Dublin, Ohio, Custody Lawyer
As a parent, one of your main concerns during divorce is what will happen to your children. What kind of shared parenting agreement might you have going forward? At Greco Law, we help parents in Columbus and central Ohio fight for a strong and stable future for their children through a thoughtful and carefully drafted custody plan as well as financially sound child support. Our child custody lawyers have extensive experience in various types of child custody and support matters, including high-conflict custody battles, and they can help you pursue an outcome that will work for your family for years to come.
We understand that you want to protect the best interests of your children after your marriage is over. Through a reasonable custody and child support order, you can provide continuity of lifestyle for your children and the financial support they need. Our attorneys will help you understand how to pursue terms that are optimal for the well-being of your kids in the midst of an emotional time. They can also help you determine if spousal support would be appropriate in your situation.
Factors To Consider For Your Custody Order
There are many different types of custody plans, and the one that will work best for your family depends on your individual goals and the needs of your children. Often, parents find it beneficial to work together on an out-of-court agreement, crafting a plan that uniquely suits the specific needs of their kids. Whether it is in the courtroom or around the negotiating table, we can help you address the following factors:
- Division of parenting time
- Holiday visitation and summer vacations
- Access to extended family members such as grandparents
- Decision-making authority for the kids
- Education and special health concerns
Our experienced custody lawyers can also address complex custody issues, such as changing a custody or support order, fathers’ rights and paternity, and much more.
We Handle High-Conflict Child Custody Cases
With over 50 combined years of legal experience, our attorneys understand the contentious nature of custody cases. Emotions can run high, leading to extreme conflict. These situations preclude any chance of agreement and may even include attempts to manipulate the proceedings, such as through false allegations of abuse or neglect. If you are facing a high-conflict custody case, we are sensitive to your needs and have the skills to guide you through this difficult time. When clients hire us, the other party and their counsel immediately know that our team is serious about getting the results that prioritize the best interests of the children at hand and will not put up with intimidation of any kind. We stand strong against even the most unscrupulous and even abusive parties.
What Is A High-Conflict Divorce, And How Does It Affect Child Custody?
Most divorces involve at least a few points of disagreement between spouses: How to divide bank accounts, who keeps which home, etc. However, a high-conflict divorce involves severe disputes that become severely acrimonious. Child custody is one of the most hotly disputed topics of any divorce. Some of the tenets of a custody dispute in a high-conflict divorce can include:
- Using the children as pawns for personal vendettas against an ex
- Pursuing litigation to drain the resources of the child’s other parent
- Dragging a custody dispute on endlessly through the court system
- Seeking sole custody to prevent a child from seeing their other parent
- Fighting an equitable parenting schedule to spite their ex
- Relocating out of state with a child without permission from the court or the other parent
- Falsely accusing an ex of child abuse
Because our lawyers regularly handle high-conflict divorce, they have seen these tactics time and time again. Their experience has given them insight, power and the tools to triumph over such adversarial and mean-spirited strategies. Above all, they have one interest in mind: Protecting the best interests of you and your children.
Child Custody: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
At Greco Law, we understand that child custody is one of the most stressful and, often, contentious aspects of divorce. You want to ensure that ending your marriage will not harm the time and relationship that you have with your children. Read answers to frequently asked questions about child custody below to learn more.
How is child custody determined in Ohio?
In all cases, child custody arrangements are determined based on the child’s best interests. Many factors are evaluated to determine what those may be, including any history of domestic violence, the child’s relationships with family members and each parent’s financial stability.
Can you have a child custody agreement without going to court?
If parents can agree to a child custody plan, they can jointly file their desired plan with an Ohio family law court. If the judge does not accept the plan, they will ask the parents to revise and resubmit the proposed plan for review. A judge will only create the child custody plan if the parents cannot agree to an arrangement, and then only after evidence is presented at a trial.
Can you have sole custody of the kids after divorce?
Yes. If you are awarded sole custody of your children, you are considered to be the sole residential parent and legal custodian of that child. However, the other parent will usually be awarded visitation rights. Visitation rights are only withheld under extreme circumstances, such as in instances involving sexual abuse, domestic violence or drug abuse.
However, you are not automatically awarded sole custody. If both parents want custody of the children, and both are fit to parent, you may be awarded shared custody. Under this plan, parents share the legal responsibility of the child. This does not mean that time will be equally shared between parents.
Can you modify a custody agreement?
Yes, it is possible to modify a custody agreement; however, you need court approval to do so. If your circumstances change and you can no longer adhere to your initial custody arrangement, you will need to show the judge why you must modify your plan. You cannot change your custody plan without court approval, even if the other parent verbally agrees to the change.
Can children choose which parent to live with?
If the children are determined to be of sound mind and sufficient age and maturity, their custody preferences may be taken into account. They are allowed to speak directly with a judge behind closed doors to express their opinions, or a guardian ad litem can be assigned to the case, and they will take the child’s wishes into consideration when making a recommendation to the court. There is no magic age in Ohio that allows a child to choose which parent they want to live with. The child’s opinion is only one factor in a list of factors that a court must consider.
Contact Our Office For A Case Evaluation
We are happy to answer your custody questions and help you understand how Ohio law addresses child support. Contact our Dublin office online or at 614-963-9154 to schedule an initial evaluation of your case with our experienced attorneys.