When parents in Ohio or anywhere else end their marriages, a judge will need to decide who gets custody of the children. As a general rule, a court will make a custody decision based on what is in a child’s best interests. However, there are many factors that could be used to determine what that would be in a given case. Typically, the age of the child will influence the terms of a custody ruling.
In many cases, younger children benefit more from a set routine. As a child gets older, it may be possible for a parenting plan to become more flexible to meet everyone’s needs. If a parent has been the child’s primary caregiver up until a custody hearing, that person is more likely to be granted custody of his or her children. Of course, a judge will still want to look deeper into a parent’s mental state as well as the quality of the relationship between the child and a parent before making a ruling.
If the children are old enough, the court may allow them to provide input into their living arrangements. To obtain custody of a child, a parent may need to reassure the court that he or she will support the child’s right to maintain a relationship with the other parent.
Parents who are not granted custody of their children will likely be given visitation rights to their sons and daughters. An attorney may help a person establish that he or she is stable enough to provide for the child’s emotional, physical and financial needs. Those who are seeking custody of their children may also want to show a judge that they have a safe home that will meet a minor’s needs now and as they get older.