If you have made the decision to seek custody of your child in Ohio, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic elements of applicable law. Child custody proceedings and determinations are governed by Chapter 3109 of the Ohio Revised Code. Ohio law and judges prefer that parents work out appropriate custody arrangements through negotiation. However, if the parents cannot resolve child custody issues on their own, the court is called upon to make these decisions through the filing of a motion.
Request a Motion for Child Custody form from the clerk of the court. Ohio court clerks normally have a selection of different types of motions and pleadings for use by litigants who do not have legal representation.
Complete the motion form. Specifically, include the names of both parents, the name and age of the child or children and a statement regarding the manner in which you believe parental rights and responsibilities should be divided between the parents. In other words, set forth that you desire to have physical custody of the child--have the child live with you--and share legal custody, or decision making, with the other parent.
Make an extra copy of the motion for your records and another duplicate for the other parent.
File the original version of the motion with the clerk of the court.
Send a copy of the motion to the other parent. Ohio law requires that you send a copy of the motion for child custody to the other parent at the time you formally file the document with the clerk of the court.
Request a hearing on your motion for child custody. A hearing is scheduled as part of the motion filing process in Ohio. The request is directed either to the clerk of the court or the administrative assistant to the judge assigned the case, depending on the specific procedures in a particular Ohio county court system.