When a couple has made the difficult decision to divorce, one of their primary concerns, if the couple has children, will likely be child custody and how child custody will be determined. It is helpful for divorcing couples facing this situation to be familiar with how child custody decisions are made in Ohio.

Though each situation is different, child custody decisions are typically determined based on an assessment of a number of different factors. Child custody decisions are always based on what is in the best interests of the child and the family law court will use a variety of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child.

Child custody factors that may be considered include:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent, as well as their relationships with siblings and other members of the household;
  • The child’s mental and physical health;
  • The mental and physical health of the parents;
  • The child’s adjustment to any changes in home, school and community;
  • The willingness of each of the parents to promote the child’s relationship with the other parent;
  • The wishes of the child based on the age and maturity of the child;
  • The physical proximity of the homes of the parents; and
  • The willingness of the parents to cooperate with one another and make decisions together.

Divorcing parents are always encouraged to work together when developing a child custody arrangement that is best for the child. Both physical and legal custody must be determined. Different types of child custody arrangements, including joint custody, are available to help parents reach a child custody settlement agreement that meets the needs of the child and works for the family.