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Ohio Child Custody and Support Guidelines

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Ohio Child Custody and Support Guidelines:

Either parent may be awarded custody, and the court shall not give preference to a parent because of that parent's financial status or condition. The court may allocate the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children primarily to one of the parents, designate that parent as the residential parent and the legal custodian of the child, and divide between the parents the other rights and responsibilities for the care of the children, including, but not limited to, the responsibility to provide support for the children and the right of the parent who is not the residential parent to have continuing contact with the children.

If one parent files a pleading and submits a shared parenting plan, and if a plan for shared parenting is in the best interest of the children, the court may allocate the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children to both parents and issue a shared parenting order requiring the parents to share all or some of the aspects of the physical and legal care of the children in accordance with the approved plan for shared parenting. When allocating parental rights and responsibilities, the court shall take into consideration the following factors:

  • The wishes of the child;
  • The wishes of the child's parents regarding the child's care;
  • 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;
  • The child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community;
  • The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;
  • The parent more likely to facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights;
  • Whether 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;
  • Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state.

When determining whether a shared parenting arrangement would be in the best interests of the child, the court shall consider the following factors:

  • The ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly, with respect to the children.
  • The ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent.
  • Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, other domestic violence, or parental kidnapping by either parent.
  • The geographic proximity of the parents to each other, as the proximity relates to the practical considerations of shared parenting.
  • The recommendation of the guardian ad litem of the child, if the child has a guardian ad litem.

[Based on Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.04]

CHILD SUPPORT:

The court may order either or both parents to support or help support their children, without regard to marital misconduct. The court shall include in each support order the requirement that one or both of the parents provide for the health care needs of the child to the satisfaction of the court, and all support payments shall be made through the office of child support in the department of job and family services. The court or agency shall calculate the amount of the obligor's child support obligation in accordance with the Ohio Child Support Guidelines worksheet.

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