Ohio divorce and family law courts typically prefer joint child custody between parents, an arrangement in which both participate in the important decisions involved with raising the child. Shared parental rights and responsibilities enable the child to foster a close relationship with each parent. However, there are some situations in which co-parenting would be inappropriate because one parent is unfit. In making a determination for sole custody in favor of one parent, the judge will review the best interests of the child as described by Ohio law.
If you find yourself on either side of the dispute, legal representation is critical. You might need to enforce your parental rights to protect your child, but you could also be facing false or exaggerated claims of being unfit. A North Canton child custody lawyer will advise you on the laws and develop a strategy for achieving your objectives, so you have an advocate on your side during court proceedings. Plus, it is helpful to review some information on how a court decides if someone is an unfit parent.
The statute applies to any case in which the allocation of parental responsibilities is being addressed, so it may come up in divorce or paternity proceedings. In making decisions on child custody, the judge is required to weigh all relevant factors. As they pertain to the fitness of a parent, the court will review the following:
If the court finds that the child’s best interests are not being served by applying these factors to one parent’s conduct, he or she could be deemed unfit.
The standard on the child’s best interests is the paramount consideration in assessing whether a parent is unfit, so a party on either side of the fitness dispute must have solid proof to support their position. Generally, the strategy should focus on each statutory factor, gathering as much evidence as possible to present in court. Information that would be useful in proving that a parent is unfit might include the following:
To learn more about the factors judges reviews when determining whether a parent is unfit, please contact Fout Law Office, LLC in North Canton. You can schedule a consultation with an Ohio child custody lawyer who will review your situation and advise you on details.
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Teresa is a very professional legal representative that was very patient with me and very comforting. She took the time to answer and clarify, if needed, any questions I had. She was very helpful and knew the laws and how to handle what I would call a difficult situation. She even assisted me after the divorce was final with some advice I needed and was there for me even with her busy caseload. I would certainly recommend her to anyone that would need her services.
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Teresa is a knowledgeable and very professional attorney who cares about her clients. She did a great job in walking me through divorce, custody and support issues which are inherently fraught with emotional overload and can be simply overwhelming. I believe her solid advice prevented me from taking unnecessary actions, which would have resulted in substantially higher costs without gaining anything in return. I highly recommend her.
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