Photo of Greco Law attorneys in office conference room

Dublin Child Custody Lawyers Serving Ohio Families

As a parent, one of your main concerns during divorce is what will happen to your children. What kind of shared parenting agreement might you have going forward? At Greco Law, we help parents in Columbus and central Ohio fight for a strong and stable future for their children through a thoughtful and carefully drafted custody plan as well as financially sound child support. Our child custody lawyers have extensive experience in various types of child custody and support matters, including high-conflict custody battles, and they can help you pursue an outcome that will work for your family for years to come.

We understand that you want to protect the best interests of your children after your marriage is over. Through a reasonable custody and child support order, you can provide continuity of lifestyle for your children and the financial support they need. Our attorneys will help you understand how to pursue terms that are optimal for the well-being of your kids in the midst of an emotional time. They can also help you determine if spousal support would be appropriate in your situation.

Types Of Child Custody

In Ohio, family law courts base child custody arrangements on the child’s best interests. They focus on issuing custody and visitation orders that ensure a stable and nurturing environment. The two types of child custody include:

  • Physical custody: Where the child resides and when.
  • Legal custody: Major decisions about the child’s education, religion, health care and more.

The laws regarding child custody vary slightly depending on whether the parents are married or unmarried. For married parents, spouses or the court typically makes custody decisions during divorce proceedings. Unmarried parents, however, must establish paternity before addressing custody, which may initially grant custody to the mother until paternity is established.

How Is Child Custody Determined?

When determining child custody, Ohio courts consider several factors to decide what serves the best interest of the child:

  • The wishes of the child’s parents: Courts consider any agreement made between the parents as a starting point.
  • The child’s relationships with parents, siblings and others: The quality of relationships can influence decisions on physical custody.
  • The child’s adjustment to home, school and community: Stability is crucial in deciding the child’s primary residence.
  • The mental and physical health of all parties involved: Ensuring the child’s safety and well-being is paramount.
  • The parent more likely to facilitate court-approved parenting time rights: Courts often grant custody to parents who will support the child’s relationship with the other parent.

An Ohio child custody lawyer can help you navigate these considerations. Ours will provide guidance on what to expect from your case. They also assist you in presenting your case effectively to protect your parental rights and your child’s well-being.

How Does Relocation Work With Child Custody?

Relocation with a child, whether out-of-state or far away within the same state, requires agreement from both parents. If parents do not agree, the relocating parent must petition the court for permission. This is also true for international child custody cases, which can frequently escalate to high-conflict scenarios. Fortunately, our child custody attorneys handle even the most complex international child custody cases. In high-stress relocation situations, they fight to keep your child safe and their best interests protected.

Factors To Consider For Your Custody Order

There are many different types of custody plans, and the one that will work best for your family depends on your individual goals and the needs of your children. Often, parents find it beneficial to work together on an out-of-court agreement, crafting a plan that uniquely suits the specific needs of their kids. Whether it is in the courtroom or around the negotiating table, we can help you address the following factors:

  • Division of parenting time
  • Holiday visitation and summer vacations
  • Access to extended family members such as grandparents
  • Decision-making authority for the kids
  • Education and special health concerns

Our experienced custody lawyers can also address complex custody issues, such as changing custody or support orders, fathers’ rights and paternity, and much more.

We Handle High-Conflict Child Custody Cases

With over 50 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys understand the contentious nature of custody cases. Emotions can run high, leading to extreme conflict. These situations preclude any chance of agreement and may even include attempts to manipulate the proceedings, such as through false allegations of abuse or neglect. If you are facing a high-conflict custody case, we are sensitive to your needs and have the skills to guide you through this difficult time. When clients hire us, the opposing party and their counsel immediately know that our team is serious about getting the results that prioritize the best interests of the children involved and will not put up with intimidation of any kind. We stand strong against even the most unscrupulous and abusive parties.

What Is A High-Conflict Divorce, And How Does It Affect Child Custody?

Most divorces involve at least a few points of disagreement between spouses, such as how to divide bank accounts and who keeps which home, etc. However, a high-conflict divorce involves severe disputes that become severely acrimonious. Child custody is one of the most hotly disputed topics in any divorce. Some of the tenets of a custody dispute in a high-conflict divorce can include:

  • Using the children as pawns for personal vendettas against an ex
  • Pursuing litigation to drain the resources of the child’s other parent
  • Dragging a custody dispute on endlessly through the court system
  • Seeking sole custody to prevent a child from seeing their other parent
  • Fighting an equitable parenting schedule to spite their ex
  • Relocating out of state with a child without permission from the court or the other parent
  • Falsely accusing an ex of child abuse

Because our lawyers regularly handle high-conflict divorce, they have seen these tactics time and time again. Their experience has given them insight, power and the tools to triumph over such adversarial and mean-spirited strategies. Above all, they prioritize one interest: protecting the best interests of you and your children.

Child Custody: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions

At Greco Law, we understand that child custody is one of the most stressful and, often, contentious aspects of divorce. You want to ensure that ending your marriage will not harm the time and relationship you have with your children. Read answers to frequently asked questions about child custody below to learn more.

How Is Child Custody Determined In Ohio?

In all cases, child custody arrangements are determined based on the child’s best interests. Many factors are evaluated to determine what those may be, including any history of domestic violence, the child’s relationships with family members and each parent’s financial stability.

Can You Have A Child Custody Agreement Without Going To Court?

If parents can agree on a child custody plan, they can jointly file their desired plan with an Ohio family law court. If the judge does not accept the plan, they will ask the parents to revise and resubmit the proposed plan for review. A judge will only create the child custody plan if the parents cannot agree on an arrangement, and then only after evidence is presented at a trial.

Can You Have Sole Custody Of The Kids After Divorce?

Yes. If you are awarded sole custody of your children, you are considered to be the sole residential parent and legal custodian of that child. However, the other parent will usually be awarded visitation rights. Visitation rights are only withheld under extreme circumstances, such as in instances involving sexual abuse, domestic violence or drug abuse.

However, you are not automatically awarded sole custody. If both parents want custody of the children, and both are fit to parent, you may be awarded shared custody. Under this plan, parents share the legal responsibility of the child. This does not mean that time will be equally shared between the parents.

Can You Modify A Custody Agreement?

Yes, it is possible to modify a custody agreement; however, you need court approval to do so. If your circumstances change and you can no longer adhere to your initial custody arrangement, you will need to show the judge why you must modify your plan. You cannot change your custody plan without court approval, even if the other parent verbally agrees to the change.

Can Children Choose Which Parent To Live With?

If the children are determined to be of sound mind and sufficient age and maturity, their custody preferences may be taken into account. They are allowed to speak directly with a judge behind closed doors to express their opinions, or a guardian ad litem can be assigned to the case, and they will take the child’s wishes into consideration when making a recommendation to the court. There is no magic age in Ohio that allows a child to choose which parent they want to live with. The child’s opinion is only one factor in a list of factors that a court must consider.

Contact Our Office For A Case Evaluation

We are happy to answer your custody questions and help you understand how Ohio law addresses child support. Contact our Dublin office online or at 614-963-9154 to schedule an initial evaluation of your case with our experienced attorneys.