Figuring out a child custody arrangement in Ohio can be stressful for both the child and the parents. If both parents are willing to compromise, they might be able to come up with an agreement that works for everyone. However, if both parents have opposing views, a judge may have to make the final decision. Here’s what you can expect if you’re gearing up for a child custody case.
What happens in a child custody case?
If you and the other parent are on speaking terms, you might not have to go to court. Instead, a family law attorney may be able to help you negotiate a child custody agreement. This gives both parties more flexibility because you won’t have to go with the judge’s ruling.
However, if you and the other parent can’t come to an agreement, a judge will make the final decision. Both parties are allowed to argue their case, but ultimately, they have to abide by the judge’s ruling. Most judges will try to act in what they believe to be the child’s best interests.
What if the parents aren’t married? The judge will probably grant the mother full custody, but the father can argue for joint custody and visitation rights. The father might be awarded full custody if he can prove that he’s the child’s biological father and the mother is an unfit parent. If possible, the parents can also resolve the matter outside of court.
If you’re not the child’s parent, seeking custody can be much more challenging. Most judges are reluctant to award custody to anyone but the child’s parents, even another relative. However, friends and relatives can still petition for custody if they believe that the child isn’t being raised in a safe environment.
Does your custody case have to go to court?
With the help of an attorney, you might be able to negotiate with your child’s other parent outside of court. An attorney may act as a mediator who helps you keep the discussions civil. If this is not possible, your attorney might help you take the issue to court and argue your case in front of a judge.