What Factors Play A Role In Custody Decisions?
Divorce or legal separation procedures with children are highly emotional, and parents should make decisions to build solid foundations for their future life as a new family. At Harry Lewis Co., LPA, we strongly advocate for the rights of parents and the best interests of children. In order to do so, we encourage our clients to work on a parenting plan submitted to a judge’s approval, who in turn will consider certain factors briefly explained as follows.
Child Support And When A Court May Grant A Deviation
In theory, both parents have a responsibility to financially support their children. In reality, the custodial parent may not be obliged to pay for child support. However, parents may apply to have a deviation in their child support obligations under special considerations, such as the following:
- Whether the parents agreed on extended parenting times and pay for the expenses of the child without asking for additional financial support from the other parent
- In-kind contributions by parents including clothing, medicine or any other item the child may require
- The needs of a child in terms of physical, emotional and mental welfare
- The obligor’s financial possibilities
- Other relevant elements
Child Custody, Companionship and Visitation Rights
When it comes to defining child custody rights, both parents have equal rights before the law. Judges will consider specific elements when accepting or granting custody and visitation rights, like the following:
- The relationship the child/children have with each of the parents and siblings
- Whether a parent or family member requesting companionship rights has a history of conviction or domestic violence issues
- Parent’s availability based on the parent’s working hours and the child’s school schedule, including holidays and vacation time
- The child’s preference after an interview with the judge
- The parents’ individual willingness to comply with the parenting plan
When Is Shared Parenting A Good Option?
Ohio courts are open to shared parenting, provided it corresponds to the best interests of a child after evaluating the following:
- The parents’ ability to reach agreements regarding co-parenting
- Whether the parents are willing to contribute to strengthening emotional bonds with the other parent
- The geographic proximity of parents allows the child to continue with daily activities such as going to school without forcing long commutes
- The parents’ criminal record, if any
- If the child is safe with either parent and whether it is the child’s preference
In addition, Ohio Courts will uphold the child’s best interests at all times. Let us help you navigate the legal system and create a parenting plan to protect your rights and your child’s. At Harry Lewis Co., LPA, we have more than 40 years of experience addressing the legal needs of parents and families like yours. Learn what we can do for you.