Ohio Father Law Perspectives

Ohio Laws Affecting Married, Divorced & Unmarried Fathers

So You Think You Know About marriage?

So You Think You Know  About Marriage?

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Americans lag behind most developed countries in literacy, problem-solving & math.  These deficiencies do not greatly impact my divorce practice because most of us can divide by two or at least use a calculator to divide large numbers.  I am amazed instead by the surprise, shock & dismay when I meet with new clients and they see, for the very first time, exactly what it means to be married.

Here’s a very short list:

If you’re married, you are responsible for the support & maintenance of your spouse, regardless of your gender. This means you can be liable for health care costs if your spouse becomes disabled, even if you’re living apart and haven’t seen each other in years.

If you’re married, you and your spouse are equal business partners.  This means that your spouse is entitled to half of your retirement, even if he never worked a day during the marriage.

If you’re married, you are liable for half of the debts accumulated during the marriage, with few exceptions.  Ohio is not a title state.  This means that the “stuff of life,” such as gasoline, Christmas gifts, vacations & groceries, are divisible by a Domestic Relations Court, even if the credit card is only in one spouse’s name.

If you’re married, your money is your spouse’s money–you have your hands in each others’ respective wallets.  Your spouse is assumed to have contributed to all the income earned during the marriage, even if he was not gainfully employed outside the home.

If you’re married, and inherit your mother’s house, and pay the mortgage & taxes and make improvements, you just gave your spouse an interest in your inheritance that will be difficult to value.

If you’re married, after 10 years you can collect social security as a “divorced spouse” based upon the higher of your income or your spouse’s income.

If you’re married, your spouse has an interest in your hobbies, such as collectibles, musical instruments & perhaps even jewelry.

If you’re married, your spouse has an interest in any businesses you establish, even if they do absolutely nothing to support it and whine and nag about it.

If you’re married, and your spouse refuses to cooperate in your divorce, you can be in for a very long and expensive haul.

Finally, if you’re married, there is a statutory limit on writing your spouse out of your will.    He can always “elect against the will” and receive his statutory share.

Divorce is hardly unusual.  The Center for Disease Control & Prevention reports that :

“[t]he probability of a first marriage ending in separation or divorce within 5 years is 20 percent, but the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5 years is 49 percent. After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage ending is 33 percent.”

I would think by now that more people would be aware of the financial impact of marriage.  From what I encounter in my office, the word on the street is limited to talk of wedding destinations, dress styles and sex. After getting the marriage license, most couples never give any of the “technicalities” of marriage a second thought.

A divorce face is every bit as ugly as a wedding face is beautiful.  There needs to be just a little less glitter at the beginning so that a divorce, if it occurs, will not be quite so devastating.

Lawyer Review Sites

 How DARE You?

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There was a time when I lived or died by on-line client reviews.  I searched my name regularly, checked the sites I knew about, and had either a terrific day or a terrible day, depending upon what I read.  While there is no doubt that on-line reviews can have a tremendous financial impact upon a business, I took what clients wrote to heart.

Online reviews are permanent.  A bar complaint is handled confidentially.  The internet is forever and the number of review sites has exploded.  Now nearly every business, from restaurants to lawn care, is subject to the on-line opinions of customers. It’s hard not to take a scathing review personally.

I am not the only one who agonized over what I read.   Some business owners have even gone so far as to file suit against their detractors, usually resulting in bad outcomes.  My fascination with these sites drove me to do some research of my own.  Common sense told me that an anonymous review was cowardly.

Turns out others agree.  According to a recent article in Times Magazine, the prominent Travel Channel speaker Andrew Zimmer  stated that “[y]elp essentially gives a tremendous forum for a bunch of uninformed morons to take down restaurants.” Most of these sites require nothing more than an internet connection—no identification or accountability whatsoever.  Anonymity breeds bad behavior.

Anonymity, though, is the least of the problems with on-line review sites.  Why should anyone believe the words of a total stranger who won’t stand by his opinion? Even if the review is signed, you probably don’t know the writer personally.  To give weight to this type of review, where you have no idea if the writer is, say, Bernie Madoff from his prison cell, is foolhardy.  If you walked up to a stranger at a Bengals’ game and asked for the name of the best steak-house around, there is no way to measure the value of what you’re being told.  You wouldn’t know for sure until you actually tasted the steak.  Yet, this is exactly what on-line reviews do.

