Child Custody Attorney Dayton, OH
Helping Parents through Custody Matters in Southwest Ohio
After a divorce, one of the most stressful situations can be the quest to obtain custody of children. In many cases, divorces that end with hostility often result in contentious custody battles as well. At L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC, our Dayton child custody lawyers are ready to secure a healthier future for you and your children.
When you entrust our team with your case, we will supply your family with a client-based approach and remain supportive throughout. We understand how stressful life can become when dealing with these types of issues. That is why we are here. Do not hesitate to put experienced legal counsel on your side of the courtroom. Let us make sure your child’s needs are met.
We Handle All Matters Associated with Your Case
Over the years, we have acquired the skills and knowledge it takes to obtain favorable results for our clients day in and day out. Additionally, our child custody attorneys in Dayton can help stepparents adopt children.
At our firm, we can handle various angles of child custody cases, including those involving the following:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Grandparent rights
- Modification of custody
- Modification of visitation agreements
- Termination of parental rights
- A parent’s relocation, which can lead to move-away orders
Types of Child Custody in Ohio
Under Ohio law, in a divorce involving children, the court may order parental rights and responsibilities (commonly referred to as custody) to one or both parents. The court bases its decision on what is in the best interest of the child. Even if the parents agree on a custody arrangement, the court will still ensure that it does not place the child’s (or children’s) safety at risk.
In determining what’s in the best interest of the child, the court will consider many factors, including:
- The child’s wishes
- The parents’ wishes
- The child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, and other significant people in their life
- The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of parents, children, and others involved in the matter
- The parents’ willingness and ability to adhere to all court orders
- The consistency of child support payments made by either parent
- The criminal history of either parent or other household members
- The adherence to any current shared parenting decrees
- The parents’ residence location (whether it is in another state)
Custody can be arranged in a few different ways. Commonly, these are referred to as sole custody, joint custody, or non-parent custody. Ohio law does not directly refer to the custody types this way; however, we will use both the statutory and common usage.
Sole Custody (Residential Parent)
The court may decide that it is in the child's best interests to grant parental rights and responsibilities primarily to one parent. Generally, this is called sole custody. Ohio law provides that when one parent is the primary legal decision-maker, they are the “residential parent and legal custodian of the child.”
When the court designates one parent as the residential parent, it must also ensure that the other responsibilities concerning the child are shared fairly with the other parent. Other responsibilities and rights include paying support and maintaining consistent contact with the child.
Joint Custody (Shared Parenting)
In some cases, the court may determine that what is best for the child is having both parents share parental rights and responsibilities. This is often referred to as joint custody. Ohio law refers to such as shared parenting.
To decide whether shared parenting is in the best interest of the child, the court will consider:
- How well the parents do or will cooperate
- How well the parents will encourage that the child maintains a strong relationship with the other parent
- Whether either parent has a history of violent or abusive behavior toward family members
- How near the parents live to each other
- Recommendations from the child’s guardian ad litem (if any)
Unfortunately, there may be some situations in which the court decides that granting custody to one or both parents would not be in the child’s best interests. In this case, the child will be entrusted to the care of a relative.
Modifications of Custody Orders
Over time, circumstances may change, and the current custody order may no longer be feasible or serve the child's best interests. In such situations, one or both parents may file a motion to modify the order. The court will consider the facts to determine whether or not the order should be changed. As with all other legal decisions concerning custody, the court will do what is in the child's best interests.
A Relentless Team Assisting with Child Custody Matters
If you are going through a divorce or have questions regarding child custody matters, call L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC today. Our child custody lawyers in Dayton handle each case efficiently and effectively to seek the best results in as little time as possible. When you are struggling with legal matters, you need a team that will show support to you and your family from beginning to end. Do not wait another minute.