The residential parent of a child is entitled to child support from the non-residential parent. Issues of child support are often raised in tandem with custody and visitation issues. Child support is determined by looking at a number of factors including but not limited to income, child care expenses, and number of children.
Juvenile Courts always consider the best interests of the child or children when making a determination as to Custody and Visitation. For example, in Ohio, there is a presumption that Mothers are the legal custodians of any child they give birth to out of wedlock; however, due to extenuating circumstances, particularly when a child’s needs are not being met, custody could be changed from one parent to the other. A custody or visitation filing can occur any time up until a child is eighteen or graduates from high school. As with any legal matter, the facts of the case dictate the possible results.
Many parents also seek to work out Joint Custody or Shared Parenting Plans in which both parents share custody equally. Courts are often times in favor of Joint Custody or Shared Parenting Plans as exposure to both parents is generally in the best interests of the child. Joint Custody or Shared Parenting Plans can only be ordered if they are agreed upon by both parents.
Visitation is a relatively straightforward issue in the eyes of the court. Every Juvenile Court has a Standard Order of Visitation. The Standard Order of Visitation generally provides for the non-residential parent to have visitation every other weekend and Wednesday’s evenings. It also governs Holidays and extended Spring Breaks on a rotating basis as well as Summer Visitation.
If there is no presently existing order for visitation, and if visitation is appropriate and in the best interests of the child, the non-residential payment is, under most circumstances, entitled to the Standard Order of Visitation. The residential parent can contest visitation, but must show it is not in the best interests of the child or children. Due to the presumption that the Mother is the legal custodian, a Father is at least entitled to a Standard Order of Visitation. Of course a Mother is also at least entitled to a Standard Order of Visitation if the Father is the residential parent. It is also possible for the Parents to agree on any visitation schedule that works for them.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM
A Guardian ad Litem is appointed by the court to represent the best interest of an individual (usually children) for a specific period of time. A judge appoints a Guardian ad Litem either by request of one or both of the parents, or when their are allegations of abuse or neglect by Children Services. The Guardian ad Litem serves to represent the well-being and interests of an individual that needs help protecting their rights.
A Guardian ad Litem’s primary responsibility is to conduct an investigation regarding the child’s circumstances including history, environment, relationships, and needs and objectively determines the relevant facts. This information is gathered through interviewing the child, the child’s family and those who know the child, such as school personnel and mental health providers. The Guardian ad Litem also reviews school, children services, health and other appropriate records. This information is the basis for recommendations provided to the court which assist the court in its determination of what is in the child’s best interest.
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Once a Juvenile Court has issued an order with regards to custody, visitation, or child support, the Court expects that the order be adhered to and failure to do so can result in several consequences. Consequences include fines, attorney’s fees, and in extreme cases jail time. A contempt action can be an appropriate action to take if a party is not abiding by the order of the Court.
CHILDREN SERVICES CASES
Children Services becomes involved with a family upon the belief that a child or children is abused, dependent, or neglected. It is imperative to protect your rights as a parent and the rights of your children if Children Services has opened an investigation with your family.
Prior to filing a complaint with the Courts, Children Services will conduct an internal investigation and make a determination as to whether the child or children has been abused, is dependent, or has been neglected. If Children Services has substantiated their beliefs, they may try to work with the family directly; however, Children Services will oftentimes file a complaint with the Court in order to protect children that they believe are not receiving proper care.
GRANDPARENTS, RELATIVES AND FOSTER PARENTS
I represent grandparents, relatives, foster parents, and prospective adoptive parents in juvenile cases. I can assist in filing for Custody, Joint Custody, Guardianships, and Adoptions. Grandparents, relatives, and prospective adoptive parents can have rights similar to the natural parents particularly where a strong bond has been formed with a child. Courts will always consider what is in the best interests of a child when making a determination as to what rights an individual has with a child.
My goal is to protect young people from the consequences of a juvenile crime charge.
Adam Krumholz is YOUR CHOICE IN DAYTON, OHIO for all of your family, juvenile, and criminal legal needs. Get in touch to be represented by the legal counsel you need. CONTACT NOW