Familiarize Yourself with Ohio Child Custody Laws

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.

Child custody laws in Ohio are designed to protect the child and the parents. The laws are implemented for fairness of all family members. Grandparents and significant people in the child's life are included in the child custody laws 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 us at Bartos & Bartos, LPA or refer to the Ohio Domestic Relations statutes.