When parents in Ohio decide to divorce, they may face difficult decisions about child custody and visitation. Most parents want as much time with their children as possible, but that does not mean that joint physical custody is always the best option. There are a number of reasons why one parent may be the best choice to have primary custody even when both parents enjoy loving, supportive relationships with their children. For example, many people have employment responsibilities, including lengthy shifts, deployments or frequent travel, that prevent them from providing the best physical home for their children.
However, non-custodial parents can also be highly active parents. Absent a situation of neglect or abuse, non-custodial parents can enjoy extensive visitation rights with their children, including frequent overnight visits. In many cases, they may also have joint legal custody of the children even when the other parent has physical custody. This means that the non-custodial parent has an equal voice in major decisions about how the child is raised, including issues like education, healthcare and religion. Of course, non-custodial parents may also pay child support, providing critically important financial resources that help the child to grow and flourish.
Many people think that all non-custodial parents are fathers. In reality, when fathers pursue physical child custody, they are likely to receive at least joint custody in the courts. In addition, mothers are also non-custodial parents while fathers provide primary physical care. Gender is no longer as important a factor in how family courts decide what type of custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
Parents going through a divorce may be concerned about how they can protect their relationships with their children. A family law attorney may work with a parent to negotiate a fair settlement on key issues, including child custody, parenting time and visitation.