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Ohio Child Custody and Child Visitation

The details of raising your children are often a point of contention between many parents. While Ohio courts would ideally like parents to figure out these details amicably, they are prepared to intervene when necessary. When courts are making child custody or visitation rights decisions, they will take a number of factors into account. These factors are taken into consideration with the understanding that the ultimate decision must be in the best interests of the child. Some information regarding child custody and child visitation law in Ohio is provided below, but it is bly recommended to consult an Ohio child custody attorney when going through child custody or child visitation proceedings.

Ohio Child Custody

In Ohio, courts will award custody in the manner that is in the child's best interests. Factors taken into consideration when making a decision include the following:
a) child's wishes
b) child's adjustment to home, school, and community
c) child's interaction with each parent and siblings
d) each parent's character
e) each parent's family relations
f) each parent's past criminal conduct
g) each parent's past violent conduct
h) each parent's earning ability
i) each parent's financial worth

Criminal Convictions - the Ohio court will look at the criminal conduct to see if the conduct resulted in his or her child becoming neglected. If the conduct resulted in the child becoming neglected, then this factor will weigh against the convicted parent when deciding whether to give him or her full custody or even shared custody of the child. If the crime at issue involves criminal sexual conduct and the victim of such crime was a family member, then the convicted parent will not be able to receive sole custody or even shared custody of the child unless a court finds that it is in the best interests of the child to award custody to that parent.

Custody Plan - If the parents file for joint custody, then they must submit a custody plan to the court for approval. The court will not approve a shared custody plan unless it believes that the plan is in the best interests of the child. If the court does not find that the plan is in the best interests of the child, then it may return the plan to the parents so they make changes according to the courts concerns. Courts in Ohio aim to have shared parenting plans set up in a way where both parents have "frequent and continuing contact" with the child. When deciding whether to grant shared custody, Ohio courts consider the following factors: a) the ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly; b) ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love and care between the child and other parent; c) any history of or potential for child abuse; and d) the geographic proximity of the parents.

Child custody proceedings should not be taken lightly and without the help of legal counsel. You should consult an Ohio child custody attorney before going to court.

Ohio Child Visitation Rights

Child visitation rights are granted to the noncustodial (without custody) parent in Ohio. These rights allow the noncustodial parent to visit and spend time with his or her child. Noncustodial parents are generally allowed reasonable visitation rights in Ohio, unless the court finds that it would not be in the child's best interests to allow the parent visitation rights.

Certain nonparents may also be granted child visitation in Ohio. Courts allow visitation rights for grandparents, relatives, and others who have an interest in the child's welfare. The granting of child visitation is contingent upon it being in the best interests of the child. When a parent or nonparent is granted visitation rights, the court will create a visitation schedule that will provide the terms of that parent's or nonparent's visitation rights.

Questions regarding child visitation rights should be directed to an Ohio child custody attorney.

Ohio Code

Title 31 Domestic Relations - Children

  1. Ohio Child Custody
    1. Tit.31, Chp. 3109 §§ .04
  1. Ohio Visitation Rights
    1. Tit. 31, Chp. 3109 §§ .051
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