Resolving child custody issues can be difficult. As such, you can depend on attorney, Dirken D. Winkler’s experience to advocate and protect your interests in addressing your particular child custody dispute. Child custody issues are very fact dependent. Generally, the Court prefers a shared parenting arrangement where both parents are actively involved in the care and upbringing of the child. Should a shared parenting plan be unworkable due to the parents’ inability to resolve disagreements, then sole legal custody with one parent may be the only recourse. In most instances, it is beneficial for parents to work together to achieve a mutually agreeable child custody and parenting time arrangement tailored to the child’s needs and the parents’ schedules.
Child custody matters entail three parts: 1. “legal custody”, which pertains to the parents’ legal rights and obligations to make major decisions on behalf of the child; 2. “parenting time”, which focuses on the amount of time each parent has with the child; and 3. “child support” which focuses on the financial support to care for the child.
The Court continues to have jurisdiction to modify or adjust legal custody and parenting time until the child reaches age eighteen and graduates high school or the child reaches age nineteen, regardless of graduating high school
Legal Custody of a Child
There are two types of custody arrangements – “sole legal custody”, where legal custody and parental decision making is vested with one parent, and “shared parenting”, where legal custody of and parental decision making are vested jointly with both parents. Shared parenting does not automatically denote equal parenting time with the child. All child custody issues are dependent upon the best interest of the child.
The Court must find that a parenting time arrangement is in the child’s best interests. The amount of parenting time one has with a child is very fact dependent and considers, among other things, the relationship the parent has with the child, how close the parents live to one another, the educational needs of the child, the child’s extracurricular activities, and the child’s wishes (if old enough).
Once legal custody and parenting time have been established, financially supporting the child must be addressed. In Ohio every parent is required to provide financially for the support of the child. To that end, every parenting order in Ohio must address the parties’ respective financial responsibilities to care for the child. Financial support of a child considers a number of factors, including, the parties’ income, the child’s needs, and the parties’ parenting time with the child.
As your Columbus, Ohio Child Custody Attorney, I work hard to protect a parent’s rights and to ensure that the Court has all of the relevant information to establish and preserve your relationship with your child. The Court retains jurisdiction to modify an original child custody order.