David J Berta Attorney at Law

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Child Custody

The Domestic Relations Court or Juvenile Court has jurisdiction over the allocation of legal rights concerning your children until they reach18 years of age. In cases where couples are married and living together with children and in the case of single parents where the father has not petitioned the court for legal rights, the court has no jurisdiction. However, once in the court system by way of a divorce, dissolution or petition for parental rights, the court has jurisdiction over many of your rights concerning the custody and visitation of your child(ren). The court must look at many factors in the determination of custody all while weighing the best interests of the minor child. It is important to note that what is in your best interests are never considered, all factors and consideration point towards the child(ren).

When the court looks at the best interests of the children, the court will consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

  1. The wishes of the child’s parents regarding the child’s care;
  2. If the court has interviewed the child in chambers pursuant to division (B) of this section regarding the child’s wishes and concerns as to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities concerning the child, the wishes and concerns of the child, as expressed to the court;
  3. The child’s interaction and interrelationship with the child’s parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
  4. The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
  5. The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;
  6. The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights;
  7. Whether either parent has failed to make all child support payments, including all arrearages, that are required of that parent pursuant to a child support order under which that parent is an obligor;
  8. Whether either parent or any member of the household of either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child;
  9. Whether the residential parent or one of the parent’s subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent’s right to parenting time in accordance with an order of the court;
  10. Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state.

A custody order or agreement must contain sections on parental times for visitation, custody and must name a residential parent for school purposes. Once an initial custody determination is made, the litigant petitioning the court post-decree must often show a change in circumstances of the child for the court to alter custody. This can be a highly stressful time for any party and the advice and wherewithal of a solid attorney is worth his/her weight in gold.

David J. Berta Attorney at Law 105 Court St., #321 Elyria, OH. 44035 (440) 337-9919
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