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Could Ohio courts presume an equal custody agreement?

Some experts are arguing for changes to custody determination. Parents in Ohio may soon expect an equal amount of custody when a divorce occurs, rather than the terrible fights over who gets it and for how long.

Those arguing for change sometimes begin by discussing the fact that a married couple that has children has equal rights to spend time with their children, as long as they are married. Once the divorce occurs, one parent may lose those rights if a judge deems him or her to be unworthy of shared custody.

When a child is born, the parents have the right to spend time with them in whatever amounts that they please. But once the parents of the child can no longer get along, courts are called upon to make a decision on who will be allowed to spend time with the child and when.

By seeking alterations toward an equal timesharing of children, some hope to see the reported benefits of children spending time with both parents more often. Another expected benefit would be a lesser burden on courts, allowing many families to save the money that they would have spent on attorneys and court costs. In addition, fewer cases would bring fewer children into the middle of a custody battle between their parents. Such changes may also reduce the number of individuals seeking more child support for illegitimate reasons.

Proponents of a presumed equal timesharing arrangement believe that this would be in the best interests of children. It would also put the burden of proving a need to divert from such an arrangement on one of the parents, whichever felt as if the other was unfit to share custody. Some experts believe this would result in fewer unnecessary custody cases, which are sometimes used to cause more financial and emotional stress to the former partner.

Source: Huffington Post, "Equal Custody Between Parents Should Be the Legal Norm," Fred Silberberg, June 29, 2012

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