Helping With Child Custody, Visitation & Support Updates Or Modifications
Sometimes circumstances substantially change after a divorce and require parents to revisit an existing child custody order. Whether a child custody dispute has occurred or the needs of the children or parents have changed, it is important to seek out experienced counsel to help you handle the situation as smoothly as possible.
The skilled family law attorneys at the Lawrence Law Office in Ohio have the proven experience, knowledge and skill required to help your family. Led by Linda Lawrence, an OSBA Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law, we can help you develop new ideas for shared parenting, and to make the necessary changes and updates to your child custody, visitation and support agreements. Contact us today to learn more during a consultation.
Parental Rights and Responsibilities After Divorce
Are you considering a divorce, but unsure of the legal impact this action will have on your relationship with your child? Are you worried about losing your decision-making ability when it comes to issues regarding your child? Do you feel lost as you try to make sense of legalese related to parental rights and the responsibilities of divorced parents?
Parental Responsibilities in an Ohio Divorce
When a marriage dissolves, a family dissolves. Statistics show that many marriages end in divorce. In fact, the Huffington Post suggests that the divorce rate in Ohio was 9 per 1,000 population in 2013. In circumstances like these, who decides what school or church the child will attend? While both parents have a vested interest in the health and welfare of a child, Ohio’s laws regarding the best interests of the child take into consideration what both parents want for the child or children and may even ask the children about their wishes.
Shared Parenting or Residential Parent
Chapter 3109 of Ohio laws and rules talks about how the courts should determine parental responsibility in these cases. Ohio courts like to do one of two things when it comes to splitting parental rights and responsibilities:
- The court might decide to allocate the responsibilities of the child or children to a primary parent and designate that parent to be a legal custodian, or “residential parent.” All other rights and responsibilities regarding the care of the children are divided between the two parents, including financial support and visitation.
- The court may decide that it is best to allocate the parental rights and responsibilities of the child or children to both parents equally. This is called a “shared parenting” order (the equivalent of what other states call “joint custody.” Both parents are considered the “residential parents,” but they have to agree upon a court-approved plan for the shared parenting situation and surrounding circumstances. This does not necessarily mean that time is split 50/50 between parents, but rather both parents have a say in the physical, financial, and legal care of the child or children.
Either way, the parents have to learn to work together for the best interest of the child or children.
How Does the Court Make its Determination?
The court has many considerations as it determines which parent will be allocated decision-making authority, all based on the best interests of the child. Besides the child’s wishes (depending on age and maturity), the court will examine issues of mental and physical health, the child’s needs, and transportation issues.
Any relevant instances of violence, threats, or predatory behavior by either parent will also be considered. Finally, the level of cooperation and/or conflict between parents will impact any shared decision-making authority.
Our Attorneys Work With Experts and Specialists To Resolve Child Custody Disputes
Child custody disputes are some of the most complex in a divorce and it is not uncommon for couples to rely on the help of professionals when resolving these issues. Our attorneys have over 59 years of experience helping clients resolve their child custody issues, and we will explain the laws of the state and how they apply to your case. We will also help you secure a temporary order, or modify a current one to give you the best chance of a positive outcome.
We also have personal connections with a number of professionals, experts, and specialists that can provide further insight into your case. In child custody disputes, the advice of childcare development specialists and psychologists is invaluable. These professionals will speak to all parties involved, including the child, to determine what is in the best interests of the children. After speaking to everyone involved, these experts can also provide professional opinions about the environment of each household, the beliefs each parent has about raising the child, and how the presence or absence of certain family members will affect the child.
The professionals used in child custody cases can also testify in court about the child custody situation and to offer their expert opinion. The court will always consider the opinions of these professionals, as well as what is in the best interests of the child.
Other Delaware Practice Areas
Family Law | Paternity | Prenuptial Agreements | Stepparent Adoption | Adoption | Grandparent Visitation Rights | Mediation | Divorce | Spousal Support | Equitable Distribution | Military Divorces | Social Media in Divorce | Dissolution | Contempt & Enforcement | Post Divorce | Relocation | Business Owner Divorces | Tax Issues | Child Custody | Grandparents Rights | Same-Sex Couple Child Custody | High Asset Divorces | Equitable Distribution | Retirement Assets | Estate Planning