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Ohio Child Custody Laws

Determining child custody is one of the most contentious, emotionally difficult aspects of divorce when children are involved. Each state has its own laws regarding the types of custody arrangements court may award, as well as the factors that are considered in making custody determinations. Judges in most states, including Ohio, must settle on a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the child when making a ruling. There are several factors that are considered in deciding what is in the child’s best interests, including:

  • The child’s wishes (if he or she is found to be of an appropriate age and maturity to decide);
  • The wishes of the parents;
  • The child’s relationship with each of the parents, as well as siblings or other members of the household in which the child might be placed;
  • The child’s adjustment to a change in home, school, and community;
  • The child’s mental and physical health;
  • The parents’ mental and physical health;
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage and promote the child’s relationship with the other parent;
  • The parents’ willingness to cooperate with one another and make decisions together; and
  • The physical proximity of the parents’ homes to one another.

Ohio child custody laws adhere to the Uniform Child Custody Act, and also allow joint custody and recognize grandparent visitation rights.

Some of the basics of Ohio child custody laws are listed below. See FindLaw's Child Custody section to learn more.

Code Section

3109.04, 3105.21

Year Uniform Child Custody Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, §3109.04(A)

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?

Yes, §3109.051

Child's Own Wishes Considered?


Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Ohio child custody attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For additional information on Ohio’s child custody laws, click on the links provided below which will direct you to websites hosting related resources. If you’d like more general information on the topic, check out FIndLaw’s child custody section for discussion of issues such as: the types of child custody, visitation, paternity, interstate custody, parenting agreements, custody mediation, and grandparents’ rights. Finally, if you’re looking for legal advice or representation, contact a local child custody lawyer.

Research the Law

Ohio Child Custody Laws: Related Resources

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