In most divorce cases, Ohio courts prefer to give child custody rights to both parents. Typically, children benefit from a joint custody arrangement.
However, if you feel your spouse is an unfit parent, you must understand your rights and options under the law.
When is a parent unfit?
Courts consider many elements when determining whether a parent is fit to have child custody. A judge assesses various factors, such as:
- Evidence of child abuse or domestic violence
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Periods of neglect
- Inability to make safe care decisions
- Relationship with the children
- Level of involvement in child care duties
How do you prove a parent should not have custody?
Presenting your case in court to get sole custody of your children is challenging. A judge aims to preserve and protect children’s relationships with both parents, as this is typically best for their emotional well-being. Gathering proof with documents, like police reports, photographs and criminal records, helps you prepare your claim. In addition, you can ask teachers, therapists and other professionals to testify on your behalf. A judge may order a child custody evaluation by an independent investigator to help obtain evidence.
Will my spouse get visitation?
If the court agrees that your partner is an unfit parent, the judge will likely order a visitation schedule. Restricted visitation typically requires supervision. The parent must follow strict rules and may have to take parenting classes. In severe cases, a court can terminate parental rights.
Knowing the child custody laws in Ohio is essential for protecting your children from harm and providing a safe living environment.