Q. How does the court determine what is in the best interest of the children?
The court must consider all relevant factors when determining the best interest of the children. Some of the factors the court must consider are specifically set forth in Ohio Revised Code 3109.04.
Q. What factors must the court consider?
- The wishes of the child’s parents regarding the child’s care;
- If the court has interviewed the child in chambers pursuant to division (B) of this section regarding the child’s wishes and concerns as to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities concerning the child, the wishes and concerns of the child, as expressed to the court;
- The child’s interaction and interrelationship with the child’s parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
- The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
- The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;
- The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights;
- Whether either parent has failed to make all child support payments, including all arrearages, that are required of that parent pursuant to a child support order under which that parent is an obligor;
- Whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child; whether either parent, in a case in which a child has been adjudicated an abused child or a neglected child, previously has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive or neglectful act that is the basis of an adjudication; whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding; whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense; and whether there is reason to believe that either parent has acted in a manner resulting in a child being an abused child or a neglected child;
- Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent’s right to parenting time in accordance with an order of the court;
- Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state.
Q. What additional provisions of Ohio Law pertain to allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.
- Financial Status: Ohio law states the court shall not give preference to a parent because of that parent’s financial status or condition.
For additional factors a court must consider when deciding whether shared parenting is in the best interest of the child, see our posts on shared parenting.