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Child Custody FAQ

Child custody cases are notoriously difficult. It can be an emotional time for everyone involved, and it’s intimidating to plan for a new type of future. Having an attorney you can trust is of the utmost importance. Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson handles each case with the compassion it deserves.

We understand that no two cases are the same, and we are here to work toward the common goal: a happy child. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. To discuss your case with one of our attorneys, call our Columbus office today at 614-556-4231 or fill out our contact form.

Q: What are the different types of child custody?

A: In Ohio there are two types of custody, Shared Parenting and Sole Custody. Under Shared Parenting, both parents are legal custodians of the children and they are obligated to work together and make joint decisions regarding the care and welfare of their children. Under Sole Custody, only one parent is the legal custodian of the children and the other parent has no custodial authority, meaning they can’t authorize medical care or sign permissions slips and such, and the custodial parent does not have to keep them informed or involve them in the decision-making process.

Q: What does the court consider when determining custody?

A: The court’s number one priority is the best interests of the child, which is now generally presumed to be served by the parents having equal authority and parenting time. In making the final determination, the court will consider the wishes of both parents and the wishes of the child, judging the child’s wishes on the child’s age, maturity and reasoning ability. They look at the physical and mental health of each parent,  each parents ability to care for the child, whether or not the child would have to move, and whether either parent has a past history of child-related offenses.

Q: What is mediation?

A: Mediation can be a great alternative to appearing in court. It is a process where a neutral person meets with both parents and facilitates discussion and thought between the parents to help them come up with an agreement that addresses their needs, desire and concerns. The mediator does not make any decisions for the parents and is not there to tell them what the agreement should be. If the parents are able to come to an agreement, the mediator prepares a written agreement for the parents to take to their attorneys so that the appropriate legal documents can be prepared to file with the court. Mediation is often a good first step towards a full resolution that can shorten the court process and save the parents a lot of time and money.