A recent “Law You Can Use” column in the Logan Daily News that was provided by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) addressed several child custody questions. Here are some of the most important points that were made in the column:
The law requires judges to consider various factors when determining custody.
When determining custody as part of a divorce or between unmarried parents, Ohio Revised Code, Section 3109.04 requires the court to consider factors including each parent’s wishes, the child’s wishes, how well the parents can communicate, how far the parents live from one another, other family members involves, and more.
Generally speaking, Ohio courts favor shared parenting arrangements.
In order for a shared custody arrangement to be granted by the court, the one of both parents must file a motion that proposes a shared parenting plan. Keep in mind that shared parenting does not refer to only to physical custody; it primarily refers to which parent is responsible for making decisions regarding the child. That’s why communication is important.
For example, even if parents split their time with the child 50-50, they may not be in a shared parenting arrangement. Therefore, it is still possible for one parent to have sole custody even when both parents share equal time with the child.
Just because parents have shared custody doesn’t mean that child support will not be ordered.
Child support is ordered on a case-by-case basis, and it can still apply when parents have shared custody. Child support is calculated using a formula set in law that considers factors like the income of both parents, any special needs of the child and other support obligations the parents may have.
Parents who have questions about custody and/or child support in Ohio would benefit from meeting with an experienced family law attorney to talk about the specific facts of their situation.