One of the most difficult aspects of divorce for Ohio parents may be negotiations over child custody. Because this is such an emotional topic, it is not uncommon for parents to make errors that can hurt them in a custody battle. The first step is for parents to be well-prepared. This means not just knowing state law but doing research about the judge in the case as well. For example, knowing that the judge prefers to assign joint physical custody can help a parent get ready for a court appearance.
Parents should not let themselves be overcome by their emotions. This can take many forms. They may be so angry at the other parent that they want to deny them custody, but being a poor spouse does not make someone a poor parent. Courts generally take the position that the child will benefit from time with both parents, and fighting this in court can work against a parent and backfire. Parents should also resist pressure from family members to disrupt amicable proceedings to ask for more parenting time.
Parents should avoid discussing their strategy with the other parent or with friends. These conversations should be between them and their attorney. Otherwise, the information could get back to the other parent and disrupt the strategy.
Divorce with children does not always mean having to go to court. Parents are often able to work out an agreement for custody and visitation through negotiating with the help of their respective attorneys. In addition to creating a regular visitation schedule, they should also make a plan for holidays and visitation to reduce the likelihood of conflict later.