Are on-line review sites legitimate at all?

Which review is fake?

1.  I have stayed at many hotels traveling for both business and pleasure and I can honestly say that the James is tops.  The service at the hotel is first class.  The rooms are modern and very comfortable.  The location is perfect within walking distance to all of the great sights and restaurants.  Highly recommend to both business travelers and couples.

2.  My husband and I stayed at the James Chicago Hotel for our anniversary.  This place is fantastic! We knew as soon as we arrived we made the right choice! The rooms are BEAUTIFUL and the staff very attentive and wonderful!!  The area of the hotel is great, since I love to shop I couldn’t ask for more!!  We will definitely be back to Chicago and we will for sure be back to the James Chicago.

Jeff Hancock of Cornell University has studied what is called “opinion spam,” or “phony positive reviews created by sellers to help sell their products, or negative reviews meant to downgrade competitors.”    Relying upon algorithms, word choice statistics, and volunteer Cornell students, he has determined that humans are very bad at spotting sham reviews. Computers, however, can detect fakes within a fair degree of certainty.  Review Skeptic has a platform where hotel reviews can be inputted to see if the computer says its real or not.

On-line reviews are suspect for another reason.  No computer can detect the relationship between the writer and the company under scrutiny. Small independent hotels were found to have far more positive online reviews on one site as opposed to another.  The reason?  People associated with the hotels were able to manipulate the reviews on the site that did not confirm whether the reviewer had even stayed at the hotel.  One restaurant received a bad review on yelp before it even opened!  Clearly, gaming the system is rampant.

That Pesky Attorney-Client Privilege

There is another layer of potential peril to lawyers with on-line review sites.  A Chicago employment lawyer responded to a negative on-line review as follows:

“I dislike it very much when my clients lose, but I cannot invent positive facts for clients when they are not there. I feel badly for him, but his own actions in beating up a female co-worker are what caused the consequences he is now so upset about.”

Ultimately, the attorney received a reprimand for exceeding the scope of what she needed to say to defend herself.  The reference to beating up a co-worker revealed the client’s identity, thereby breaching the privilege, even though he allegedly did not provide his last name on the site.  The lawyer’s attorney cautioned other lawyers to “[b]e cautious that if they choose to respond, that their response does not exceed what is necessary to respond to the review and should be mindful that they do not reveal client confidences in violation of the rule.”

So, a lawyer can be disciplined for responding to an untrue on-line review, even if she removes it, and the full name of the client is not revealed, and the review is untrue.  Like Demi Moore in A Few Good Men, I “object strenuously your honor,” to this decision.

What I tell My Clients

I have pretty good on-line reviews. Am I as good as my reviews say I am?  No, I am not–but I am also not half as bad as my bad reviews claim.   All that any client review shows is whether I successfully established rapport with that particular client on that particular case on any particular day.  That’s assuming, of course, that the review is real and not penned by my arch-enemy.

I now tell the clients who ask that on-line lawyer reviews depend on everything and to think for themselves.  What they think is all that matters.

What I Tell Myself

On-line reviews are usually unverified, frequently fake and can make or break a business, particularly a new business.  Lawyers have the added risk of disciplinary action if they  respond even remotely in kind. Lawyers must have thick skins and even broader shoulders to survive in this environment.  

One morning in May, I received both a five-star glowing review and a one-star flaming review.   I chuckled about that all day.  I’ve given up watching for the reviews because I can’t safely respond without risking sanction.  I’ve noticed that Big Law is seldom critiqued in on-line reviews; boutique firms, such as my own, appear regularly.  I believe this reflects the change in legal practice to a consumer base which is a great opportunity for boutique firms.  Ultimately, my presence in the legal profession is strong enough to cast a shadow.

Can I really ask for more?

[The second review is fake.  The first is authentic, although there is no way to tell if it’s true, since it is anonymous].shutterstock lion

Copyright 2014.  All rights reserved.  Anne Catherine Harvey LLC.

