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The implications of custody battles for children

Ohio families can go through a lot of stress in the midst of child custody battles. However, those familiar with the process indicate that such legal battles are often not really about the actual needs of children. Instead, custody battles involve parental beliefs about the best interests of a child. However, the parents battling for control in terms of parenting time and custody may be promoting their own interests rather than those of the children.

During a custody battle, it is the responsibility of the judge to use the facts of the case to determine the best interests of a child. Lawyers representing the parents are primarily charged with representing the interests of their clients, not those of the children. This means that lawyers mainly focus on introducing evidence that will advance their clients' positions, and they will endeavor to exclude negative evidence. Unfortunately, parents may spend so much time and energy focusing on their own goals that they fail to recognize the adverse impact on their children.

Parents may find that obtaining sole custody is difficult because this signifies almost totally eliminating the other parent from a child's life. There are some cases in which sole legal and physical custody is an appropriate goal, including instances in which domestic abuse or drug abuse could affect a child's safety. In other cases, it is advantageous for the children if parents work together to ensure that their youngsters can maintain positive contact with both parties.

A parent who believes that sole custody is necessary may need to provide evidence of how the other parent's behavior endangers or jeopardizes the child. Examples might include drug testing reports or documentation of visits by protective services to the home of the other party. A lawyer might begin the formal process by filing a custody modification request with the court.

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