When a couple makes the decision to file for divorce, often the biggest concern for everyone is what life will look like for their children. These issues often create a lot of conflicts, and it is essential that the children are protected and that decisions are made based on their best interests.
Woodford Sathappan McGee is a family law firm that exclusively represents women in Hamilton County and the surrounding Ohio area. We understand the common issues women often face throughout a divorce and how intimidating it can feel to navigate life as a single mother. We are here to support you, and our goal is to empower you to move forward into the next chapter of your life with confidence and security.
Once a child custody court order is issued, it places legal obligations on you and your ex-spouse. Therefore, it is essential that the order meets your needs and those of your children.
Arrange a free consultation with a legal professional and start the first steps towards the rest of your life. An experienced child custody lawyer at Woodford Sathappan McGee is waiting to hear from you. Contact us today at 380-212-3731.
As a mother and wife, you have Constitutional rights. At Woodford Sathappan McGee part of our ethos is empowering women with the legal knowledge they need to make informed decisions. We will act as your guide from start to finish and will ensure that you know exactly what options are available to you.
Ohio is unique from most other states. Family courts no longer use traditional terms such as ‘sole custody’ and ‘joint custody’. These terms have been replaced with ‘parental rights and responsibilities.’
Parental rights, or legal custody, refers to the right to make decisions on behalf of a child, such as those relating to education, religion, and medical care. Parents usually share legal custody, unless there is evidence that this would not be in the child’s best interests.
Parental responsibility, or physical custody, refers to the time spent with the child. Physical custody is also usually split unless there is a reason why one parent should not have rights to their child.
Physical custody requires a parenting plan. Although a 50/50 split might seem like the fairest arrangement, it is often difficult to make work in real life. Generally, the child will have a primary residence with the custodial parent, and the other parent will be awarded visitation rights. A parenting plan creates stability and minimizes disruption for the child and should help parents refrain from future conflict.
A common visitation schedule is every other weekend and one weekday evening. There is a minimum amount of parenting time that must be awarded by the court, and this threshold must be met unless there is a reason not to.
If you believe that your ex-spouse should not have rights and responsibilities toward their children, then you should seek help from a Hamilton County child custody lawyer as soon as possible. Reasons to pursue sole custody could be a history of abuse or substance misuse, and we will help you evidence your claims and protect you and your children.
Under Ohio law, child custody is officially determined when your Decree of Divorce or your Decree of Shared Parenting is signed by the judge and time stamped by the Clerk of Courts.
The judge is required to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of children. Although both parents may also want this, if they have competition wishes then ultimately the judge will make the final decision.
The judge will usually try and keep consistency and stability in the child’s life, they may consider factors such as:
The child will usually have a primary residence with one parent, and the other parent will be required to pay child support unless the custodial parent is the higher earner. Paying support ensures that both parents contribute financially to their children’s upbringing, as required by law. It should be used to meet the child’s needs, such as shelter, food, activities, toys, clothes, and more.
If one parent continually fails to comply with court orders, such as failing to pay child support or adhere to a visitation schedule, then you should contact a Hamilton County family law attorney as soon as possible.
Your attorney will help you file contempt proceedings with the court. The court can force them to comply by garnishing their wages, seizing assets, and even issuing a jail sentence.,
It is important to know that you cannot refuse visitation because of missed child support payments, or you will also be ignoring a court order. Child support payments never disappear, which means that any missed payments will build up and even gain interest. With the right legal support, you should be able to claim what is owed to you.
It is natural for circumstances in your life to change, and sometimes the orders set out in a child custody order are no longer viable for you or your children. When this happens, you must seek an order modification with the court. Your Hamilton County child custody attorney can help you file for an order by evidencing a ‘substantial change in circumstances’.
A substantial change in circumstances could be illness, changing needs of your child, relocation, a new job, or repeated missed visitation.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we take a holistic approach to family law matters. We will mediate where possible, but we are also prepared to litigate for our clients where necessary.
We have handled hundreds of high-conflict custody cases involving physiological evaluations, abuse, and cross-country parenting. We have the necessary skills, resources, and experience to handle even the most complex cases.
We believe that the key to our success is taking the time to understand the important aspects of your case. We empower women to understand what laws are relevant to their case so that instead of feeling overwhelmed by details, they can have clarification on what they need to do. From communicating effectively with the other parent to understanding what records they should keep benefiting their case. We will guide you from start to finish.
Like most family law matters, child custody is determined by state law. Therefore, you should seek a local law firm that has a focus on family law. Some law firms cover numerous states or practice areas such as personal injury or criminal law, but at Woodford Sathappan McGee, our law firm has a narrow focus. We focus solely on helping women in family law matters in Ohio, which means we deal with cases similar to yours every day. We have probably dealt with the court personnel overseeing your case before and will tailor our advice accordingly.
In 2001, Natalie McGee, Katie Woodford, and Hari Sathappan came together with a shared passion. As experienced, skilled family law attorneys, they saw a need to improve the lives of women and empower them in their lives post-divorce. Their dedication brought them together to create a highly successful family law firm.
Our attorneys have litigated hundreds of high-conflict divorce and child custody cases. We will find out what is important to you and move your case forward while protecting you and your children.
Woodford Sathappan McGee is proud to be the only family law practice in the Hamilton County, OH, area to represent women exclusively. We believe that this gives us a unique advantage when it comes to supporting our clients.
We speak to women every day who are unsure about what their future could look like, and what effect their divorce is having on their children. We are here to guide you and help you secure the best possible outcome in your case so that you can walk away feeling secure about your future and your children’s future.
With our help, you can look back with the knowledge that you did what was right for you and your children. We will educate and guide you so that you are empowered to make decisions that are right for you.
Contact Woodford Sathappan McGee today and arrange a free initial consultation with a Hamilton County custody attorney at 380-212-3731.