Ohio uses several factors to determine child custody laws. Primarily, Ohio relies on the child's best interests to determine child custody. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Ohio should first become familiar with the custody statutes in this state.
Related: Help our readers by sharing your experience with child custody in Ohio.
Custody Rights of Unmarried Mothers
In Ohio, an unmarried mother is considered to have sole physical and legal custody of the child, unless an Ohio family court determines someone else to be the legal or physical guardian.
Best Interests of Child
An Ohio family court will utilize the following factors to determine best interests of the child:
- The child's wishes
- The child's relationship with the parents, siblings, and extended family members
- The child's adjustment to home, school, and community
- The mental and physical health of all parties involved
- Whether parents have regularly made child support payments
- Which parent is more likely to honor the court-approved visitation and custody order
- Each parent's willingness to encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any history of abuse or domestic violence
- The geographical proximity of parents
Shared Parenting and Child Custody in Ohio
Ohio refers to joint custody as shared parenting. A plan for shared parenting shall include:
- Factors relating to physical living arrangements
- Child support obligations
- Home where child will reside for school vacations, holidays and days of importance (i.e. birthdays)
- Provision for child's medical and dental insurance
Military Parents and Child Custody in Ohio
If a single parent is ordered to active duty in Ohio, the parent must notify the other parent within three days of receiving a military service order. The parents may then request a modification of custody.
Modification of Child Custody in Ohio
An Ohio family court will not modify child custody unless there has been a change in the child's circumstances and the modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child.
For more information about child custody in Ohio, please speak with a qualified attorney in Ohio or refer to the Ohio Domestic Relations statutes.