When Ohio parents decide to divorce, they often encounter numerous challenges related to co-parenting agreements. Child custody issues can spark highly emotionally charged disputes if parents disagree or simply refuse to cooperate to amicably devise a fair parenting agreement. Such situations often prompt litigation, wherein a family law judge is tasked with making decision the parents in question were unable to peacefully make for themselves.

Parents who want to avoid having to hash out their differences in court may be able to use an alternative dispute resolution process to do so. Such practices might include mediation or collaborative law arbitration. In both cases, parents maintain a good bit of control regarding what their future co-parenting arrangements will be. Once they’ve resolved all issues, they merely submit their proposed, agreed-upon plans to the court for approval.

Out-of-court negotiations are typically less adversarial than litigation. Both parents must agree to avoid confrontation and to fully disclose any and all information necessary to create a parenting plan in a child’s or children’s best interest. Mediation involves each party hiring an attorney to act on his or her behalf. In collaborative law, numerous licensed professionals may also take part in sessions, such as a child psychologist or financial adviser.

No matter which particular route is taken to resolve child custody issues in an Ohio divorce, a judge overseeing a particular case will issue final orders to which both parents must fully adhere. If, down the line, a legal problem arises, such as a parent not showing up for visitation repeatedly or refusing to return a child to the other parent at the agreed-upon place and time, a family law attorney may be consulted to help determine a best course of action to rectify the problem. The court may hold a parent in contempt for refusing to adhere to its orders.