar to what other states refer to as joint custody, shared custody, or joint legal custody. Within a Shared Parenting Plan, both parents have the legal status of being a “residential Parent” to the children involved in the case and have joint decision making rights.
Navigating any custody arrangement can be emotionally charged and challenging. It’s essential to have a qualified child custody lawyer walk you through Ohio’s legal process and help you make decisions that are in the best interest of your child and establish a positive future moving forward. At The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline, our shared custody/parenting attorney devotes his time exclusively to family law and can help you work towards a resolution that puts your children first.
How the Ohio Court of Law Decides Custody Issues
Ohio family courts typically allocate parental rights and responsibilities in two unique ways. The court can either designate a single parent as the sole residential parent and legal custodian of the children involved, or it can allocate parental rights through a shared parenting plan.
Before making a judgment call on primary or joint custody, the Ohio courts will work to determine what is in the best interest of the children. A family court judge will use ten designating factors to make their decision:
- The wishes of the parents regarding the children
- The wishes and concerns of the child or children
- The child’s relationship with the parents, siblings, or other important loved ones
- The child’s ability to adjust to their home, school, or community
- The physical and mental health of all parties involved
- The parent that is most likely to facilitate and honor all court-appointed orders
- The parent’s current status in terms of court-ordered child support payments
- The parent’s criminal history, especially in terms of domestic violence or sexual assault
- The parents’ ability to follow court orders together
- The intentions of the parents to move to another state
The Court will review an additional set of factors to determine whether or not shared parenting is in the best interests of the minor children:
- Ability of parents to cooperate and make joint decisions
- Ability of the parents to encourage love and affection
- History of or potential for child abuse, domestic violence, or parental kidnapping
- Geographic proximity of the parents to each other
- Recommendation of Guardian Ad Litem
**When allocating parental rights and responsibilities for the care of children, the court shall not give preference to a parent because of that parent’s financial status or condition.
Often, the court will also consider testimony as evidence from either party in addition to these fifteen factors. It can be difficult as a parent to navigate the many nuances involved in custody agreements, so having a trained attorney in your corner can help you remain calm and focused on the best possible outcome.
How The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC Will Help You Pursue Shared Parenting or Sole Custody in Ohio
When it comes to matters as emotionally charged as the well-being of your children, you need to keep a level head to work toward a positive resolution. The best way to ensure you stay calm throughout the custody process is by having a family law attorney at your side to hold your hand through every step of the legal process.
At The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC, our goal is to help you work towards a brighter future for yourself, and more importantly, your children. Ohio custody laws are complex, and shared parenting can only work if both parents are committed to doing whatever is necessary to resolve differences and operate in the children’s best interests. Our family law attorney can help you do whatever is needed to give your children a bright future.
Learn More About Our Columbus, Ohio Child Custody Attorney
The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline is located in Columbus, Ohio, and proudly serves families in and around Grove City, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Upper Arlington, and Franklin and Delaware County. Trust our expertise to help you navigate your shared parenting agreements in Ohio. Schedule a risk-free consultation to learn more about our board certified child custody attorney.