Child Custody

Serving the greater Columbus, Franklin county and Central Ohio areas.

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Dublin Ohio Child Custody Attorneys

Family Law specialists with over 59 years of experience.

Dividing child custody is one of the most significant decisions in a divorce. Once settled, child custody orders are difficult to modify, and they can influence the amount of child support that our clients pay. Many parents are afraid that they will lose contact with their children if they do not gain custody, though this fear is sometimes overblown.

At Lawrence Law Office, our attorneys have extensive experience with child custody disputes. It is sometimes possible to settle custody and devise a parenting plan without a court’s intervention. However, when negotiation breaks down, we often represent our clients in front of a judge.

For help, please contact our law firm today. We will clearly explain your rights to you and obtain the evidence necessary to support your position.

Establishing Paternity First

When a woman gives birth to a child, she automatically has custody of the child. Things are more complicated for men. If a man is married to the mother, then he will become the father legally. However, when men are unmarried, they need to take steps to establish paternity and obtain rights (and responsibilities) as the father.

Establishing paternity can be relatively uncomplicated when the mother agrees that a man is the father. But when paternity is in dispute, a DNA test is often necessary.

Negotiating Custody

Ohio no longer likes the term “custody” and uses the phrase “parental rights and responsibilities” instead. However, we can generally summarize these rights and responsibilities as the following:

  • Decision-making power. This used to be called “legal custody” and describes the legal authority to make decisions for the child, such as what medical care to allow or where the child should be educated. Parents can both share this power.
  • Parenting time. This refers to who the child lives with. Both parents should have time with the children, unless a parent loses his or her parental rights. Parenting time is not always divided 50/50.

Parents also need a detailed parenting plan that identifies how children will be transported between households and who they will spend holidays with. Parenting plans are more complicated than many people realize, so work with an experienced child custody lawyer.

Deciding The Best Interests Of The Child

All issues involving a child turn on what is in the child’s “best interests.” Ohio Revised Code § 3109.04(F) lists a number of factors a judge should take into consideration, such as:

  • How well the child has adjusted to their home, community, and school
  • The mental and physical health of all people involved
  • The child’s relationship with their parents, siblings, and other individuals
  • How well the parent follows a parenting plan
  • Whether a parent has intentionally denied visitation
  • Whether a parent plans to move or has moved
  • A history of domestic violence or child abuse

These are only some of the factors; a judge may consider anything relevant.

However, judges cannot automatically favor the mother or father based on gender. Once upon a time, judges assumed young children should be with mothers, but that is no longer a rule judges can follow. Indeed, Ohio law assumes that both parents should have significant involvement in their children’s lives.

Modification & Enforcement

Once a court allocates rights and responsibilities, the judge expects both parents to follow the parenting plan. When a parent cannot, then enforcement action might be necessary. For example, Mom might be willfully denying Dad visitation with the child, in which case Dad should get the judge involved. We can petition to enforce child custody orders.

As children grow, the plan might need to be revised. Only a judge can modify the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities. For example, you might want more time with your children or a different schedule because of lifestyle changes. We have helped parents obtain the necessary court approval.

Avoiding Court

A “custody fight” is rarely ideal. Parents will still need to work together going forward, possibly for decades as their children grow. Even if you are still angry about the divorce, you will need to set negative feelings aside for the benefit of your children.

Often, resolving custody outside of court can lay the foundation for successful co-parenting. Fortunately, Linda J. Lawrence is an experienced mediator who understands how to bring squabbling spouses together to find workable child custody solutions. We never look for a fight, though we will aggressively fight for your relationship with your children, if necessary.

Client Reviews

Had free consultation. Advice given was taken, and resulted in change of mind in the other/opposing party. We therefore did not need to retain. Should opposing party resume original opinion, we will retain.

Kit

I was in a terrible custody dispute with my ex. I was very upset and afraid of my ex. Rodd listened to everything I said and remembered everything I said. He was aggressive in court and used the information I gave him very well. We won the case and my ex has backed off.

anonymous

I wanted an easy divorce from my wife. She wanted a fight. Rodd and I discussed fair terms for a dissolution. Because he was pro active and stayed on top of the case, my wife and I finally reached an agreement and had a dissolution. I highly recommend Rodd.

anonymous

I hired Linda Lawrence because I have a business and I wanted to protect it in my divorce. Linda is top notch and knows about business finance and assets. I was able to keep my business and not have to pay my wife anything from it. Hire her.

Linda

I hired Linda Lawrence because I needed an aggressive attorney. Linda was able to stand up against the other attorney and was very aggressive in court. It was an expensive divorce case, but that was because the other attorney was very aggressive and Linda was very thorough. I had great results in my case and highly recommend Linda.

Joy
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Speak With A Dublin, Ohio Child Custody Attorney

Our attorneys are passionate advocates for our clients and will do everything possible to maximize your time with your child. For assistance, please contact us today.

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Our Practice Areas

Family Law

Attorneys for Divorce, Child Custody & More At the Lawrence Law Office, we are committed to helping families in conflict find creative solutions that focus on addressing their goals and...

Divorce

Columbus & Delaware, OH Divorce Lawyers In Ohio, there is more than one way to separate from your partner and dissolve your marriage. A divorce is typically a contested proceeding, with each side...

Contempt and
Enforcement and
Post divorce

When working through your divorce with an Ohio family law attorney, chances are your divorce agreement made allowances for child support. spousal support or

Business owner
divorce

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

Child Custody

Dividing the marital assets between divorcing people can be one of the most contentious issues during the entire divorce process. Ohio law allows the couple to work together with...

High Asset
Divorce Cases

Helping With Child Custody, Visitation & Support Updates Or Modifications Sometimes circumstances substantially change after a divorce and require parents to revisit an existing...

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