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Seek the Services of a Child Custody Attorney in Columbus

Child Custody & Visitation

Resolving child custody issues at the end of a marriage is not really so much about dividing up the time children spend with each of their parents as it is about minimizing the damage and keeping the children as a whole as possible.
At least that is how it should be.
If there is one issue associated with divorce that you do not want to leave up to a judge, child custody is it. Child custody is a major focus for Nina Scopetti and an area in which she has over 30 years experience representing mothers and fathers alike.
Regardless of whether child custody is being resolved in connection with a legal separation, a dissolution of marriage or a divorce — the attorneys are skilled as a negotiator and the strong relationships and credibility he has in the legal community all work to make reaching an agreement outside of court that much easier.
However, amicable solutions are not always possible or even desirable, especially in cases where there is a history and continued likelihood of abuse. When this is the case, we will fight as aggressively as need be to protect your children and to achieve the outcome you want.


Creating a Parenting Plan

The primary distinction between custody and shared parenting is the ability of the parent to participate in the decision-making process. An effective parenting plan has to govern the decision-making ability of the parent as well as the parenting time or visitation schedule. The creation of a comprehensive document requires the examination and inclusion of several factors such as child support, health insurance, tax dependency exemptions, health care, extracurricular activities and other school-related issues. We fully investigate as many factors as possible to ensure that the parenting plan is complete, comprehensive and satisfies the needs of the parents and the best interests of the children.


Creative Parenting Agreements

Seeking Equal Access for Parents and Their Children
It is most important to keep the end goal in mind while drafting creative parenting time agreements, which govern what most people know of as child custody and visitation. When all other things are equal, all parents and children should have equal access to each other. The parenting time agreement then works as a means to make the transition from one home to the other easier on everyone involved, and can truly help in maintaining as many family traditions as possible.
The parenting rights & responsibilities agreement can discuss a variety of aspects involved in parenting time, including:
  • The exchange of time
  • Extracurricular activities
  • School, religious and health care decisions
  • Holidays and vacation
  • Relocation
As long as both parents can work together to create a complete plan that works to benefit themselves as much as the children, the sky truly is the limit to how creative you can get.
There Are Times When Creative Collaboration Does Not Work
Under certain circumstances, it may be inappropriate to try to collaboratively create a parenting time arrangement. This includes situations where you feel the other parent's access to your child should be restricted in some manner due to substance, drug or physical abuse. Do not ignore your legitimate concerns. Speak with a lawyer who truly cares about you and your children.


Third Party Custody

Put simply, if someone besides a parent wishes to assume custody of a child, a process referred to as third-party custody must be followed. This process can seem intimidating at first, but an experienced Ohio lawyer can guide you through from start to finish.
At the law offices Panico & Scopetti, we have the experience to guide you through even the most complex proceedings. Third-party, or nonparental custody can be challenging from locating the biological parents, to the termination of parental rights. Clients rely on our experience and legal knowledge to efficiently guide them through the custody process to a successful conclusion.
Most often, third parties refer to relatives such as an uncle, aunt or the grandparents of a child in need. Occasionally, though, third-party custody can be pursued by individuals other than blood relatives. Godparents, for example, close neighbors or other caregivers can petition for custodial rights. If there is a substantial enough relationship, it is possible for anybody to get custody.
When children are in a harmful or at-risk situation, the courts will make every attempt to ensure that the child is taken care of. We understand the factors that the courts examine, and we can develop an effective strategy for your case through attention to detail and thorough preparation.


Relocation after Divorce

In today's economy, many parents are finding that it is necessary to move to find steady employment. This relocation is challenging enough for a married couple to handle. In situations involving divorced or unmarried parents, the complications only increase.
Focusing on What Is Best For Your Children
Relocation can arise for various reasons, including employment or the possibility for a new family life. However, what may be best for the parent may not be best for the child. Courts will consider many factors in hearing the relocation request, including the child's acclimation to the current situation, how the child is doing in school and how the relocation would facilitate or harm parenting time.
To ensure your interests are pursued, seek the assistance of an experienced legal professional as soon as possible. There are strict timelines and guidelines that must be followed when seeking or contesting relocation. An experienced lawyer will work to uphold the rights of the parents while keep the best interests of children at the forefront.
In the end, the court cannot prohibit you from moving. However, if the court decides the move is not in the child's best interests, it will prohibit you from taking the child out of state.


Multi-State Jurisdiction for Child Custody

We live in a mobile society, where individuals and families change jobs and move from home to home when life demands it. Most often, you can move when you want, wherever you want. This is not true, however, if you have children from a previous relationship or marriage.
Multi-State Child Custody Concerns Raise Unique Legal Challenges
The Universal Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a federal act designed to resolve jurisdictional questions between two different states on the matter of child custody. If you once lived in Ohio but are now living in another state, or if you are seeking relocation to Ohio from another state and you have child custody matters that must be cleared in court, your matter will be governed by the UCCJEA.
When a parent takes a child out of state without the other parent's permission, this is generally called parental kidnapping. This child custody issue is also addressed by the UCCJEA. It may be a good idea to speak with a lawyer about seeking modification of an existing parenting time order to avoid charges of parental kidnapping in the future. Nina Scopetti can also assist you in handling international parental kidnapping cases under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Stepparent Adoption

child visitation law

In the court system, adoption is largely considered the most positive event possible. The combination of loving parents and children in need is joyous to all parties involved. If you have questions about adoption, contact our office for a free consultation.

Stepparent adoption is the way many blended families become whole. As a common form of adoption, stepparent adoptions follow a specific timeline and well-defined process. Our firm can guide you through this process ensuring that all requirements are met, all paperwork is submitted and all court timelines are followed.
Stepparent adoptions can usually be completed with less resistance than third-party adoptions. Generally, these adoptions are completed with the consent of both parties. They are handled in the probate court in the county in which you reside. As long as the adoptive parent has been married to the biological parent for at least one year, stepparent adoptions follow a rather straightforward procedure.
Contact us (614) 224-7844 or use our contact form.