Child custody and visitation rights are highly critical yet exceptionally sensitive matters in family law. The decisions made will not only affect your role as a parent but will have a significant lasting impact on your child.
Suppose you are dealing with child custody, parent visitation, or child support issues. In that case, it is vital to have an Akron Family law attorney who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and determined. At Slater & Zurz, we know how crucial the outcomes of these and other family law matters are to you and your family. Our experienced child custody lawyers have handled these cases for over 30 years and have a long-standing, successful track record of resolving even the most complex and highly contested matters. We will fight tirelessly to get you an outcome that aligns with your goals and protects your and your children’s best interests.
We welcome you to contact our Ohio family law attorneys today to learn more about the child custody process and how we will offer invaluable assistance throughout the entire process.
To schedule your FREE consultation, call 330.762.0700 or contact us online.
Types of Child Custody
Ohio law recognizes two types of custody; physical and legal. Physical custody addresses which parent the child in question lives with. In contrast, a parent’s ability to make decisions on the behalf of the child is addressed by legal custody. Both legal and physical custody decisions can be mutually agreed upon by the parents or assessed and determined by the courts.
Physical custody refers to where the child lives regularly. Physical custody can be granted to just one parent or shared between both parents.
Ohio courts recognize sole physical custody as one parent responsible for the child’s day-to-day care. This parent is referred to as the “custodial parent.” In this case, the noncustodial parent is generally given visitation rights or the right to see and visit their child. Visitation rights can be withheld from a parent when there is evidence it would not be in the child’s best interests. This typically happens when one parent has a drug or alcohol addiction or a history of verbal, emotional, or physical abuse or neglect.
Ohio law also recognizes joint physical custody, which is an arrangement where both parents act as primary caregivers or custodians of the child. The child resides at both parents’ homes though it may not be split equally.
A common misconception about joint physical custody is that it gives each parent equal parenting time (time caring for the child). Although equal physical custody may be beneficial in some scenarios, the time the child spends at each parent’s household is often not split in half due to factors such as the following:
- Parent’s work schedules
- Geographical location and proximity of the parents’ homes
- Age and school schedule of the child
A parent with legal custody has the right and responsibility to make important decisions relating to the child’s health, education, and overall well-being. This includes decisions related to:
- Where will the child live
- Which school will the child attend
- The child’s doctor, dentist, or another healthcare professional
- The psychiatric, psychological, or other mental health counseling needs of the child
- Child care
- Religious practices
- Sports and other extracurricular activities
- Vacations and travel
In Ohio, a parent can be awarded sole legal custody of a child, meaning only he or she holds the right to make the decisions on behalf of the child. At the same time, joint legal custody is an arrangement where both parents have the right to decision-making and responsibility. Although sole legal custody may eliminate some of the conflicts that may arise during joint decision-making, it may lead to resentment on the part of the parent without a legal say in decisions relating to the child. It is also important to note that sole legal custody is becoming less common in most states and is typically only awarded when parental input is deemed unsafe for the child.
If you need help with a child custody matter, contact us today to arrange a FREE consultation with an experienced child custody lawyer in Ohio. 330.762.0700
Factors in Determining Child Custody
Determining child custody is one of divorce’s most highly contested and emotionally challenging aspects. When parents can’t agree on the terms of child custody, a judge will make a ruling on a custody arrangement that is in the child’s best interests. Each state has its own factors that are considered when determining custody arrangements and the different types of custody arrangements that the court may award. In Ohio, the courts consider the following factors, such as:
- Child’s relationship with each parent
- Child’s wishes if they are of an appropriate age and maturity
- Wishes of the parents
- Parent’s involvement in the child’s life
- The physical and mental health of the child and parents
- Safety of the child
- Relationships with their siblings and others who would be living in the household
- The proximity of the parents’ homes
- Child’s anticipated adjustment to a change in home, school, and community
- Parent’s ability and desire to cooperate with one another
- Parent’s willingness to encourage and facilitate the child’s relationship with the other parent
- History of domestic abuse or neglect of either parent
- Prevention of past visitation by either parent
Obtaining legal representation from a qualified lawyer is essential in ensuring your child custody arrangement supports and protects your child’s well-being At Slater & Zurz our Ohio child custody attorneys will advocate relentlessly to obtain an amicable and beneficial resolution while keeping your and your children’s needs at the forefront.
Child Support and Child Custody
Suppose you are dealing with issues relating to child custody. In that case, you are likely concerned with how the established custody arrangement will affect the amount of child support you will either receive or need to provide.
In most cases, Ohio orders child support to be paid to the parent with whom the child resides by the parent who does not have physical custody of the child.
When two parents have joint physical custody, the parent with the higher income will typically pay child support to the parent with the lesser income. The amount of support may or may not be affected by the percentage of time each parent has physical custody of the child.
For an estimate of the child support obligations that may be required in your particular situation, you can use Ohio.gov’s Ohio Child Support Calculator.
For questions relating to child support and child custody, call 330.762.0700 to arrange your FREE consultation.
Yes. However, under Ohio Revised Code 3109.04, the courts will only modify a child custody agreement if a significant change has occurred since the last custody agreement was established. Changes may include:
- A parent moved out of the city or state.
- One of the parents lost their job.
- There is evidence of neglect or abuse by one of the parents.
- A parent engaged in criminal activity.
Experienced Child Custody Attorneys in Akron, Ohio
Determining child custody is often the most difficult, stressful, and frustrating part of going through a divorce. Child custody and visitation determinations can substantially affect your children’s overall well-being and impact their lives. Our Ohio child custody attorneys understand what is at stake and advocate relentlessly for the sake of you and your children while prioritizing your and your children’s needs and best interests.
At Slater & Zurz we effectively counsel parents on reaching a custody arrangement that serves their children’s best interests. Our child custody attorneys will advise you through the mediation process and help you work toward a fair and equitable agreement. And if the matter remains unresolved, we will aggressively represent your needs at trial.
You will likely have many questions and concerns during the child custody process. Our family law attorneys pride ourselves on always being your trusted advisor. We will guide you through each step and be readily available to address your questions and concerns, and promptly keep you updated with any developments in your case.
When experience, compassion, and integrity matter, call Slater & Zurz. We offer a free, confidential consultation where we will discuss your situation, explain the child custody process and what you can expect, and determine the first steps in obtaining an arrangement that aligns with your and your children’s needs. You can reach us anytime, day or night, by calling 330.762.0700 or contacting us online.