Your Child Deserves The Best. And So Do You.

Ending a marriage is emotionally draining — not only for the spouses themselves, but for the children caught in the middle. Often, a divorce can feel like a tug-of-war over property rights, money and blame. And the children are often caught up in this same tug-of-war — feeling as though they're to blame for mom and dad's divorce, trying hard to please both their parents and act as the peacemaker, and left scarred by the entire process.

At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., our compassionate, dedicated family law attorneys share your concern over the well-being of your children and make great effort to ensure their best interests are protected. Like you, we want your children to grow up happily, live in a safe, loving home, and to not feel guilty or responsible for the breakdown of their parents' marriage. We will work closely with you to satisfy both your needs and the needs of your children.

Who Will The Children Live With?

In Ohio, there is no favoritism in custody matters — neither the mother nor the father is automatically presumed to be the custodial parent following a divorce. Instead, in the absence of an agreement between the parents, the court will determine what is in the best interests of the children when determining who will be awarded custody of the children. Some factors courts will look to in making this determination include:

  • Who do the children want to live with?
  • What are the parents' wishes regarding the children's care?
  • How is the children's relationship with each parent?
  • Will the children be able to easily adjust to a new home or school?
  • Which parent is more likely to honor parenting-time rights and visitation?
  • Is either parent likely to move out of state?

Once the best interest of the children is determined by the court, it will award sole custody to one of the parents or joint custody to both parents. In joint custody situations, a parenting plan agreement is put in place, the parents engage in "shared parenting," and both parents are considered residential parents of the children and share equally in making decisions for the children.

Will I Receive, Or Have To Pay, Child Support?

Once it is determined who the children will primarily live with, a court may order one of the parents to pay child support. In deciding whether child support is appropriate, the court will consider the income, earning potential and parenting time for each parent. Even if the court has awarded shared parenting, it may still order child support depending on the circumstances of the case.

It's important to keep in mind that child support is meant to benefit the children — not the parent. At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., we will help you understand your rights in child support and child custody cases and always work to make your life — and your children's lives — better. With an extensive knowledge of Ohio's domestic relations laws, we know how the system works and how to work it to your advantage.

To find out more about how our child custody and support lawyers can help you and your children, contact us online or call our office Troy, Ohio, at 937-552-3437.