Nancy L. Sponseller

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Parenting and custody in Ohio

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Friday, October 17, 2014.

Ohio parents going through a divorce may benefit from learning more about the state laws governing child custody, visitation rights and parenting time. Unless either parent petitions for shared parenting with a plan or it is in the best interest of the child, the courts may appoint one parent to be the residential parent and child’s legal custodian. The other responsibilities and rights would be divided between the parents. The noncustodial parent is usually required to pay child support, but does have the right to ongoing contact with the child.

If either parent files a motion and submits a plan that has been agreed upon by both parents and is approved by a judge, the court will order the parental responsibilities and rights in accordance with the plan. Both parents will share duties in the physical and legal care of the child. The allocation of rights and responsibilities, or any modifications made to an existing parenting plan often depend on whether it is in the best interest of the child.

In evaluating the best interests of the child and allocating the rights in a shared parenting plan, at the court’s discretion or by request of either parent, the child may be interviewed in chambers regarding their concerns and wishes regarding the proposed living arrangements. Before proceeding, courts may consider determining the child’s reasoning ability. The courts take the child’s concerns and desires into consideration when determining which scenario is in the child’s best interest.

A parent who needs help drafting a shared parenting plan or obtaining a modification to a current arrangement may benefit from contacting a family law attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help a parent negotiate more favorable terms or obtain more rights, such as a more viable visitation schedule.

Source: codes.ohio.gov, “Chapter 3109: Children“, October 11, 2014