Most parents who divorce or split up will share custody. Occasionally, only one parent has legal rights after a divorce. Many recently divorced adults would prefer not to spend much time with their ex if they can help it, but you will have to put aside your own preferences to focus on what is best for the kids.
Usually, a judge will want to see you working with your ex and sharing custody. When can one parent potentially ask for sole custody under Ohio law?
When the parents settle outside of court
If you and your ex both agree that it would be best for the children if they lived with you full-time, you have the power to set any terms you would like in your own divorce. If the two of you sign a settlement agreement that involves sole custody arrangements, a judge will usually approve that arrangement.
In cases of abuse or addiction
Judges have to do what’s best for the kids. If you have police reports from your ex getting arrested or medical records of treatments after an abusive interaction, those official records could help you in a contested custody arrangement.
When one parent cannot meet the needs of the children
Sometimes, a parent hasn’t done something specifically wrong or dangerous, but they still aren’t in a position to properly parent. Maybe they have only short-term housing arrangements, or maybe they have medical issues.
If a judge believed that one parent, however well-intentioned, cannot provide for the children, they may not receive parenting time but instead visitation. Learning about what influences custody decisions in Ohio can help you focus on achieving the best possible arrangements for your family.