Subscribe to the RSS Feed

Five Things You Need to Know About Visitation in Ohio by an Ohio Visitation Lawyer

Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio Visitation Lawyer and a OSBA Certified Family Relations Specialist.  

OHIO VISITATION LAWYER1.  In Ohio, visitation is a privilege, not an obligation.  What that means is when a person has a visitation order (now called parenting time), there is no penalty for failing to exercise parenting time.  To break it down even more, unless there are specific provisions in the parenting time order mandating that all parenting time be exercised (rare), then a person cannot be in contempt for failing to exercise his or her visitation (parenting time or companionship time).  Unfortunately, a person can just skip his or her visitation and not get in trouble from the court.

However, if a person has a pattern of acting in this way, courts are often willing to put a provision in the parenting time order that he or she must call a designated period of time in advance to confirm the he/she will be exercising the visitation (parenting time).  Some courts will go so far as to say that if three visitations in a row are missed visitation is terminated until further order of the court.  These provisions are rarely included in the initial order.  Instead they are usually inserted after the party who is being inconvenienced by the missed visitation brings the issue in front of the court by filing a post-decree motion.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

OHIO VISITATION LAWYER2.  Visitation, it’s not just for parents anymore.  The Ohio revised code provides for visitation for persons who are related to a child by “affinity or consanguinity”.  In other words, people who are close to a child by nature of their relationship with the child or by their blood ties to the child may petition a court for visitation.  See ORC 3109.11, ORC 3109.12 and ORC 3109.051.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

OHIO VISITATION LAWYER3.  Unmarried fathers need to establish paternity before they can even ask for visitation.  If a father is already paying court ordered or CSEA ordered child support then paternity has been established.  For more information on establishing paternity in Ohio, take a look at this article by an Ohio Paternity Lawyer.

4.  Almost every county in Ohio has a suggested visitation schedule for parents.  The visitation schedule is for the parent who is NOT the primary caregiver for the child.  The visitation is not something the court MUST order, and is not what the court ALWAYS orders, it is just a guideline.   Most important, the local rule visitation schedule does not apply until a Judge or Magistrate has ordered it in your case.  If you have a visitation order and it is not exactly the same as the local rule, then you have to abide by the terms of the order.  The schedule is usually found in the local court rules (possibly in separate courts for married and unmarried parents.  Copies of many of Ohio’s local rule visitation schedules can be found on our website, however, it is up to the reader to make sure that they are looking at the MOST CURRENT SCHEDULE before relying on the schedule.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

OHIO VISITATION LAWYER5.  Visitation is modifiable until the child turns 18 years old.  Even better, unlike custody, which is difficult (but not impossible) to change, the legal standard for changing visitation is “best interest of the child”.  That means that if you can show the court that the schedule you are proposing is best for the child, and the court agrees, the court can change your visitation schedule.  To learn more about how the court decides whether a certain schedule is in the best interest of the child, see Ohio Revised Code 3109.051.  After January 1, 2014, use this version of 3109.051.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.