How is child custody decided in Ohio? These issues are decided by domestic relations and juvenile courts in Ohio. For disputes between parents, the domestic relations courts in Medina County, Summit County and Cuyahoga County hear such cases. In Wayne County, Ohio, the domestic relations court hears child custody cases in divorce and post-divorce decree cases. The Wayne County juvenile court hears child custody cases between unmarried parents. For purposes of this article, we will refer to all these courts as the Ohio child custody court.
The Ohio child custody court must decide between sole custody to one parent and shared parenting with both parents. The parent who is awarded sole custody becomes the child’s legal custodian and will make decisions about non-emergency medical care, education, religion, discipline and extra-curricular activities. The sole legal custodian must let the non-custodial parent know about such matters but will make the final decisions.
How do divorce and dissolution differ from one another? A dissolution is an agreement to terminate the marriage, with an agreement on how to divide their assets and debts, as well as agreement on child custody, child support, parenting time and spousal support. In order to have a dissolution, the parties must agree on all of the issues. Paperwork is filed and the matter is resolved in a single hearing. The dissolution process is usually completed within two to three months after filing.
When the parties cannot agree on all of the issues, but wish to terminate the marriage, they must do so with a divorce. One of the eleven grounds for divorce must be alleged. Incompatibility cannot be proven, but must be agreed upon by both parties in order to be used as a ground for divorce. Divorce usually consists of temporary orders hearings, case management hearings, pre-trial hearings, and final hearings (trials). The final hearing does not usually occur until at least nine months after filing and sometimes well over one year after filing.