In virtually all cases, determining child custody is one of the most important, and most contentious, aspects of any divorce settlement that involves children. Emotions can run high, and you will likely need an attorney that can remain calm and provide clear, concise guidance as you navigate the proceedings.
Our Hilliard child visitation lawyer at Dailey Law Offices has handled thousands of cases across Franklin County family courts, and is proud to bring that experience and skill to each and every client she works with.
Deciding What’s Best for Your Child
Many family law issues deal with child custody and visitation matters, either during the pendency of a divorce, between parties who have never been married, or with respect to a post-decree matter in which custody or visitation disputes that arise after an order has already been put in place.
Some issues that may arise in child custody and visitation are:
- Emergency custody orders
- Temporary custody issues
- And post-decree modification of a shared parenting plan or custody agreement
When determining custody for your child, you and your spouse must come to an agreement regarding the two different types of custody:
- Legal custody refers to the ability of the parent to make decisions regarding medical care, education, religion, and other matters.
- Physical custody refers to where the child lives and spends their time.
The parents will then either have joint custody, in which they share the legal and physical responsibilities of the child, or one parent will have sole custody and the other non-custodial parent will have visitation rights. If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement regarding these arrangements, the courts will decide for you.
Visitation Rights for Parents vs Non-Parents
Ohio law differentiates parent visitation rights by separating it into parent vs non-parent. Visitation time for parents is referred to as parenting time, whereas non-parent’s is called companionship or visitation rights.
If you are not holding primary custody rights, the court may or may not grant you parenting time. Generally, a court would deny visitation if it wasn’t in the child’s best interest.
What Factors Determine Visitation Rights for Parents?
The factors used to determine visitation rights for parents in Ohio are include:
- Both the location of each parents’ homes, and the distance between them.
- If either parent is residing out of state
- The overall health & safety of the child
- The physical and mental well-being of both the parents and the child
- Age of the child
What Factors Determine Visitation Rights for Non-Parents?
The court may allow visitation rights to any person related to the child, if the following criteria are met:
- The best interests of the child aren’t broken by the visitation
- The individual visiting files a motion with the court
- The court finds that the visiting person has an interest in the welfare of the child
Do I Need a Lawyer for Child Visitation?
While hiring a lawyer isn't a requirement, it can be extremely beneficial.
Here are a few reasons you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer:
- Your ex has hired legal representation
- Your case went from simple to complex due to unforeseen events such as your ex accusing you of being "unfit"
- Your case is now cross jurisdiction due to you or your spouse moving across state lines
- Your kids may be in danger or your ex is trying to prevent you from having visitation rights
Does a Child Have to Visit a Parent With Visitation Rights?
It's not uncommon for a child to refuse visitation with the non-custodial parent, especially at specific ages. You may be wondering what age can a child refuse visitation in Ohio. Children under the age of 18 cannot legally make the decision themselves whether or not to have visitation with their parents.
The only way for children under 18 to not have to go to visitation is for the custodial parent to try to get a modification of the custody agreement by going back to court. While the best interests of the child are always weighed by the court, if the judge ruled for the father to get visitation, they will enforce it because they felt it was best for the child.
There is plenty of responsibility that lies on the parent's shoulders to talk with their children so that they feel more comfortable with their living conditions.
Call Us Today to Get Started on Your Custody Case
Dailey Law Offices’ experienced and caring Hilliard child custody attorney understands how precious and important your children are to you. We treat all of our child custody and visitation matters with the utmost sensitivity and urgency that we know our clients will demand.
Call us at (614) 524-4048 to schedule your initial consultation!
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