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Help needed to make Ohio custody laws more equitable

In Ohio, child custody isn't one size fits all. In fact, research done recently about how custody is awarded in Ohio shows that it varies throughout the state and depends on where you live.

The Ohio Parenting Time Report shares in its research that children are better off when they spend an equal amount of time with both parents when they're divorced or separated. The co-author of the report said that isn't the case in most Ohio counties, according to Public News Service."Sixty four of the 88 counties have parenting time schedules that are really of the 1950s or ‘Mad Men' days' model, where one parent will see the children for only 48 hours in a two-week period; so it's every other weekend," the co-author said. "And most of those counties allow also two to three hours' mid-week parenting time."

According to the report, three counties -- Ashtabula, Jefferson and Tuscarawas – have equal-time parenting as the default. One county, Van Wert, was the only Ohio county to score an F for its rule that gives fathers visitation every other weekend and mothers custody most of the time.

"That was shocking to me. I really thought the feminist law reform in the '70s had taken out such explicitly gendered language," the co-author said. "And it certainly has been removed from most places, but Van Wert County still assumes that the father is the parent that visits with the children and the mother is the parent that raises them."

The report showed that shared physical custody is best for children. No matter what the law of your county is, parents should try to agree on a custody arrangement that can minimize the effects of divorce or separation. An Ohio attorney can help you and your former partner come up with a plan that's best for the children. Isn't that what parenting is all about?

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