Types of Child Custody
Over the years, child custody has changed from automatically granting custody to the mother. Nowadays, Shared Parenting (formerly Joint Custody) 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. Anne Catherine Harvey is an experienced and caring child custody lawyer in Dayton who can provide valuable legal guidance in all child custody matters. Anne Catherine Harvey, LLC has represented custody clients in the Dayton and surrounding areas since 1991.
Sole custody is when one parent has either legal or physical custody or both. Sole custody is generally awarded when one parent 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
In most cases, since the welfare of the child is paramount, the courts prefer that both parents are in the child’s life. Even when sole custody is awarded to one parent, the other parent almost always receives a court order providing for extensive parenting time rights with the child.
Joint Child Custody, Formerly Called “Shared Parenting”
Shared Parenting (formerly “Joint Custody”) is when divorced or unmarried parents share equal decision-making responsibilities for their child. Dayton 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 children frequent and continued contact with both parents.
Sometimes legal 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. Dayton temporary custody is generally allowed 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. In the context of a divorce, temporary custody is usually part of the initial temporary orders established by the court when the divorce is first filed. There are no temporary orders in dissolution actions.
Child Parenting Time (Formerly Called “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. Parenting time may be modified anytime that a modification is in the best interests of the child. As a child matures, his or her wishes and concerns are given more and more weight.
How to Prepare for a Custody Battle
Even under the best circumstances, child custody can be heartbreaking and traumatic. If considering a custody battle, Anne Catherine Harvey is the advocate you need at your side in court. As an Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA), Board Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law, Ms. Harvey has achieved a high level of expertise providing child custody litigation services to clients in Dayton and surrounding areas.
It is never ideal to go to court and fight for child custody. However, if you must, then prepare for what lies ahead. Before fighting in court, make every effort to resolve custody conflicts with your ex-spouse including:
- Participation in parenting classes
- Participation in dispute resolution classes
- Mediation with an experienced family law mediator
- Talk with your spouse if you can do so productively
Speaking against your ex spouse to your children always worsens the situation and resolves nothing. Do not do it. If your ex spouse refuses to participate in classes, consider doing them by yourself because it shows the court you are making an effort.
Documents for Your Dayton Custody Battle
If a court battle is necessary, gather evidence that shows your children’s best interests are not served by living with your ex spouse. Things to document may include:
- Anything that affects your children adversely like threats, inappropriate or violent behavior, and neglect or abuse. You want to show the court your ex-spouse’s behavior may be harmful to your child.
- All the time spent with your child, particularly noting broken parenting time appointments or refused access to your children.
- Receipts of expenditures you made in addition to support payments, especially purchases made because of your ex-spouse’s neglect.
- Alarming comments your child makes that demonstrates questionable behavior of your ex spouse, such as long periods without supervision, not enough food, unknown overnight guests, and new adults who make them feel uncomfortable or threatened.
- Be an active participant in your child’s life. Attending school and sports events, and becoming acquainted with your child’s teachers show you to be a proactive, interested parent. If the judge is going to consider changing your custody status, he or she wants to know you can provide a stable and active involvement in your child’s life.
Contact an Attorney for Your Child Custody Battle in Dayton
Most importantly, retain an experienced child custody attorney. Anne Catherine Harvey has extensive experience and fights for your rights in any child custody battle in Dayton. Contact Anne today to arrange a consultation. Decisions about moving out of the marital home can be critical.