Child Visitation

child visitation rights

Mothers, fathers, and grandparents all play an essential role in a child’s life. Children who have a healthy relationship with their parents and other family members are more likely to develop positive relationships with others. These relationships also promote a child’s emotional, social, and cognitive development.

If you are a parent or grandparent and are being denied quality time with your child or grandchild, you must remember that you have rights. Under Ohio law, you can ask the court to order visitation if the child’s parent or legal guardian denies your rightful time with them.

The first step in securing court-ordered visitation is to speak to an experienced domestic relations attorney. Our domestic relations lawyers at Slater & Zurz understand how crucial it is to have a strong, happy, and healthy relationship with your child or grandchild. That is why we are strong advocates for child visitation rights and will aggressively pursue a resolution that will secure visitation and preserve your opportunity to develop and maintain a close bond with your child.

Schedule your FREE consultation with an Ohio child visitation rights attorney by calling 888.534.4850 or filling out our online form.

Physical Custody and Visitation

Ohio child custody laws recognize physical custody as the responsibility for the day-to-day care of a child. When a child spends the majority of the time residing with one parent, that parent is generally awarded sole physical custody and referred to as the “custodial parent.” In this case, the other parent or “noncustodial parent” is given a regular schedule of visits with their child.

When the child resides at both parents’ homes and they share in the day-to-day responsibilities, it is referred to as a “shared parenting” arrangement. Although this arrangement does not need to be exactly 50/50, the time spent with each parent is usually relatively equal.

Whether parents establish a sole custody or shared parenting arrangement is up to the parents themselves or, in situations where the parents disagree with the terms, determined by the courts.

Mother’s and Father’s Custody Rights in Ohio

When a married couple separates or divorces, they must develop a custody and visitation agreement. They must figure out how to split their time with their child in a way that satisfies the wishes and needs of the child, mother, and father.

When a parent loses the precious time they once were able to spend with their child, the experience can be devastating and frightening. However, under Ohio law, both parents have the right to a certain, regular amount of time unless the child’s health, safety, or well-being is in jeopardy.

Parents with a history of domestic violence or substance abuse are generally still permitted to see their children. Though their visitation will likely be supervised by a third party or agency.

Both parents must understand that they cannot, in any way, deny the other parent their court-ordered visits. When one parent tries to prevent the other from seeing their child, they can be found in contempt of court and face both fines and jail time.

Speak to a child visitation rights lawyer today. Call 888.534.4850

How Ohio Courts Determine Child Visitation Rights

When issuing a visitation order, the courts will consider the parents’ wishes. However, the judge will ultimately look at what arrangement is in the best interests of the child. In Ohio, courts look at several factors when issuing a child visitation order. Under Ohio Revised Code 3109.04, courts consider the following factors:

  • The child’s wishes
  • The wishes of both parents
  • Their relationship with their parents, siblings, and others living in the parents’ homes
  • The child’s adjustment to their home, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of the child
  • The parents’ mental and physical health
  • Both parents’ willingness to abide by the court-ordered visitation
  • Whether either parent has failed to make court-ordered child support payments
  • Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, and child abuse or neglect
  • Either parents’ continuous and willful denial of the other parents’ visitation
  • Whether either parent has established, or plans to establish, a primary residence outside of the state

Unmarried Parents’ Visitation Rights in Ohio

When parents are unmarried, Ohio law gives sole legal and physical custody of the child to the mother. Unlike the mother, the child’s father is not automatically given parental rights when the child is born. If the father wishes to establish a shared parenting arrangement and gain visitation rights of his child, they must first establish paternity (show they are the child’s biological father.) Once paternity is established, he can ask the court to grant him custody and visitation.

Ohio Child Visitation Rights for Grandparents

When a couple decides to end their relationship, the grandparents of their children often suffer. They are frequently denied the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren and be an important part of their lives. Fortunately, when one or both parents deny a grandparent time with their grandchild, they have the right to seek visitation from an Ohio court.

If you have not been allowed to spend quality time with your grandchild, a skilled domestic relations attorney can help. Your attorney can develop a compelling argument, showing it is in the child’s best interests to have you in their life.

If the court decides to grant you visitation, your grandchild’s parents must comply with the order. Similar to parental visitation, if either parent interferes with or denies you your court-ordered visitation, they can be held in contempt of court and face substantial fines and jail time.

Modifying Child Visitation

Unless modified, an Ohio child custody order will remain in place until the child turns 18, is emancipated, marries, or joins the military. If one or both parents wish to modify an established child visitation order, they can file a “request to modify” with the court. However, the judge will only modify an existing order if he or she feels there is a significant change in circumstances and the adjustment is in the child’s best interests. Examples of a valid change in circumstance include:

  • A parent moving out of state
  • The child’s present or future well-being
  • Domestic abuse
  • The child’s wishes
  • Emotional or physical health of the parent
  • Change in the child’s living environment

Protect your child’s visitation rights. Call 888.534.4850 or contact us online.

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Visitation
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Legal custody gives a parent the right to make important decisions on behalf of their child. These decisions address the child’s overall welfare, including the child’s education, medical and dental care, and religious practices.

Physical custody gives the parent the responsibility to provide day-to-day care for the child. It also refers to where the child lives on a regular basis.

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Yes. Grandparents have the legal right to see their grandchildren. Grandparents can ask the court for visitation if one or both parents are denying them access to their grandchild, one or both parents are deceased, or the parents are going through a divorce or legal separation. They can also seek visitation when the child’s parents are unmarried as long as their son has established paternity.
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No. Even if your former spouse has sole physical custody of your child, you are still entitled to regular visitation. Under Ohio law, every parent is entitled to some amount of visitation or parenting time as long as the child’s safety and well-being are not at risk. Even in those cases, the parents will likely still be able to see their children but may have to do so under supervision.

Protecting Child Visitation Rights Across Ohio

At Slater & Zurz, we believe a child’s healthy relationship with his or her parents is an essential contributor to their overall health and well-being. These relationships foster their sense of love, safety, and belonging. If the relationship with your child or grandchild is being impeded by divorce or legal separation, we can help.

Parents have the right to be an integral part of their children’s lives. They have the right to make important decisions on their behalf and spend time with them on a regular basis. Your relationship with your child should never be negatively impacted because your relationship with your partner or former spouse has ended. That is why we are dedicated to representing your best interests in your Ohio child visitation rights case, ensuring you and your child have the relationship you deserve.

To take the first step in establishing or preserving your visitation rights, we highly recommend contacting our firm. We offer a free consultation to ensure you know your rights, understand your legal options and can make an informed decision on how to proceed. To arrange a consultation with a qualified child visitation lawyer in Ohio, call 888.534.4850 or fill out this form.