Raising a child is very difficult. Add to the difficulty in raising a child the specter of a child custody suit, and you have a recipe that can end in disaster.

In Ohio, child custody is not fair. It is not just. It is determined by judges, whose jurisdiction is determined by whether the child’s parents were married to each other. Under this jurisdictional scheme, Ohio’s children are failed. This failure stems from Ohio courts making their own rules without care to fairness and equality. Within most of Ohio’s eighty-eight counties, juvenile and domestic relations courts can, and do, set separate, often disparate child visitation schedules. This means that a child can live next door to another, and yet the minimum allotment of visitation time with a parent under a child custody order is likely wildly different. This Note examines the history of this jurisdictional scheme, explores the negative consequences that are failing Ohio’s children, and proposes a solution that will benefit children that are currently stuck going through the child custody system.