THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF DIVORCE: CHILD CUSTODY
Children are often the biggest topic of concern when it comes to families in transition. When a divorce action is filed, or a custody petition is made with regard to unmarried parents, the Court must determine what is in the “best interest” of the children.
What Does “Custody” Mean?
Custody is the order of the Court allocating parental rights and responsibilities. In Ohio there are two forms of custody: legal and residential.
Legal custody refers to the authority to make vital decisions for the health, care, and well-being of a child.
Residential custody means where the child will be physically located. The child may legally attend school in the district of the parent with residential custody.
What is Shared Parenting?
In a Shared Parenting setting, both parents are named legal and residential custodians of the children. This means that both parents are vested with the authority to make decisions on behalf of the children. Parents are supposed to consult each other to come up with the best solution to issues surrounding the child. One such issue is where the children will go to school, as legally they may attend school in either parent’s district. This order governing this type of custody status is referred to as a Shared Parenting Plan. The Plan will discuss things like parenting time, school placement, medical decisions, and more. Our attorneys are well trained in drafting Shared Parenting Plans. Call us today if you have questions!
Child Custody Modifications
Just because custody vested in one parent, or shared parenting has been awarded, that does not mean it cannot change. Modification of custody is always a possibility, if it is in the best interest of the children. Parental Relocation is one example of a change of circumstance that may warrant a change of custody. This will be a subject of a later blog.
Parenting time (visitation) is a complex issue. These days many households have two working parents, often with different work schedules. Children are also busy with school and extracurricular demands. A good parenting time allocation takes all these factors into account. Parenting time is a complicated topic that is a very important issue for both parties. We will go into more detail at a later time in a separate blog.
Our attorneys will work diligently to help you find a solution to your child custody matter. If the matter cannot be resolved without litigation, we will fight for your parental rights inside the courtroom. Contact us today if you would like to learn more!