Child custody cases always involve a lot of emotion, especially when both parents want custodial rights, or have different opinions on what major decisions are in the best interests of the child.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, you can seek representation from an experienced Westerville child custody attorney, one trained in mediation and negotiation. They will do everything possible to protect your children, while fighting for your best interests, and with as little court involvement as possible.
Our law firm is dedicated to women in the divorce process and in child custody cases. We understand what a challenging situation it can be for everyone involved, and our family lawyers are here to guide you and protect your well-being.
Our dedication to women gives us a unique set of skills and experience and an approach to the attorney-client relationship that is unparalleled.
Contact our local Westerville office today at 380-212-3731 and arrange a free consultation with an experienced attorney, we’re here to help.
When searching for a law firm, you may find many Westerville child custody lawyers and divorce attorneys who all claim to be the best.
What sets Woodford Sathappan McGee apart is both our dedication to women and to mediation. We understand the struggles women go through following legal separation, especially when they have children.
You may feel alienated, guilty, and unsure of yourself. You shouldn’t go through this alone, and we are here to support and guide you.
We take the time to listen to our clients, and we give each case the individualized care and dedication it deserves. We provide emotional support as well as legal counsel.
We want what’s best for our clients and their children, which often means moving forward quickly and avoiding court involvement. Not only does this approach save you time and money, but it also removes a lot of unnecessary stress.
That is why we are dedicated to negotiation and mediation. Even if it seems impossible to make compromises with your ex-spouse now, our trained mediators might be just what you need to move forwards.
That being said, we are also highly skilled in litigation and will fight fiercely for you in court if we need to.
We can support you throughout your child custody case in Westerville, Ohio, and beyond. If you need to change a child custody order, or if your ex-spouse is failing to meet to comply with your divorce decree, we can help.
Our Westerville child custody lawyers are highly skilled in mediation and negotiation. When you come to child custody arrangements using these methods as opposed to litigation, there are numerous benefits, such as:
Allowing couples to come to arrangements that meet their needs.
Saving money on legal fees.
Protecting children from court proceedings.
Your child custody attorney will guide mediation sessions between you and your ex-spouse, where you will formulate a parenting plan, which can then be submitted to the court for approval.
If an agreement cannot be reached then the case will be presented to the court. Woodford Sathappan McGee can help you negotiate as much of your child custody case as possible before moving to litigation to determine the outcome of any lingering issues.
Ohio child custody laws are unique because traditional terms such as sole custody and joint custody have been removed. Instead, courts award parental rights and responsibilities, where each parent is assigned parenting time, and visitation rights in a custody order.
One or both parents could be awarded decision-making rights for any minor children. The parent with decision-making rights can make decisions based on things like religion, education, and medical care on behalf of the child.
Parenting time can be split equally, or the majority may be awarded to one parent. The parent who lives with the child for the majority of the time is the residential parent (traditionally the custodial parent), and the other is the non-residential parent (non-custodial parent).
Usually, the court will award shared parenting time and responsibilities, unless there is a reason not to do so.
Even if one parent is awarded the role of legal custodian, and has all decision-making rights, the other parent will still be entitled to at least minimum visitation, unless that puts the child’s welfare at risk.
For example, if one parent has a history of domestic violence, or substance or alcohol misuse, then it might not be in the child’s best interests for them to have visitation rights. However, even in these cases, it is rare for visitation to be completely denied, instead they may be awarded supervised visitation.
It is understood that children fare best when they have access to both parents, and while ideally, that means a 50/50 split, in the real world that is logistically very hard. Therefore, a typical shared parenting visitation schedule could look like one weeknight and visits every other weekend with the non-residential parent.
It is essential, that neither parent prevents visits, as this could result in contempt proceedings, and custody rights being taken away.
The Court that oversees family law cases such as divorce, and child custody, is required to base its decisions on the best interests of the child. This usually means creating as little disruption to the child’s life as possible. They consider factors such as:
Keeping the child in the same home, school, and community.
The child’s wishes, especially for older children.
Potential danger to the child from either parent, such as a history of domestic violence, child abuse, or substance misuse.
The mental and physical health of all parties.
How involved each parent is in the child’s life, such as who typically takes them to doctor’s appointments, attends school events, etc.
Each parties willingness to accommodate visits between the child and their other parent.
The ability of each party to meet the child’s emotional and physical needs now and in the future.
Although a child custody order is a legally binding document, it can be changed. Sometimes life gets in the way, and an arrangement that once works is no longer in the child’s best interests is no longer manageable. It is not easy to change an order, but one of our Westerville divorce lawyers at Woodford Sathappan McGee will be able to help if you decide to try.
To make a change to an order including a child custody order, you must first file a motion with the court. We will help you formulate a motion that the judge is likely to accept, and submit to the court.
Usually, both parents will need to agree, or you must provide that there has been a substantial change in circumstances to warrant a change. Either way, any changes should still be in the child’s best interests.
Another reason for a modification could be that your ex-spouse has repeatedly failed to meet its obligations. If this is the case, we can help you file contempt proceedings.
Woodford Sathappan McGee will provide the legal guidance necessary to streamline the experience.
The child custody order will also impact child support payments. Both parents are legally required to financially contribute to raising their children. Therefore if the child spends the majority of their time with one parent, the other will usually have to pay child support.
Ohio has removed traditional terms such as joint legal custody and sole physical custody. Instead, parenting plans assign parental rights and responsibilities that determine parenting schedules and rights to make important decisions.
The cost of a child custody lawyer in Westerville, Ohio depends on the circumstances of your individual case. We offer a free consultation so you can get an idea of what your case will cost before you agree to representation. We are dedicated to doing what is best for our clients, which often means keeping costs down as much as possible with mediation.
Usually, each party is responsible for its own legal fees. However, if one party has significantly more financial stability than the other, then the judge may order for the other party’s fees to be compensated.
Grandparents can fight for custody and visitation rights, although it can be difficult. The child’s parents have constitutional rights to custody unless they are unfit to do so. Proving that the parents are unfit is difficult, but if you are a grandmother hoping to secure legal custody, then contact us today.
As child custody cases can take some time to finalize, sometimes the court will first enforce a temporary order that will be in place until the final order is issued. Usually, a temporary order will try to maintain the child’s normal life.
If necessary, a temporary order could also prevent ex-spouses from seeing each other, especially if there has been any domestic violence.
In Ohio, mothers and fathers have equal footing when it comes to the rights of their children. Ohio Courts are required to make decisions without gender bias and maintain the mother’s and father’s rights.
If you have suffered domestic violence then contact us as soon as possible. We will help get you and your children to a place of safety, and we will secure a protection order to prevent your spouse from contacting you. This will give you the space you need to make smart decisions about your future.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee we have helped many women who have suffered domestic violence. We understand how to handle your case with the care and dedication it needs. Our Westerville child custody attorneys are here to provide legal counsel and gather the evidence needed to demonstrate the full extent of your experiences to the court. At the same time, we are also prepared to lend a sympathetic ear when you need it.
Whether you are in Westerville, Franklin, Deleware, Cincinnati, Columbus OH, or surrounding areas, we are here to help.
Woodford Sathappan McGee is proud to be the only law firm to exclusively represent women in Ohio. This earns us a unique set of skills and expertise so that we can provide the best support.
We have the resources, skills, experience, and drive to protect your interests and secure the best possible outcome in your child custody case.
Our Westerville and Columbus child custody lawyers are waiting to hear from you.
Contact us today at 380-212-3731 to schedule a free consultation.