Hyde Park Child Custody Lawyer For Women
Woodford Sathappan McGee is a family law firm that exclusively represents women. We understand the unique challenges women face and are here to guide you through the legal process of divorce, legal custody, property division, and all family law matters.
The idea of life as a single mother can be frightening, but we are committed to helping you feel confident about your future and the future of your children.
We use mediation wherever possible to resolve family law issues, which saves time and money and protects your children from a long legal battle. Where mediation is not possible, we are also highly skilled in the courtroom and will be prepared to represent you.
Remember, your child custody order is legally binding, therefore it is essential that you secure an outcome that serves the best interests of your children, and meets your needs.
Contact our law office today for a free initial consultation with a family law attorney, at 380-212-3731.
If you or your children have suffered domestic violence at the hands of your ex-spouse, then contact us as quickly as possible.
We know how difficult it can be to ask for help, but we will handle your case with the care and dedication it needs.
First, we will get you and your children to a place of safety. Then we will continue to work with you and gather the evidence necessary so that the Court understands the extent of your experiences.
If you could be in immediate danger, call the Ohio Domestic Violence Network at 1-800-934-9840 or 911.
What Are The Benefits of Using Mediation in a Hyde Park Child Custody Case?
A family attorney who is also a trained mediator is the best person to handle your family law case. Child custody is often a hotly debated issue, and you may not believe that you can come to an agreement with your ex-spouse.
However, you will be surprised at what a difference a certified mediator makes.
There are clear benefits to prioritizing mediation in family law cases, including:
- Allows for personalized arrangements that suit your needs.
- Saves a substantial amount of money in Court fees.
- Moves the process along more quickly than when you have to wait for court dates.
- Protects children from a long legal battle.
For us, family legal services and mediation go hand-in-hand. We can help you and your ex-spouse form a parenting plan privately, which will then be submitted to the Court for approval.
However, if there are unresolved issues or an agreement cannot be made, then a family law attorney will also be prepared to represent you in Court.
Child Custody Laws in Ohio
Child custody laws in Ohio are unique, as traditional terms such as ‘sole physical custody’ and ‘joint physical custody’ have been removed.
Instead, the Court will allocate ‘Parental Rights and Responsibilities’, which refers to both custody and visitation, and the rights to make decisions on behalf of the child.
One or both parents will be granted the right to make important decisions on behalf of the child, including things like religion, education, and medical care.
Custody will usually be split unless there is a reason not to do so. While a 50/50 split may seem like the fairest option, often the logistics of this are difficult, and the Court aims to minimize disruption to the child’s life. Therefore one parent may become the residential parent, who the child lives with most of the time, and the other will be awarded visitation.
Visitation Rights in Ohio
A typical visitation schedule could look like the child living with one parent the majority of the time, and spending one weekday evening and every other weekend with the other parent.
The Court can award more visitation, but not less, based on state guidelines. The Court will always keep both parents involved in the child’s life unless there is a clear reason not to do so such as a history of abuse, or drug or alcohol misuse. However, even if there is evidence for this, the Court may still award supervised visits.
It is important that you are willing to comply with visitation, otherwise, the court will not look favorably on you.
How Does the Court Make Child Custody Decisions In Hyde Park, OH?
Judges ruling on legal issues in child custody cases in Ohio are required to make decisions based on the best interests of the child. People often disagree on what that means but in general, it involves creating as little disruption to the child’s life as possible. They may consider factors such as:
- Access to the child’s existing community such as school, church, etc.
- The child’s relationship to the wider family, such as grandparents.
- The mental and physical health of all parties involved.
- The needs and wants of the parents.
- Job hours of both parents and their ability to spend time with the child.
- The willingness of each parent to accommodate visits for the other.
- The child’s wishes, especially for children over the age of 12.
- The ability of both parents to meet the child’s needs, emotional, and physical.
- How involved each parent has been in the child’s life up to this point, such as attending school events, organizing doctors’ appointments, etc.
Child Support in Hyde Park, Ohio
Child support can help make sure that you and your children are financially secure after your divorce case is finalized. It is a legal requirement that both parents financially contribute to the upbringing of their children, and if the child spends most of their time with you, then your ex-spouse will likely have to pay child support.
Child Custody Order Modifications in Ohio
A child custody order is a legally binding document. However, family courts also understand that circumstances change, and sometimes you may need to modify that order. However, it isn’t easy to secure a modification, you will need to evidence a substantial change in circumstances.
We can help you prove why changes are needed. Examples include change of income, changing needs of your children, relocation, or illness.
Failure to Meet Child Order Obligations
If your ex-spouse fails to meet the obligations laid out in a divorce decree or child custody order, then you should seek representation from a family attorney.
They will help you file for a contempt proceeding to force your ex-spouse to comply. The court has the power to seize their assets, limit visitation, or they could even issue a jail sentence.
Ohio Child Custody FAQ
At what age can a child choose which parent to live with, in Ohio?
A child does not have full autonomy when it comes to where they live until they are 18. However, the court can consider their preference alongside other factors if they are over the age of 12. Ultimately, the decision will still be based on the child’s best interest.
If both parents share custody, who pays child support?
Even when both parents share custody, the child rarely spends the same amount of time with each parent. Therefore, the one who is awarded the most parenting time is usually owed child support.
The Court will also consider the income of each parent when they make their decision, if there is a significant disparity then the higher-earning spouse will be required to pay child support. They may also be required to pay spousal support to ensure that you can maintain the same standard of living.
Can I refuse to allow visitation if the other fails to pay child maintenance?
No, visitation and child maintenance are separate legal issues, and if you refuse visitation then you could face legal reproductions.
How much is a custody lawyer in Ohio?
The cost of legal services differs depending on the nature of your case. We can give you an idea of the cost of your case in a free consultation so that you can make an informed decision. We also strive to keep costs down for you by minimizing court involvement.
Who pays family law attorney fees?
Each parent is usually required to pay for their own legal fees. However, if your ex-spouse has significantly more wealth then the judge could order them to compensate you.
When can I modify a custody order?
Circumstances can change at any time, and therefore, so can child custody orders. However, you will always need to evidence a substantial change in circumstances.
The Best Child Custody Lawyers in Columbus OH
Our family lawyers have extensive experience when it comes to dealing with Hyde Park child custody cases. All of our staff have dedicated their legal careers to women and will provide the legal representation you need.
Women are often left feeling alienated, and unsure of where to turn when they are faced with divorce. Some wonder if they are doing the right thing, and feel guilty about their choices. We are here to support you and secure the best possible future for you and your children.
We want you to get back to your normal life as quickly as possible, and to be able to look back with the knowledge that you did what was right for you and your family.
Our approach to the attorney-client relationship is unmatched. We take the time to get to know our clients and keep them informed. Your family law attorney will provide emotional support and legal counsel.
Using mediation where ever we can, our law firm will ease your stress and get your child custody case resolved in the best way possible.
So contact us today and arrange a free consultation with a Hyde Park child custody attorney on 380-212-3731.