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Custody matters can be challenging and emotional, with prolonged disputes often taking a sizable toll on the children and parents involved.  Ensuring the timely and efficient resolution of these sensitive matters is critical for all involved. 


At Tekulve Law, we have the requisite knowledge and experience to help any custody situation and to provide the peace of mind you need to go about your daily life knowing that your child's best interests will be protected. 


Ohio courts look to the best interest of the child when making decisions regarding custody and parenting time for a child.  In determining a child's best interests, the judge will look to many factors, including:

  • What the child wants if they are mature enough to voice their opinion;

  • What the parents want for the child;

  • What adjustments the child would need to make regarding home, school, and community life;

  • The physical and mental health of the child and parents;

  • The child's relationship with parents and siblings;

  • The ability of both parents to work together to foster and encourage an ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent;

  • Cooperation of the parents;

  • The presence and potential for domestic violence. 

Depending on its evaluation of the above factors, and any other factor that may be relevant, the court will decide how parenting time and custody is to be divided between the parents.  This will include deciding who will the child live with, what the parenting time schedule will look like, and who has the right to make important decisions for the child.  While courts generally prefer to grant joint custody and shared parenting, situations may arise where the court only grants custody to one parent and limits the parenting time of the other. 


Is your child subject to an existing custody order that you do not agree with?  Do you want more time with your child?  In Ohio, a parent can file to modify a current custody order when there is a change the circumstances.  Here, a change must occur with the child, the child's residential parent, or either of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree, and modification must be necessary to serve the best interest of the child. 

In Ohio, the court will retain the residential parent from the prior decree, unless a modification is in the best interest of the child and one of the following applies:

  1. The residential parent agrees to the change, or both parents under a shared parenting decree agree to a change in the designation of residential parent;

  2. The child, with the consent of the residential parent, has been integrated into the family of the person seeking to become the residential parent; or

  3. The potential harm from a change of environment is outweighed by the advantages of the change in environment to the child. 


Shared parenting makes both parents the "residential parent and legal custodian," and each parent is equally entitled to make all decisions concerning the child.  A shared parenting agreement (or shared parenting plan) outlines all areas of co-parenting, including the parents' time schedule, sharing of medical, school, extracurricular and even college expenses, child support, school district selection, health insurance for the child, and any other area of concern for any decision made in the child's life. 

Sole custody gives one parent exclusive legal decision making authority concerning the care of the child. In sole custody situations, the non-custodial parent is usually granted parenting time throughout the week as agreed between the parties or as ordered by the court.   Most counties have recommended schedules for parenting time which acts as a default should the parties be unable to agree on a parenting time schedule.  

Contact Tekulve Law at 513-752-0001 to speak with an experienced attorney about your custody situation today. 

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