Child custody is one of the most complicated and important decisions during divorce for most families. Figuring out your children’s future after the divorce is crucial but the process can be hard to navigate. There are several factors and decisions you’ll need to consider, and many people do not know how the system works.
Here are a few important components of child custody in Ohio.
Types of Arrangements
Usually, one of the first steps in this process is determining what type of custody arrangement will work best for you and your family. The two most common are joint custody and sole custody, meaning you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse either share custody or one parent takes primary custody of your children.
However, there are several variations of these type of custody and these plans can be personalized to best fit you and your family.
The next step is to figure out who will get custody. This decision can be more complicated, depending on your circumstances.
Generally, you have two options: you and your spouse can reach an agreement among yourselves or you can let the courts decide for you. Divorcing parents who can come to an agreement outside of court, without judge can arrange the terms of the agreement including living and visitation arrangements themselves.
The more complicated way, of course, is to let the courts decide. If this option is pursued, a family law judge will make their custody decision based on what they believe the best interests of your children to be. This decision can include considerations such as:
- Relationship with each parent
- Location and living conditions
- Capability of each parent (including mental and physical health)
- Continuation of stability in the child’s life
But these are just a few potential factors the judge will consider. Child custody is a complicated process, with many moving parts, but a family law attorney can help you and your family ensure you get the best possible outcome.