SKILLED IN CHILD CUSTODY CASES
Ohio believes that children should spend time with both parents, even if their parents are no longer living together. However, the amount of time each parent has with their children is up for debate.
The legal team at Groth & Associates has tackled all kinds of child custody disputes and realizes how stressful they are. Our clients are often desperately afraid of losing contact with their children, and negative emotions toward the other parent often impede the ability to achieve a compromise. Please contact us today to schedule a confidential meeting with a Sylvania child custody lawyer.
For a legal consultation with a child custody lawyer serving Sylvania, call (419) 930-3030
PARENTS CAN REACH A CUSTODY AGREEMENT ON THEIR OWN
We need to emphasize that parents can avoid a long custody dispute by working with the other parent to come up with a custody arrangement. Unfortunately, it’s often hard for men and women to work together when their relationship has gone sour.
Our attorneys can help. We have deep experience with mediation or negotiation and can guide you through the process. Sometimes, parents feel empowered to put aside their differences and devise a custody schedule they each can live with. Let us help you.
Family Lawyer Near Me (419) 930-3030
HOW A JUDGE DECIDES CUSTODY IN OHIO
If parents cannot reach an agreement, a judge must decide custody. We are fully committed to representing our clients in court. Indeed, our experience in the courtroom is one of our best assets.
Ohio prefers that parents share custody, which is called “shared parenting.” Of course, parents often cannot divide custody evenly, 50/50. Instead, one child lives with the primary custodial parent, but the other has substantial time with the child and is involved with decision making on medical care, education, and other critical issues.
Nevertheless, a judge decides custody based on the “best interests of the child” standard. Ohio Revised Code § 3109.04 lays out a series of factors for the judge’s consideration. A judge can look to anything relevant including:
- Each parent’s demonstrated parenting ability
- Each parent’s capacity to parent
- The relationship each parent has with the child up to this point
- The stability of each parent’s life
- How willing each parent is to work with the other
- Any history of domestic violence or abuse
As you can see, judges do not assume that young children should be with mothers, nor do judges consider who is the wealthier parent. However, it is vital that mothers and fathers seek the help of an experienced Sylvania child custody lawyer to represent them in court.
Judges sometimes seek the help of outside professionals when deciding custody, including psychologists who examine each parent. This can be stressful. We will explain what you can expect and stand with you every step of the way.
A man does not have the right to custody until he establishes himself as the father. When a couple is married, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father. However, when a child is born to a single mother, a man must take steps to establish paternity.
There are many types of paternity disputes, and we can help with them all. For example, a woman might prefer that her current boyfriend be the father. In other cases, a man wants to avoid paternity so he does not have to pay child support. A court usually orders a DNA test to determine custody.
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MODIFYING CHILD CUSTODY
Custody arrangements sometimes prove unworkable. Many things can change over time, including work schedules and new relationships. In Ohio, a judge will only modify child custody if there have been substantial changes in life circumstances.
Often, modification disputes involve the primary custodial parent wanting to move and the other parent objecting. Any move can make it harder for the non-custodial parent to see children, so a judge will need to decide what to do.
ENFORCING CHILD CUSTODY
Co-parenting does not always go smoothly. Instead, some parents try to keep their children from their mother or father. When this happens, our attorneys need to step in and seek enforcement in court. For example, our Sylvania child custody lawyers can ask a court to hold the other parent in contempt, which might result in them being fined or even sent to jail.
TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
Ohio does not terminate a parent’s rights on a whim. Nevertheless, they might seek termination a child is being abused or has been abandoned.
Fighting the termination of your parental rights requires a lawyer’s help. The state usually has considerable evidence in its possession that it will submit to a judge showing a lack of parental fitness. If a parent has a drug or alcohol problem, they need to prove they are taking steps to address it.
In some cases, a parent can voluntarily give up his or her parental rights to facilitate an adoption, such as a step-parent adoption. We can help our clients through this process if they choose to pursue it.
HOW A SYLVANIA CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER CAN HELP
Child custody disputes are “high stakes” cases. Once a judge makes a decision, it is virtually impossible to get a different court to overturn it. For this reason, you need to make your strongest case to the judge that will decide child custody.
At Groth & Associates, our attorneys are skilled at collecting evidence that a judge will find convincing. For example, we can help you address any weaknesses in your application for child custody, such as instability or drug addiction. We also will fully analyze the other parent’s present circumstances. Sometimes this requires an investigation, especially into any criminal conduct.
We can also help establish your bond with your child. Judges often want to see more than you testify that your bond is “strong.” We can find witnesses who have seen you with your child and introduce pictures and videos that show you together.
As mentioned above, we also will work to avoid any contested litigation. Our team has helped clients draft child custody plans in collaboration with the other parent so that these issues are resolved outside of court amicably. When successful, parents set themselves up well for effective co-parenting moving into the future.
CONTACT OUR SYLVANIA CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER TODAY
Groth & Associates is an established Ohio law firm that understands all facets of child custody in Ohio. We can analyze your options, explain what evidence you need, and engage in negotiation or litigation to secure your child custody rights. Please contact us today.