Greater Cleveland Child Custody and Support Attorney Serving Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina and Lake Counties

What types of child custody and support are there in Ohio?

The Law Office of Michael C. Asseff Attorney at Law has successfully represented hundreds of clients in the Domestic Relations and Juvenile Courts of Cuyahoga and Lorain Counties, and has won custody and support battles for those clients in many different situations.  I am always  accessible and go out of my way to explain the law and how the process works so that the client and I are always on the same page with respect to the client’s goals and objectives.

In Ohio, parental status regarding the children of divorcing or  separating parents takes one of three forms:

  • Sole Residential Parent and Legal Custodian: often known as “sole custody,” one parent receives all parental rights over the child and is legally entitled to make each and every decision regarding care and support; the “non-residential parent” enjoys visitation only and has no say about how the child is raised.  In almost every instance, the non-residential parent must pay child support (known as the “child support obligor”) to the residential parent (known as the “child support obligee”).
  • Shared parenting: often called “joint custody,” both parents are designated residential parents during their respective parenting/possession time with the children.  Shared parenting usually requires the parents to reach joint decisions regarding most aspects of the child’s upbringing.  The rights and responsibilities of both the child and parents are set forth in a “Shared Parenting Plan,”  which is required in every case where there is shared parenting.  The Shared Parenting Plan is usually written by the parents themselves, but in some instances a judge or guardian ad litem will determine the shared rights and responsibilities for the parents.  Each parent is vested with full autonomy during the time that the child is with them, limited only by the terms of the Shared Parenting Plan and/or the parenting decree issued by the court.  In cases of divorce, shared parenting is granted by the domestic relations court; for unwed parents, a juvenile court can grant shared parental rights.   The same child support computation table, as set forth in Chapter 3119 of the Ohio Revised Code, applies to both sole and shared custody.
  • Split parenting: an uncommon arrangement in cases with multiple children, each parent is designated sole residential parent and legal custodian of a select group of children, and the other parent assumes full custody of the remaining children.  Split parenting most often applies when the parents live in different geographical areas and the age ranges of the children vary greatly.  For example, Parents A and B have four children, ages 5, 6, 13 and 14.  Parents A and B separate, and Parent B moves to another state.  If appropriate, Parent A is granted custody of the younger two children,and Parent B takes custody of the elder two children. Support is calculated under a different child support computation table, also set by statute.

What is the process to determine child custody?

A domestic relations or juvenile court is required to consider several factors, found in Chapter 3109 of the Ohio Revised Code.  While the court must consider each and every statutory factor, it nevertheless exercises broad discretion in applying those factors when determining which custody arrangement promotes the best interests of the children.   Some of the best interest factors include:

  • The child’s mental, emotional and psychological development;
  • The child’s interaction with parents and siblings
  • The child’s adjustment to school, community and home
  • The mental and physical health of both parents
  • The parent’s failure or refusal to make child support payments;
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community
  • The denial or permission of parenting time
  • A history of abuse or neglect, including spousal abuse
  • The future plans of one parent, including plans to move out of state permanently
  • The parents’ wishes regarding the child, and in some instances, the child’s wishes and concerns will be considered

No one factor takes precedence over others, and a court must individually address each factor.  Both parents will have equal standing before a court, and a judge or magistrate is forbidden to consider a parent’s financial status when granting custody rights.

Ohio law automatically grants complete custodial rights to unwed mothers.  The unwed father has neither custody nor visitation rights unless and until a juvenile court grants him these rights.

Contact a family law attorney today for guidance on the child custody process.

What is the process to get child support payments?

Ohio law requires that both parents provide financial support for the children, and the parent with the greater responsibility will be the one who pays child support.  The amount of support is determined under a complex system of computation based upon a Child Support Computation Worksheet contained in Chapter 3119 of the Revised Code.  with the larger responsibility  imposes the support responsibility for the children upon both parents.  requires both Parents are responsible to provide for the needs of their children. Support orders can be established two ways in Ohio:

  • Administratively — An administrative order is most often formed by the cooperation of both parents. A court hearing is not required for an administratively established child support payment.
  • Judicially — This method requires a court appearance by both parents. At the appearance, a judge reviews financial disclosures to decide the amount and type of child support payments.

Additionally, grandparents can obtain child support in certain cases. You may seek child support if you are the parent of an unmarried child under the age of 18 who has their own child and you live with and support both your minor child and your grandchild. Child support orders may be modifiedpost-decree as circumstances change.

Contact us today to handle child custody and support issues

Your parental rights are one of the most important aspects of your relationship with your child. Without your parental rights, it can be difficult or impossible to develop and maintain a relationship with your child. Support payments can be essential to providing for your child. Regardless of your concerns, Michael C. Asseff Attorney at Law can support and guide you through the process. Call 440-520-1222 or contact the firm online to schedule an appointment at their conveniently located office.

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