“Not all prisons have bars” Amanda Hocking, Torn

Relocation with a minor child is a heart-breaker.  Just when the newly divorced parents have gotten used to the parenting schedule, the back-and-forth, and the reality of not seeing their child every day, somebody gets transferred.  Or somebody has a new love interest.  Or somebody wants to fulfill their life-long dream of living in sunny California.

                                     Can I Move with My Child? Can She Move My Child Away?

There is an entire body of law surrounding when a parent can move with a child.  If the new place is merely across the street, all that has to happen is to file a notice of new address with the court and the child support agency.   If the new place is fairly close, say around 50 miles, then the moving person will at least initially be stuck with most of the drive back and forth.  Dayton to Columbus does not change the every other weekend arrangement.  Dayton to L.A., however, changes everything for everyone.

Mothers often ask me if they can move to wherever, for whatever reason, usually far away, often for a new military husband.  I tell them that they can move anywhere they can afford to live because this is America and anybody can live anywhere.  If they want to take the child with them, however, it’s another story.

If mom is the custodial parent, the mere act of moving away does not constitute a “change of circumstances.”  In order to stop litigation and provide stability to children, Ohio law requires the parent requesting a custody change to prove that a change of circumstances has occurred.  The change must be substantial and unknown at the time of the last order.  A change of circumstance must first be proven before the court will start to think about what is in the child’s best interest.  If the other parent, usually the dad, decides to contest the move, a custody battle usually follows.

Judges call custody decisions agonizing.  Parents call custody battles hell.  The recent case of In re M.P., 2013-Ohio-3939, illustrates this point perfectly.  Pam and Rodney were divorced with a son (“Johnny”) and Pam had custody.  A year later, Pam and Rodney had a full trial on whether Pam’s plan to move constituted a change of circumstances.  Nothing changed because Pam decided not to move, after all, with her new boyfriend to Florida, 1200 miles away.  The following year she moved to Florida anyway, took Johnny with her and enrolled him in year round school.  Rodney filed for custody.

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After a second full custody trial, the Court eventually required Johnny to return home and granted custody to Rodney.  The Court held that an out of state move, along with other circumstances, could constitute a substantial change of circumstances.   The other circumstances in this case included the fact that both sets of grandparents lived near Rodney in Ohio; that Johnny had friends in Ohio he had known since his birth; that Pam’s new boyfriend was volatile and altercations had taken place; and the distance and year round school all but eliminated regular parenting time between Johnny and Rodney.

It is hard to imagine a situation where an out of  state move does not affect other circumstances that the non-moving parent can develop to keep the child at home.  In Brown v. Brown, 2013-Ohio-3456, Holli and Troy divorced and Holli took custody of their three boys.  A year later, she wanted to move from Champaign County, Ohio to South Carolina for a new job and to be closer to her parents.  A custody battle followed.

All three boys had close bonds with their immediate and extended family.  Interestingly, the Court found that the fact that Holli had been the primary caregiver was not the most important factor to consider.  In the previous case,  In Re M.P., the Court noted that Pam had been Johnny’s primary caregiver, but that could only be considered in the initial custody determination (who gets custody in the divorce), and not in a later request to change of custody.  The Brown court found that it was impossible to imagine how the children could be better adjusted to their friends and family in Champaign County and the only advantage to a move to South Carolina was a longer sports season because of the milder climate.  The Court kept the boys in Ohio and awarded custody to their father.

 TAKE AWAY FROM ALL THIS     

What is the take-away from these recent cases?  I was happy to learn that there is an expiration date to the advantage to being the primary caregiver.  Fathers are frequently beat over the head with the argument that the mother has provided most of the care, so therefore she is the best parent for custody.  While this still has heavy weight during a divorce custody battle, it cannot be considered in a change of custody after divorce.

Both of these cases had good father facts.  All of the children were older, both fathers were hands-on, and the all the children were thriving in Ohio.

The longer a child lives in Ohio, the more likely it is that he will stay.  The built-in advantage to the primary caretaker dissipates with time.  It is costly and agonizing to contest a relocation, but relocation out of state has more far-reaching (pun intended) impact upon the parent-child relationship than who has custody in the same town.

