How The Ohio Court Handles Parenting Time
During divorce or annulment proceedings, the court will take any mediation report that has been filed into consideration. In most cases, the court is likely to uphold a mediation report unless it determines that the arrangement is not in the children’s best interest. The court will create a fair arrangement that allows the non-residential parent to have parenting time with the children. However, the court may place restrictions on a parent’s visitation if it determines that visitation is not in the children’s best interest.
The court may decide to interview a couple’s children in order to determine what arrangements will be in their best interests. The interviews may be conducted in the judge’s chamber with the children, their attorney, court staff members and the judge. The court will also consider previous family dynamics, the family’s schedule and the geographical distance between the two parents’ residences.
The most important factor in determining child custody and visitation arrangements is the children’s best interests. If the parents can agree on a shared parenting plan and submit that plan to the court, it is likely to agree with the plan. If no plan is submitted, the court might use a standard formula to create a visitation plan.
A family law attorney might evaluate a couple’s situation and assist with the development of a shared parenting plan that accommodates the family’s wishes, needs and schedule. In addition to child custody and visitation arrangements, an attorney can help with property division and spousal support. During the trial, the attorney might work to protect a client’s interests while the court considers the factors that may affect these issues.
Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, “3109.051 Parenting time – companionship or visitation rights.“, October 29, 2014