Child Custody and Parenting Time
This is the most difficult aspect of a divorce. It is great when parents can agree upon custody and parenting time as well as help the children adjust to the divorce. When the parents cannot agree on custody and/or parenting time there are number of factors the Court considers to determine custody. (See Ohio Revised Code 3109.04(F)). A few of these factors include, but are not limited to:
- The children's relationship with parents, their siblings, and other close to them;
- The parent more likely to facilitate parenting time;
- Whether the children will need to adapt to new home, school, or community; and
- Which parent is more involved with the children, their schools, their medical needs, etc.
Depending on your case, Attorney Fogt may advise you to request a Guardian-ad-Litem, "GAL." A GAL is an attorney that conducts an investigation, writes a report and submits recommendations to the Court focused on custody and parenting time of the children. The GAL will meet with both parties, the children, other people that are important to the children such as grandparents and teachers, review school records, as well as documentation provided by the parties to the GAL and more. The GAL then submits his report and recommendations to the Court and provides a copy to both parties' attorneys. Often, the GAL report helps resolve the custody and parenting time issue.
Attorney Fogt has been a GAL for 11 years and can provide insight as to what is important to the GAL. For instance, it is best to be organized and honest with a GAL. It is natural for one party to have concerns about the other party. It is best to discuss those concerns with the GAL with the focus on the children's best interest. It is also normal and healthy to have nice things to say about the other party.
Child support is paid during or after a divorce, dissolution, or legal separation. Child support is typically ordered to be paid by the non-residential parent to the residential parent. In Ohio, child support is calculated based on the income of the parents, health insurance cost, and daycare cost. A common misconception is that child support automatically terminates once the child(ren) reach the age of eighteen. Child support orders can continue until the child(ren) no longer attend an accredited high school on a full-time basis or reach the age of nineteen.
The amount of child support ordered is determined by the Ohio Child Support Guidelines as required by Ohio Revised Code sections 3119.021 and 3119.022. Child support obligations are calculated using the Basic Child Support Schedule and either the Sole/Shared Child Support Computation Worksheet or the Split Parenting Child Support Computation Worksheet. The Sole/Shared Worksheet is utilized in most circumstances. The Split Worksheet is only used when both parties are the residential parent of at least one child.