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.  Anne Catherine Harvey LLC

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Victory for Fathers’ Rights on Two Fronts!

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I have many clients who are fathers in bad situations. Some fathers find themselves in bad marriages, but fear filing for divorce because they believe that the courts will always favor the mother and they will simply lose their children. Other fathers, already divorced, feel shut out of the parenting process, but fear filing for custody because they believe it is simply a lost cause. Increasingly, however, the Courts are looking to facts and not simply to gender. The latest case to highlight this encouraging trend is Neer v Neer,  Montgomery County Appellate Case No. 25876.

In Neer, the mother appealed the trial court’s decision granting the father’s Motion to Terminate a Shared Parenting Plan and Motion to Modify Child Support. Father and mother had been in a shared parenting plan since their divorce. The father found the plan unworkable because of the mother’s unilateral actions. For example, mother decided to put their teenage son on Prozac without consulting father. She later took him off Prozac without consulting father and the child became sick with the side effects of withdrawal. She failed to tell father of any of their son’s medical appointments. The mother also changed their eight-year-old son’s day care without consulting father. This caused confusion to the child and disruption to the father. The mother refused to cooperate with the new daycare provider when father was forced to work late.

The Court granted the father’s request for custody, terminated his child support obligation and ordered the mother to pay child support to the father. The Court also imputed a higher income to the mother than the mother’s reported income from a part-time job, increasing mother’s monthly child support obligation to the father.

The Neer court stated:

“Significantly, the record established that the parties’ relationship had deteriorated since the divorce to such a degree that the minor children had begun to suffer as a result of Paulette and James’ inability to communicate effectively. Paulette routinely made unilateral decisions without James’ input or knowledge that negatively affected the children in various ways. The evidence further established James is able to provide a more stable living environment.”

A mother’s routine lack of coöperation? A father who can provide a more stable living environment? The court clearly looked at the parties’ actions without regard to their gender and determined that the mother caused the problems in the shared parenting agreement. The trial court found that the mother had excluded the father in the parenting and it had adverse effects on the minor children. The language used by the Court shows that it considered each person’s abilities as a parent, period. The Court went to the trouble of considering facts instead of automatically assuming the mother just had to be the better parent.

The second area the court ruled on that was helpful for fathers rights was the ruling on the mother’s Child Support Order. The Court based the amount of child support paid by the mother to the father upon income  she should have been earning, not the much lower amount she actually earned. Despite the fact that the father earned far more than the mother, the court increased the mother’s child support obligation beyond what she actually earned.

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What does this mean for fathers? It means that you have rights and the courts will not ignore you if you have facts to back-up your custody case. Fathers should collect evidence (emails, texts, Facebook posts, dates of events) that demonstrates that the mother’s actions are destructive to the father-child relationship. In short, the Court recognized that the father-child relationship has inherent value and it protected this valuable relationship at the expense of the mother whose actions undermined that very relationship.

The father in Neer had several factors to his advantage going in to the case. For starters, he already had shared parenting and was designated residential parent for school purposes. He also had the good luck to be the father of older boys. Finally, the mother did herself absolutely no favors by messing with a trouble child’s medical care and disrupting the daycare and school schedule for the younger child for her own financial gain.

Would the case have had a different outcome if the children in question had been two-year-old twin girls? Perhaps. The point of Neer is that the Courts are now looking to specific facts and not simply perpetuating the myth that gender controls a person’s parenting ability. It is always easier for a father to win a child dispute case when the mother is what I call a “Imperial Mother.” The fact that the mother in Neer was willing to appeal the case despite her own actions indicates that she herself was counting on the historical bias in favor of mothers. She’s done a favor to fathers everywhere by elevating the case to the appellate level.

I found the Neer case on my Ohio State Bar Association app where I read advance sheets on family law every morning before work. If you have questions about this case, or concerns about your legal rights as a parent, I’d be glad to speak with you.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.  Anne Catherine Harvey LLC.

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I Died Waiting

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At least once a day a client asks me how long it takes to get divorced.

As always, the legal answer is “it depends.”

In Ohio, the waiting period for a divorce is 42 days after perfection of service of process to the other side.  In reality, most divorces in southwest Ohio take at least three months, and usually much longer.

