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Are fathers at a disadvantage during custody proceedings?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Child Custody

As a dad going through a custody battle in Ohio, it’s natural to wonder if the system is stacked against you. This could be due to the historical perception that fathers are at a disadvantage during custody proceedings or the stories you’ve heard.

Fortunately, a parent’s gender is no longer a decisive factor in custody decisions. Ohio law has evolved to prioritize the child’s best interests when awarding custody to parents during or after divorce. It means you have the same legal rights and opportunities as the mother to seek custody and visitation rights of your child.

The factors that matter

Gender aside, the court will consider various factors unique to each parent when deciding a custody case. They include:

  • The child’s relationship and interaction with each parent
  • The parent’s ability to provide for and care for the child
  • The menthol and physical health of everyone involved
  • The criminal record of each parent or a history of abuse
  • Which parent is more likely to honor court-approved parenting and visitation rights

The court will consider any other relevant factors that may be present in your case to assess what’s in the child’s best interests when issuing custody orders.

Do not sit back and wait

While Ohio law strives for gender neutrality in custody decisions, fathers may still face hurdles in proving their involvement and parenting abilities. As such, it’s crucial to actively participate in the custody process and provide evidence of your involvement in your child’s life and ability to care for them.

You can, for example, provide documentation of attendance at school events or medical appointments, demonstrate financial support and even present testimony from reliable witnesses. It also helps to show a willingness to co-parent effectively. Seeking legal guidance can also go a long way in protecting your parental rights and presenting a compelling case for custody or visitation rights.