Columbus, Ohio Child Visitation Rights Attorneys

The rights of a parent to see their child depends on a few things.  First, it depends on whether or not  there is already a court order in place for custody or visitation.  Second, it depends on whether or not the parents of the child were married or not when the child was born.  Unmarried fathers have virtually no rights until paternity is established.   See Unmarried Father's Rights here.  

If the parents of the child are married, but currently separated, then child visitation rights in Ohio are a little bit complicated.  Basically, in Ohio, two married parents of a child both have full custody and visitation rights to their children while the parents remain married.  As a practical matter, when a married couple is separated, then usually one or both parents are arguing or not able to get along and make decisions about the children.  What happens a lot is that one parent will move out and the other parent will take over as the primary caretaker for the children.  If that parent is preventing the other parent from seeing the children, then this could effect which parent the Judge awards custody or visitation time to later on in the divorce.  In determining child custody and visitation rights in Ohio, one big factor is that the Judge looks at whether one parent is willfully denying access to the children to the other parent.  So in Ohio, if one parent is preventing the other parent from seeing the children, the Judge may decide to award custody to the other parent.  

In Ohio, there is no law about which parent gets visitation rights to the children when the parents are married.  It is assumed that married parents are going to decide this among themselves and share in full legal authority over the children.  The law in Ohio only comes into effect for child visitation when one parent actually files for divorce.  Then the court gets the power to decide child custody and visitation issues.  So while the parents are separated but still married, the parents have to decide child visitation and custody issues among themselves.  Only when a divorce gets filed is one parent able to get court orders for custody and visitation.  

Child Visitation After a Divorce is Filed in Ohio

Once a divorce is filed, then in Ohio a motion for temporary court orders is usually filed along with the divorce complaint.  This motion will ask the Court to issue temporary child visitation and custody orders while the divorce case is ongoing.  This is also why if you are married but separated and having issues with agreeing on child visitation issues, then it makes the most sense to go ahead and file for divorce in order to get some visitation rights.  Once the divorce case is being wrapped up, then the Judge will issue a final order.  The final order is not necessarily the same as the temporary order.  Unless the parties agree to a parenting schedule themselves, the court will impose its own schedule on the parents.  A court will consider whether it is in the best interest of the child to see the non-custodial parent at all.  In Franklin County, the court uses Local Rule 27 as a parenting time guideline.  Delaware and Union counties have similar rules that are unique to their counties.  Franklin County Local Rule 27 can be found here.   

Modification of Child Visitation Order

If the parents already have a court order for custody and visitation, then that order can always be modified later on.  One parent will usually want to modify the plan if things have not been going very well with the plan, one parent has moved, or if there has been a change of circumstances that make it so a change is necessary.  In modifying an existing court order for visitation, the Court will look to see whether there was a change of circumstances and if a change to the visitation order would be in the best interest of the children.  If you need an attorney to help you obtain a custody or visitation order for your children or modify an existing order, you can contact a child custody and visitation attorney at Harris & Engler.

Child Visitation & Custody Attorneys

The attorneys at Harris & Engler can help you to assert your parental rights to see your child and customize a parenting time schedule that takes your needs and wishes into consideration. If you need to establish visitation, modify visitation, or want to talk to an attorney about the other party's failure to abide by a child visitation order then contact an attorney at Harris & Engler.  The law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, and its attorneys help clients across Central Ohio with child visitation issues.
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