As a child gets older, and especially in their teenage years, the judge may give serious weight to the child’s own wishes.
Columbus, OH – A legal standard that is used almost everywhere in the United States to determine child custody is called the best interests of the child. While the judge assigned to the case has some discretion, state law provides certain guidelines that must be considered to make an accurate determination of the child’s best interests. Parents who are preparing for a custody hearing can review these factors and attempt to prepare adequately for an upcoming hearing with their lawyer.
One of the most important things that a child custody judge will examine in Ohio is what the relationship between the child and each parent looks like. The parent who has the most evidence of spending time together, providing financial support, transporting the child where they need to go, helping with schoolwork, and providing healthcare will be in a good position to argue for primary custody. Even if the parent has a legitimate excuse for not spending as much time with the child due to their work or career, it can be difficult to convince a judge that someone who has been absent will make the best parent.
The parent’s fitness to raise a child
There may be situations where a parent has physical or mental issues that make it difficult to devote the necessary time and effort to child rearing. This is true even if there are legitimate health problems that are not the parent’s fault. Another related factor is the parent’s past and what they have actually done to facilitate their child’s upbringing. If there are issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, or criminal convictions, this may cause the judge to think that the parent will have problems in the future as well that can seriously affect or endanger the child.
What the child wants
As a child gets older, and especially in their teenage years, the judge may give serious weight to the child’s own wishes. If a child who is old enough to be mostly self-sufficient has a preference for a specific parent or for joint custody, it is likely that the judge will honor the child’s preference in many cases.
Travel and logistics
In a custody arrangement, the child will need to be transported between the parent’s homes, school, and other important places. If one parent lives much further away, or they will have issues getting the child to where they need to go, this is an important matter related to custody. Parents who travel often for work may also have difficulty getting primary custody.
More information from a licensed professional
USAttorneys.com is a convenient way for people to find lawyers in Columbus who deal with child support and any related matters. Users of the site can choose their state and a practice area to locate an attorney nearby.