The living conditions of parents play a huge role in how courts in Ohio handle custody disputes. The considerations for acceptable living standards can vary from court to court. However, a judge will generally consider the following factors as they pertain to custody and visitation rights.
Gender and age of the child
Many courts consider it more important for a child to possess his or her own bedroom, bathroom and personal space when the custodial parent is of the opposite sex. Courts deciding child custody cases also tend to feel that teenagers require a bit more space than smaller children. Individuals who are unable to afford large homes should not fear that they will become automatically disqualified from becoming the custodial parent, however.
Number of kids
Parents with more children need to demonstrate that they can provide sufficient space for them all. A judge may not rule in favor of a parent with three children and a one-bedroom apartment. The space requirement is also taken into consideration when parents request overnight stays with their children as part of their visitation rights.
The court will evaluate how a child may adjust to a drastic change to his or her living conditions as a result of a custody decision. For example, the court may consider whether the child would be negatively affected by moving to a different city and changing schools to live with a parent.
Judges are unlikely to grant custody to people who live in neighborhoods that are dangerous if the homes of the other parents represent a safer alternative. A judge may also limit overnight visits to the home of the parent living in a dangerous area of town.
Circumstances of parent
The age, financial situation and unique life circumstances of both parents are taken into consideration by judges tasked with settling a custody dispute. Parents should remember that the courts are only interested in what is best for their children. Any circumstances that may make it more difficult for individuals to care for their children can become a problem for them during a custody battle.
Child custody disputes are complicated legal matters that require a great presentation from parents who wish to win custody of a child. Individuals involved in a custody dispute should reach out to a family law attorney as early in the process as possible.