Alliance Child Custody Attorney

Alliance Child Custody Attorney

Issues related to child custody are some of the most difficult that divorcing parents will face, even for those who have a relatively amicable relationship. Having the advice of an experienced  family law attorney can make all the difference to the outcome of this type of case, so if you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce and you have children, it is important to contact a dedicated Alliance child custody attorney who can help you draft a parenting plan that is in your child’s best interests.

The Best Interests of the Child Standard

There are two aspects to any custody arrangement – physical custody and legal custody. The former refers to the actual physical time that a parent is able to spend with his or her child, while the latter describes the authority to make decisions on a child’s behalf. Courts are generally in favor of shared parenting arrangements, in which both parents are given roughly equal parenting time and responsibility for major decision making. While continuing and meaningful contact with both parents is often ideal, it is not always possible, which is why custody decisions are ultimately based on what type of arrangement would be in a child’s best interests. This, in turn, requires an analysis of a number of factors, including:

  • Each parent’s wishes regarding the child’s care;
  • The child’s wishes, but only if he or she is deemed mature enough to make a reasoned decision;
  • The child’s relationship with each of his or her parents and siblings;
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
  • The mental and physical health of both parents and the child;
  • Whether one parent is more likely to facilitate parenting time and visitation rights than the other;
  • Whether either parent has been convicted of a crime involving child abuse, neglect, or a sexual offense;
  • Whether either parent is planning on relocating to another state;
  • Any history of domestic violence by either parent;
  • Each parent’s ability to encourage contact between the child and his or ex-spouse;
  • The parties’ ability to cooperate and make joint parenting decisions; and
  • The geographic proximity of each parent’s residence to the home of the other.

Shared Parenting and Sole Custody

Only if an analysis of these factors reveals that a shared parenting arrangement would be in a child’s best interests, will a court move forward with this type of agreement. If, on the other hand, a shared parenting plan is not deemed to be in a child’s best interests, a judge can order sole custody, which involves:

  • Allocating the parental rights and responsibilities for a child’s care to one parent;
  • Designating that party to be the child’s legal custodian and residential parent; and
  • Dividing other parental rights and decision-making responsibilities between the parents.

In cases in which two parents were never married, Ohio law automatically designates the child’s mother as the child’s sole residential parent and legal custodian, although courts are permitted to issue orders stating otherwise.

Call Our Office Today

If you and your spouse are considering divorce and have children, please call Fout Law at 330-437-7455 to speak with a dedicated and experienced Alliance child custody attorney about your case.

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