The fastest way to get divorced is to reach an agreement with your spouse.  If you cannot reach an agreement, and you must ask the Court to decide any issue, the answer to how long it will take is the same:  “it depends.”

If there are children it will take longer than if there are no children.  The Ohio Supreme Court issues guidelines as to when a trial court must report a case as “late.”  This is an extremely important measure to most trial judges.  Cases with children have eighteen months to resolve; cases without children have twelve months to resolve.

In a recent decision, Daniels v. Daniels 2014-Ohio-83 (5thDist. LickingCounty), a trial judge simply dismissed a divorce case because otherwise it would have been late under the Supreme Court rules.  The wife appealed.  The Court of Appeals said:

“The Rules of Superintendence were designed to secure the prompt and efficient disposition of cases.  To dismiss a case because the guideline for   disposition has been exceeded and advising the parties it can be refiled – thereby beginning anew the start of the clock – does not serve that purpose, but rather thwarts it.”

Is this a good decision?  I think so.  The parties in this case appeared to have done what I call “ying-yanging around.”  One day there was a settlement agreement, then it was off, and so on.  In any event, dismissing the case and requiring the parties to start over to avoid a tardy slip is not likely to resolve the underlying problem:  parties who cannot agree for long.

If parties are not in agreement, or cannot stay in agreement long enough to have it read into the court’s record, then trials should proceed.  Even then, at the completion of a contested trial, the parties must wait on a decision.  I have been waiting on one decision from a trial for more than eight months so far.  Some judges write decisions in a day; some judges take a year.

It just depends.

Copyright 2014.  All Rights Reserved.  Anne Catherine Harvey LLC

 

Guest Blog from Slater & Zurz LLP, Akron, Ohio

Too Many Ohio Children Injured in ATV Accidents

According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) nearly 100 children under the age of 16 are losing their lives each year in the United States from ATV related accidents. In most of these cases, no one has broken any laws.

Ohio is ranked 15th in the nation for ATV accidents. One third of those accidents involve children under 16.   There were 82 fatalities in Ohio from 2008 to 2011 (this time span has not been completely tallied).  Based on CPSC statistics, more than 40,000 Ohioans visit emergency rooms each year for ATV accident injuries.

Why so many ATV injuries and deaths?

Why is this happening?  Why are children who are not legally old enough to drive a car getting injured or killed using recreational vehicles?

There are many reasons, but one of the main ones is these multi-gear, high velocity vehicles are simply too much for most young children to handle.

ATVs can weigh hundreds of pounds and go as fast as 70 mph.  In some cases children are ejected from the vehicles as they attempt to control a vehicle designed for an adult.

Another reason there are so many accidents is that ATVs are often ridden on private land where there are few regulations in force.  There are no rules related to a child being a passenger on an ATV while on private property in Ohio.

Manufacturer Warning Labels

Each ATV sold is mandated to have a label indicating the manufacturer’s recommended age for its operator and a CPSC recommendation on suitable operator age.   Young children are advised not to take passengers or be a passenger on an ATV driven by someone else.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that these labels are largely ineffective.

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Ohio Laws When Riding an ATV on Public Land

If riding an ATV on public land in Ohio, the rider must be 16 years old and have a driver’s license, CDL, motorcycle endorsement, or a probationary license.  The ATV must be titled and registered. Registration must be renewed every three years.

The operator and his or her passenger must wear a helmet and eye protection while riding in state forest areas.  A person who is at least 12 may operate an ATV on Department of Natural Resources land if accompanied by a parent.   No one under 16 may operate an ATV unless that person is on land owned by a parent or unless they are accompanied by an adult 18 or older.

Forty-four states have ATV safety laws, but most do not designate a specific age for operators.  In general, those familiar with ATVs agree this is not a machine for children under six years of age.

