The Wall Street Journal and other publications have noticed over the past few years that there is a movement afoot in family law. About 20 states have pending legislative proposals to overhaul their child custody laws.
The movement has been partly pushed by men who believe fathers have often not been treated fairly in child custody decisions. The proposed changes have a few things in common, most important of which is that they make shared or joint custody the new normal.
Some of our Butler County readers might recall an editorial about a year ago in a prominent Cleveland newspaper, expressing disappointment that our state isn't among those considering shared parenting plans.
While the Wall Street Journal piece didn't mention us, it did note that there are concerns with the parenting proposals. One concern is that shared parenting gives men with histories of violence undue leverage in post-marriage relationships with former spouses and children.
Right now, Ohio courts try to create parenting plans that are in the best interests of the child. The Ohio State Bar Association says many courts here "begin by presuming that most cases will result in shared parenting." Some of the factors considered in determining what is in a child's best interests include the wishes of the kids and parents; comfort levels the children have at their parents' homes; and whether a parent has ever kept their children from the other parent, among other matters.
The best way to learn of all that goes into a favorable custody plan is to sit down and discuss matters with an experienced Hamilton family law attorney; someone with a track record of helping parents protect their children and their interests.