We consider the well being of your children to be the most important part of your divorce. We are committed to doing everything we can to help you protect your children and to minimize the impact of the divorce process and the divorce itself.
Child custody can be determined by an agreement between the parties that is approved by the court or by court order. When the parties do not agree, Ohio State courts use the “best interest of the child” as the standard by which all child custody decisions are made. The following is a list of some of the factors used to determine what is best for your children:
- The child’s wishes
- The child's relationship with the parents, siblings, and extended family members
- The mental and physical health of all parties involved
- Each parent's willingness to encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent
- How close the parents live to each other
Ohio Courts make a distinction between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the legal authority to make major decisions such as choice of schools, doctors, religion, etc. on behalf of the child. Legal custody can be granted solely to one parent (sole legal custody) or can be shared equally by the parents (shared parenting).
Physical custody refers to where the child lives. Like legal custody, physical custody may be granted solely to one parent (sole physical custody) or shared (joint physical custody or shared parenting). It is important to note that in most cases of “sole physical custody” the non custodial parent is still awarded generous visitation times, including sleepovers.
Courts rarely hear cases involving children except in complex cases or where one parent is totally unreasonable during negotiations. Usually the parties and their lawyers painstakingly work to create complex, but workable parenting plans that truly have the child(ren)'s best interests at heart.
At Newton Law Firm we can help you with the following:
- Negotiate parenting plans that are specifically tailored to your children and family;
- Determine what type of custody is most appropriate for your family;
- Gather and present evidence to prove the “best interests” of your child;
- Connect with Cleveland professionals to help your children through the divorce.