When a couple with children separates or divorces, becoming familiar with the details of parental legal rights can be challenging. In Ohio, there are specific guidelines each parent must follow when going through child custody procedures. Various aspects, including court orders, parental responsibilities and visitation time are all part of determining child custody arrangements.

According to the Ohio State Bar Association, the state of Ohio offers two different custodial preparations for those going through a separation with children. A sole custody arrangement allows one parent to make decisions regarding general care of the child, such as medical care, choice of school and obtaining health insurance. Lfestyle choices such as extracurricular activities and religion are also determined by a single parent in a sole custody arrangement. In a shared parenting arrangement, both parents have the same legal right to make life decisions for the children. Other factors are also considered in child custody procedures:

  • “Parenting time,” or visitation hours
  • “Best interests of the children”
  • Communication between both parents
  • Mental and physical health of the parents and children   

Women’s Law, a website dedicated to helping survivors of domestic abuse, also provides information and resources for women inquiring about child custody laws. An article on Women’s Law points out that when an unmarried woman has a child, she is the legal custodian of the child until the court issues any changes. The court considers many of the aforementioned factors when determining a child custody arrangement; however, when parents seek joint custody, a judge may also consider the ability of each parent to cooperate and make decisions together.