(937) 436-0556

Ohio Child Custody Law

Child Custody in Ohio

Over the years, child custody has changed from automatically awarding custody to the mother, to shared parenting and other types of custody arrangements. The courts is required to order what it considers to be in the best interest of your child. This decision is based upon a number of important factors regarding the child, the family and the individual facts of the case. Anne Harvey is an experienced and caring child custody lawyer in southwest Ohio who can provide valuable legal guidance in all child custody matters.

Sole Custody

Sole custody is when one parent has either legal or physical custody or both. Sole custody is generally awarded when one parent is has played a minor role in the child’s life because of factors dangerous to the child including:

  • Alcohol or Drug Dependency
  • Unfit New Partner
  • Child Abuse and/or Neglect
  • Lack of Interest
  • Psychological Problems
  • Violence

In most cases, since the welfare of the child is paramount, the courts prefer that both parents remain deeply involved in the child’s life. Even when sole custody is awarded to one parent, extensive parenting time rights with the child are almost always ordered to the other parent.

Shared Parenting (formerly “Joint Custody”) is a court ordered arrangement where parents living apart share equal decision-making rights and craft a plan for the physical custody of their child. Shared custody can work with parents who are divorced, separated, no longer cohabiting, or parents who never cohabited. Shared Parenting arrangements are custom-made and vary depending on the individuals and circumstances, but are often the best solution because it gives the parents the same legal authority as to their children and continued contact with both parents.

Custody to a Non-Parent

Sometimes custody of a child is granted to someone other than the parents. Usually it is temporary custody and granted to a relative, such as a grandparent. Ohio law generally allows temporary custody for one year, but if requested, two additional six-month extensions may be granted. The maximum time allowed for temporary custody is two years, after which a more permanent solution must be found.

Ohio Parenting Time (Formerly “Visitation”)

Child parenting time is generally ordered when primary custody is awarded to one parent. Parenting time varies depending on the parties and circumstances, but the court prefers children to have contact with both parents and works toward that objective.

Custody issues are difficult and can be the source of animosity between parents.  Anne Harvey provides valuable legal advice as well as insight from years of family law, trial, negotiation and mediation experience. Contact Anne today to discuss your child custody issues.

Understanding Child Custody Laws

In Ohio, child custody law allows either or both parents to be awarded custody. Ohio law stipulates that preference may not be given due to financial status or gender. Ohio’s determining factor in awarding child custody is what is in the best interest of the child. Therefore, custody may be given to one or both parents.

Anne Catherine Harvey, LLC has provided child custody legal services to clients in Montgomery County and surrounding areas since 1991. She is an effective and fearless advocate both in and out of court, and knows child custody laws and how to protect your rights in custody matters. Anne handles all aspects of child custody issues including:

  • Child Custody
  • Child Support
  • Modifications
  • Parenting Time

Because gender is not a factor in Montgomery County custody law, the judge reviews other issues when determining child custody. The factors considered include:

  • The Child’s Wishes
  • The Parents’ Wishes
  • Child’s Relationships with Parents, Siblings and Other Persons
  • Mental and Physical Health of All Parties
  • Parental History of Abuse or Neglect
  • Established Parental Residence Location, Especially Outside the State

If one or both parents want to share custody, additional factors are considered by the judge, including:

  • The parents’ cooperative ability to decide jointly in matters regarding the child
  • Each parent’s encouragement of the child to show love and affection and have contact with other parent
  • Parental history of child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and parental kidnapping
  • The distance between parental residences and practicality of shared physical custody
  • Any recommendations of an existing guardian ad litem

Regardless of the type of court ordered custody, either or both parents may be responsible for providing child support. The amount of child support is determined through the Ohio Child Support Guidelines worksheet, which factors each parent’s income in proportion to the child’s needs. For example, both parents are made responsible for covering health care and day-care needs of the child.

Ohio Custody Law Attorney

Ohio custody law is complex and difficult to understand without an experienced attorney to advise and guide you. Anne Harvey has the experience, compassion, and answers you need. Contact Anne to discuss your Ohio child custody issues today.



Types of Child Custody Over the years, child custody has changed from automatically granting custody to the mother. Nowadays, Shared Parenting and custody to the father are becoming common. The courts want what is in the best interest of your child, and decide on that basis. Read more


The purpose of child support is to ensure that the children of divorced or never married parents maintain a standard of living similar to life before the divorce. One parent typically pays the other parent a set monthly amount determined by the family court that is not reduced during the summer. Read more


Dayton parenting time lawyer Anne Catherine Harvey provides clients who are dealing with parenting time issues a clear understanding of their legal rights. According to Ohio state law, following a divorce or legal separation trial, the court must grant custody to one or both parents. Read more


Under Ohio law, some circumstances afford grandparents visitation rights with their grandchildren. Anne Catherine Harvey is a Dayton grandparent’s rights attorney and has helped grandparents succeed in visitation matters. Read more


Jurisdiction & Venue If you have resided in Ohio for six months and your county for 90 days, congratulations! You have satisfied the most basic requirements for the filing of a divorce, dissolution, annulment or legal separation action in Ohio. Although this is usually a straight-forward inquiry, in some circumstances Read more

Get Professional Advice from Anne

By filling out this form you are giving consent to receive communications (texts) from the Law Firm of Anne Harvey.