Going through a divorce or separation can be a challenging time for any family, especially when children are involved. As parents, it's crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding child custody and support in Ohio. This comprehensive guide will help you navigate these complex issues and make informed decisions in the best interests of your children.
Types of Child Custody in Ohio
Ohio has two main types of child custody: shared parenting and sole custody. Shared parenting, or joint custody, is when parents share the rights and responsibilities of raising their children. On the other hand, sole custody is when one parent has the exclusive right to make decisions for the child.
- Shared Parenting: This arrangement requires both parents to work together to make decisions about their child's upbringing, including education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Before granting shared parenting, the court will consider various factors, such as the parent's ability to cooperate and communicate effectively.
- Sole Custody: In some cases, the court may grant sole custody to one parent due to abuse, neglect, or the other parent's inability to care for the child. The non-custodial parent may still have visitation rights but will not have decision-making authority.
Factors Affecting Child Custody Decisions
The court's primary goal when determining child custody is to act in the child's best interests. Several factors are considered, including:
- The child's wishes (if they are of suitable age and maturity)
- The mental and physical health of both parents
- The child's relationship with each parent
- Each parent's ability to provide a stable and loving home environment
- Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse
- The willingness of each parent to foster a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent
Child Support in Ohio
Child support is a financial obligation that one parent pays to the other to help cover the costs of raising their child. In Ohio, child support is calculated using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines, which consider both parents' incomes, the number of children, and any special needs the child may have.
It's essential to understand that child support and visitation rights are separate issues. Failure to pay child support does not result in losing visitation rights, and denying visitation rights is not a valid reason to stop paying child support.
Modifying Child Custody and Support Orders
As circumstances change, modifying an existing child custody or support order may become necessary. In Ohio, a parent can request a modification if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the original order was issued. Examples of significant changes include a substantial increase or decrease in income, a change in the child's needs, or a change in the custodial parent's living situation.
Seek Legal Assistance from an Experienced Ohio Family Law Attorney
Navigating child custody and support issues can be a complex and emotional process. At Kane Law, our experienced Ohio family law attorneys can help you understand your rights and responsibilities and guide you through the legal process. We are committed to providing compassionate and knowledgeable representation to protect your interests and the best interests of your children.
Contact Kane Law today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your Ohio child custody and support matters!