Ohio Legislature has changed the laws over the years, and if you’re a parent going through a divorce or custody battle, it can sometimes be challenging to navigate. Ohio Legislature has removed the term “custody” from their language and now allocates “parental rights and responsibilities” for the care of any children involved in a custody dispute.
As part of a custody arrangement in Ohio, both or one parent might be awarded the decision-making rights of children. If a single parent is granted these rights, they are considered the sole decision maker on the children’s behalf (“sole custodial parent”).
What does sole custody mean in Ohio?
Sole custody is when one parent is granted the primary role in decision-making concerning a minor child or children associated with a custody battle. Obtaining sole custody is becoming more rare in Ohio as there is a shift to shared parental rights.
As a sole custodial parent with legal authority to make decisions, the responsible parent can decide on things such as:
- Medical needs
- Where the children will attend school
- Who will provide childcare
- Legal decisions
- Religious affiliations
One of the major benefits of having sole custody is that a single parent is responsible for making all decisions, so disputes with an ex-spouse or parent can be avoided. Children can also benefit from the stability of having one person responsible for all significant decisions around their well-being and care.
It’s important to understand that under Ohio family law, the driving factor in deciding child custody arrangements is always what is in the best interests of the children.
Understanding Visitation Rights in Ohio
Whether you are unmarried or going through a divorce, you may wonder what sole legal custody means, especially regarding visitation rights. In the state of Ohio, even when one parent has sole parental rights (or sole custody) over a child, both parents are still entitled to regular visitation with their children.
Ohio laws are specifically written so that each parent is allowed a minimum visitation unless there is a risk to the children’s safety or well-being. Even in cases where domestic abuse is involved, a judge is likely to allow supervised visitation by a qualified agency or third party.
If you have sole custody, do you have to allow visitation?
In short, yes. If you have sole custody and try to prevent visits between a child and their other parent, you could face contempt of court charges. You have to follow the Court orders. If there is an emergency, immediately seek a modification of any orders to suit the best interests of your child.
By working with a qualified child custody attorney in Ohio, you can ensure you understand all the laws surrounding sole custody or shared custody (parenting) and work towards what is in the best interests of your children. The goal is to move forward with your life in a way that’s healthy for the whole family.
Find Support From a Columbus, Ohio, Child Custody Attorney
Whether unmarried or going through a divorce in Ohio, navigating child custody can seem daunting. At the Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC, we can help you navigate the ins and outs of shared parenting or sole custody in Ohio in a way that helps you work toward the most positive resolution. Contact our office and get a risk-free consultation from a qualified, Ohio certified family law specialist who understands Ohio custody laws.