After a divorce of parents who have young children, there will likely be a parent who the child physically spends the majority of their time with. However, the child may express a desire to live with the noncustodial parent. Depending on the maturity and age of a child, in Ohio, the child's wishes may be taken into account. If there is no legal child custody agreement in place, children may live wherever they like as long as the parents are in agreement.
However, the court makes its decision based on the child's best interests, and it may determine that what is in the best interests of the child may not be the same as what the child wants. Some children may simply want to live with the parent they see as more lenient.
Another issue the court is aware of is custodial interference. This involves one parent trying to influence the child. For example, during visitation, noncustodial parents might try to convince children that they should live with them.
If a parent is genuinely concerned about a child's safety, the child might be removed from the home, and the parent might only be allowed supervised access or may not be permitted access. However, this is unusual, and in general, family law courts proceed with the assumption that a child should have the opportunity to maintain a relationship with both parents. Parents who feel that custodial interference might be occurring may want to discuss the situation with their attorney. They may also want to document any interaction that suggests this is the case. However, the best situation is for parents to strive to cooperate with one another and resolve their differences outside of court.