Attorneys Helping Families Deal With Issues Of Child Custody And Visitation
One of the most important things for parents to know before entering into child custody discussions is that they are entitled to an equitable parenting plan. Many people feel like they do not have equal parental rights because of gender, financial status or some other reason, and because of this, they are not going to have a fair and equal opportunity to maintain a good relationship with their children after a divorce.
However biased the courts might have been in the past, the current focus is on equity: a fair and balanced division of time and resources regarding the care and parenting of the child. Rather than primary custody and visitation, the courts now focus on creating a fair and agreeable parenting plan in which both parents have an equal amount of time with the children.
We Focus On Finding Efficient And Peaceful Solutions
At Mahaffey & Associates, our Sylvania child custody lawyers represent clients throughout northwestern Ohio and southern Michigan in divorce and custody proceedings. Our attorneys share the belief that the best solution is the solution that the disputing parties have created and agreed upon themselves, rather than the solution that a judge hands down to them.
This is why we focus on helping our clients and their spouses create a parenting plan before the matter is litigated, through mediation and other negotiated solutions. This allows them to retain more control of the process and the outcome while saving the time, stress and financial costs of traditional litigation. When matters cannot be settled through negotiation, we advocate aggressively for our clients’ interests in the courtroom.
We will help you work out a parenting plan that works best for you and your child, and that the court will accept as equitable for everyone.
Understanding Custody Options And Terminology
In Ohio and many other states, the term custody has been replaced with “allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.” This is an important change because it encompasses both aspects of custody: physical and legal. Physical custody is which parent the child will stay with and when. Legal custody refers to which parent has the authority to make important decisions on behalf of the child (regarding matters like religion, health care and education).
In either case, one parent can have “sole” custody or the two parents can have shared custody. Even if custody is shared, however, it may not be shared equally.
As noted above, the solutions that work best for everyone tend to be those that were drafted together by the two parents (in consultation with their attorneys). The agreement, known as the parenting plan, can and should be highly detailed to avoid conflicts or confusion later on. At the very least, it will need to include the schedule of parenting time (physical custody) given to each parent.
Ready To Assist When A Court Order Needs Modification Or Enforcement
We also represent either party in custody modification and enforcement hearings:
- Custody modification (sole custody, reversal of primary custody, new schedule)
- Increase, decrease or termination of child support payments
- Parent relocation out of Ohio (employment, military duty, etc.)
- Nonpayment of child support or interference with visitation rights
These often contentious proceedings require a knowledge of the law, an understanding of the tendencies of local judges, and thorough preparation of arguments for or against the opposing position. You have a solid advocate with the attorneys of Mahaffey & Associates.
Contact Our Toledo Child Visitation Lawyers
We offer free initial consultations so you can talk with a lawyer from our firm without cost or obligation. To learn more about your case and your parental rights, call 419-741-0111 or contact us online.