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FAQs About Ohio Child Visitation
If a divorce, dissolution, legal separation, or annulment proceeding involves a child and if the court has not issued a shared parenting decree, the court shall make a just and reasonable order or decree permitting each parent who is not the residential parent to visit the child at the time and under the conditions that the court directs, unless the court determines that it would not be in the best interest of the child to permit that parent to visit the child. Whenever possible, the order or decree permitting the visitation shall ensure the opportunity for both parents to have frequent and continuing contact with the child, unless frequent and continuing contact by either parent with the child would not be in the best interest of the child. The court shall include in its final decree a specific schedule of visitation for that parent.
What factors does the court take into consideration when determining visitation rights?
In determining whether to grant visitation rights in establishing a specific visitation schedule, and in determining other visitation matters, the court must consider all of the following factors:
Does a parent have to exercise visitation rights?
No. There is no law that requires a parent to exercise his/her visitation rights if they choose not to do so.
May a parent deny visitation rights to another parent if that parent is not making his/her child support payments?
No. A parent may not be denied visitation for failure to pay child support.
May a parent stop paying child support if he/she is denied court ordered visitation by the other parent?
No. The duty to pay child support is separate and distinct from the right to visitation with a child.
How can a parent enforce his/her visitation rights if he/she is being denied visitation?
A parent who is being denied visitation with his/her child can ask the court to find the parent who is wrongfully denying the visitation in contempt of court. If found in contempt, the offending parent may be made to pay court costs, including the attorney fees of the other parent, may be ordered to allow the parent to make up the missed visitation time, and may be ordered to spend time in jail.
Can a visitation order be modified?
A visitation order can be modified under the same conditions that a court can modify a prior order allocating parental rights and responsibilities; there must be a showing of changed circumstances since the original decree or a showing of facts that were unknown to the court at the time of the decree; and that the modification would be in the best interests of the child.
At any time during or after the divorce case, a parent may request that a child support order be modified. Modification is granted in order to meet changes in the needs of the children. For example, if a child develops special medical needs, the court may modify child support to require that a parent pay to meet those needs. It is also possible for the court to modify a child support order when there are changes in a parent's ability to pay the original support order. For example, if a parent loses his or her job, the court may decrease the child support payment to reflect the loss in income. In the alternative, the court may increase child support payments if a parent gets a raise or wins the lottery.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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