After a divorce or dissolution where one parent is granted custody and named the child’s residential parent and legal custodian, the other (non-custodial) parent will generally be granted visitation rights with the child. In Ohio, child visitation is called parenting time. If you’re going through a divorce, or you want to have an existing court order modified to allow you additional time with your child, you’ll need the services of an experienced Cincinnati family lawyer who can fight for your rights as a parent.
John Heilbrun has been helping clients from in or around Cincinnati navigate the intricacies of family law for more than 30 years. Please call the Law Office of John Heilbrun at 513-370-2312 today to schedule your initial consultation.
Parenting Time Factors
In cases of divorce or dissolution, the decree issued by the court (which, if applicable, will incorporate any agreement the parents entered into) will determine the child custody arrangement. The decree will either provide that the parents will have shared parenting with their children in accordance with a shared parenting plan agreed to by both parties, or one parent will be named the residential/custodial parent and the other the non-residential/non-custodial parent.
If the spouses can’t agree on a suitable parenting arrangement, the court will have to determine the issues of custody and parenting time. When deciding these issues, the court will make its determination based on what the presiding judge believes to be in the best interests of the child, taking into account all factors concerning parenting issues, including:
- The child’s wishes
- The parents’ wishes
- Mental and physical health of the parents and the child
- The child’s level of attachment to his or her home, school and community
- The history of either parent’s compliance with an order to make child support payments
- The flexibility of both spouses, and whether they’re willing to make visitation work
- Prior convictions for either parent or respective family members for offenses that endangered the child, such as abuse or neglect
Parenting Time Rights
In Ohio, either the court order or agreement between both parties must set a specific schedule for visitation/parenting time. In cases where the parents can’t agree on a suitable parenting time arrangement, the court might use a standard schedule as a starting point. Standard parenting time schedules vary from county to county, and the judge presiding over your divorce case could order a different arrangement if he or she believes it would be in the best interests of the child.
The parenting time schedule will include the following:
- Days and hours of the week visits are to take place
- Parental visitation rights on holidays
- The amount of vacation/extended parenting time each parent will be entitled to, and when it will take place
- The location of the visits
- Parenting time that will include overnights
Modifying Parenting Time
If one or both parents find that the initial visitation arrangement denies them meaningful time with their child, or that the arrangement is no longer in the child’s best interest, either party can petition the court for a modification of the parenting time schedule. Even if you and your former spouse are able to discuss and agree upon changes to the visitation schedule, you will likely require a qualified family lawyer who can help you prepare the formal agreement to be signed by you and your former spouse and then filed with the court.
To learn more about how our Cincinnati family lawyer can help resolve difficult decisions involving child custody, visitation and other issues in divorce cases, please contact the Law Office of John Heilbrun or call 513-370-2312 today to schedule your consultation.