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Which visitation schedule is the right one for you and your child?

FAMILY VISITATION LAWYERVisitation schedules are not “one size fits all”.

While each Ohio county has a local rule visitation schedule, these local rules are more of a guideline than a rule.  What this means is that each county must have a default schedule that the court considers as the least amount of time that the court generally awards to a fit parent.  This gives parents an idea regarding what to expect, and perhaps this will guide the parents toward agreement.

The schedule the court orders must be in best interest of the child.    Generally, Ohio courts favor schedules that allow the child to see each parent frequently, especially  when the child is very young.  The idea is that the child needs frequent contact with each parent to promote bonding.

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VISITATION LAWYERSo what if the local visitation schedule is not the ideal schedule for your child?  Although Ohio courts often rely on the county’s local visitation schedule as a “jumping off point” so to speak, the court (or the parents, by agreement) may alter the schedule in any way which is in the best interest of the child.  The term “local rule” is sometimes misleading – there is NO RULE which REQUIRES a court to order the local rule visitation schedule as your visitation schedule.  It is simply a guideline.

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PARENTING TIME ATTORNEYSo if the local rule visitation schedule does not work for you, then what schedule should you ask for?  What schedule would work best for you and your child, and be fair to both parents?  The Supreme Court of Ohio has posted a publication on its website entitled “Planning for Parenting Time. Ohio Guide for Parents Living Apart.”   If you read the fine print (under “Limitations of this Guide”, it says that the guide only represents the opinions of the authors, and is does not represent the legal opinion of the Supreme Court of Ohio.  The Introduction to the guide presents the guide as a “resource for the creation of sensible parenting time schedules”.  The Introduction goes on to say that the guide “fosters fair and creative parenting time schedules based on children’s developmental milestones and best interests”.

This guide has 14 parenting schedules to choose from.  The guide also discusses the author’s opinions regarding parenting time needs of children at different ages.

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UNMARRIED FATHER LAWYERIt is better to think of local rule visitation schedules as a floor, rather than a ceiling.  A fit parent is going to get AT LEAST that much parenting time, probably more.  It may not be that exact schedule – not every family has the same work schedule.  Some families work second or third shift, some families live several states apart.

To discuss your options regarding parenting schedules, parental rights, custody and visitation, call one of our Columbus Custody Lawyers to discuss your options.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!

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