This article was written and provided by the Ohio law of Slater & Zurz LLP.  Over the last 40+ years, Slater & Zurz LLP has handled over 30,000 personal injury cases throughout Ohio and helped clients receive more than $150,000,000 in verdicts and settlements. If you have been injured in any type of accident, please contact Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or visit slaterzurz.com

Copyright 2014.  All Rights Reserved.  Anne Catherine Harvey LLC 

Teenager’s Death Creates Homeschooling Controversy

Ohio Senator Capril Cafaro

Ohio Senator Capri Cafaro Sponsors S.B. 248, known as “Teddy’s Law”

Meet Teddy Foltz-Tedesco

Biological father never established parenting time rights for his son, Teddy, but paid child support regularly. He saw his son when the mother let him but the last time she let him was when Teddy was ten.  This year, when Teddy was fourteen, the mother’s boyfriend raped and beat Teddy to death.   The mother refused to let father see their son in the hospital prior to his death.

Teddy had a tumultuous family history with teachers suspecting child abuse.  Mother removed him from school and began homeschooling him months prior to his death.  Mother’s boyfriend abused Teddy and his younger brothers in view of their neighbors.  Mother received a prison sentence of fifteen years in her role in Teddy’s death, while her boyfriend received a life-sentence.

Teddy liked to play football and he and his father met at the same place in a park when they saw each other.  The two younger boys are now in protective custody.

Gist of Teddy’s Law

Biological father now supports “Teddy’s law,” saying “[w}e want to see it illegal to pull your child out of public school and put them in home school when there is an open children services case.”  Ohio Senator Capri Cafaro has taken up the cause, seeking to require homeschooling parents to first submit to interviews with local child protection workers and background checks.

Pursuant to the proposed new law, homeschooling parents and their children would be interviewed separately to ensure the legitimacy of the homeschooling request.  The child protection workers would recommend homeschooling depending upon whether it is in the child’s best interest, but would recommend against it if there had been any child welfare reports, regardless of the final outcome of those reports.  Homeschooling advocates have characterized the proposed new law as a clear and present danger against the homeschooling rights of parents.

Isolation at the Heart of the Issue

Isolation is a frequent criticism of homeschooling.  The public perceives that homeschooling results in children who are not socialized to be with other children and that they simply miss out on too much by not going to school.

Teddy’s Law assumes that the isolation of homeschool students caused his death. Teachers are required to report suspected child abuse, and teachers naturally spend many hours a week with their students.  Therefore, the reasoning goes, if Teddy had been in school, he wouldn’t have died at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend.

Isolation beyond just homeschooling

Teddy’s mother did not let him or his younger brother socialize with other family members.  Neighbors noticed problems and there were on-going reports of family abuse.  The family already led secluded lives before the mother withdrew Teddy from school.  Teddy had no contact with his biological father.  Homeschooling cut off Teddy’s last connection beyond his mother and his abuser.

                                               Easier Solutions for Ohio Homeschooling

It is hard to imagine a worse home life than Teddy’s. The decision to homeschool Teddy followed the utter failure of the community, including the school, to save him from his plight.  Short of empowering caseworkers to make private educational decisions for all potential homeschooling parents, we should consider:

     1.  Funding legal services for parents who cannot pay to set up parenting time orders. We already provide funding to set up child support.  Is parenting time any less vital than child support?

     2.  Requiring the consent of both parents to homeschool or change schools or withdraw a child from school.  The mother is often called the child’s last defense against an abuser.  Is a father any less inclined to protect his child?

     3.  Adding an extra-curricular activity or community service project to the required home schooling curriculum.  Ohio homeschool law already permits homeschool students to take part in sports and such in the local school district on the same terms as traditional students.

Homeschooling is a right.  Homeschooling does not encourage monsters to abuse children.

Copyright (c) 2013. Anne Catherine Harvey.  All rights reserved.image

An Incredible Child Custody Resource!

charlieLearning how the law works can be a great help to your child custody case

The Internet is an amazing resource for learning, well, just about anything. This is great for anyone facing a child custody case, because while a good attorney can fight for you in the courtroom, it’s up to you to get things together outside of it.About.com has actually assembled an incredible collection of information on child custody laws for all 50 states, including our own Ohio, featured below:

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.

Incredible, right? The type of information that would have required you to pore through volumes of legal mumbo-jumbo distilled down to a clear, easy-to-understand list. If you’re divorced, or divorcing, and have kids, you owe it to yourself and them to learn as much as possible about how child custody works.

Ohio Home School Law: A One Parent Decision

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