How Judges Decide Custody
Parental agreement isn’t always possible, unfortunately. Ohio Revised Code § 3109.04 identifies how judges should analyze and decide child custody disputes. Put simply, judges focus on promoting the child’s wellbeing, and the law instructs that they look at many factors, such as the child’s current relationship with the parents and each parent’s ability to meet their child’s needs. Other factors include the stability of each parent’s home and any history of abuse.
Our state prefers that parents share custody. But the details—such as who the child spends the holidays with—need to be worked out and committed to writing in a parenting plan. A judge will only award full custody in unusual situations, such as a history of abuse.
How Our Powell, Ohio Child Custody Lawyers Can Help
Based on our decades of experience, we can help squabbling parents find common ground on custody and avoid the court process altogether. We can also assist our clients with mediation, where parents explain a dispute to a mediator who is also trained to offer creative solutions to disputes. This type of low-conflict resolutions works well for many parents and sets them up for successful coparenting in the years ahead.
Where negotiations break down, our lawyers can step up to the plate and advocate for your interests in a courtroom. Partners Linda J. Lawrence and Rodd S. Lawrence are not afraid of court and realize that litigation might be the only way to protect their client’s relationship with the children.
Child Custody Modification & Enforcement
For many clients, obtaining a divorce decree does not put an end to all disagreement. Instead, problems arise down the road when a parent realizes that the custody arrangement is no longer working. In that case it might be time to request a modification if changed circumstances warrant it. Until a judge modifies the order, however, you should continue to follow it.
Enforcement issues are also common. The other parent might deny you visitation or not listen to your input even if you have legal custody. When necessary, our team can request a hearing before a judge to air the disagreements, and Ohio judges are empowered to take corrective action, which can include holding a parent in contempt.