After two parents hash out the logistics for child support and custody, the next step is for life to go on and for the children to have the highest quality of life possible. A huge factor in this equation is sustaining quality relationships with both parents, if possible. Visitation, commonly called “parenting time” in Ohio, allows this to happen even when one parent was not awarded custody of the child.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visitation

Many parents hope that they will never have to leave their relationship with their child to the court, which may be part of why most parents have a lot of questions about what visitation entails. Below are some of the most common questions and their answers, provided by Ohio Legal Services:

  • How is visitation established? Each county in Ohio has a “standard parenting time schedule,” which is used as a starting point by courts in setting parenting time schedules for the cases in those jurisdictions. 
  • Are there alternatives to “standard parenting time schedules?” A court may order a parenting time schedule with terms and conditions that vary from the standard schedule. In cases involving child abuse or domestic violence, the court may restrict the abusive parent’s visitation rights by ordering supervised visitation, designating specific pickup and drop-off points, prohibiting the parent’s consumption of alcohol or legal drugs during visitation periods, requiring the abusive parent to attend parenting classes or counseling, or prohibiting the parent from taking the children out of state.
  • What if a parent violates their visitation rights? A custodial parent’s interference with the visitation rights or parenting time of the other parent may trigger a court contempt action against that parent. Such interference is also a factor that the court must consider in determining which parent should be awarded custody in any future child custody or custody modification proceedings.
  • Can I visit my child if they are out of state? Visitation with your child will be defined in your court orders. If you have visitation with your child and the custodial parent takes the child out of the state without your prior knowledge, consult with your attorney about your options.

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Determining Parenting Time Schedules

When you and the other parent can agree on a visitation schedule, the court will most likely approve it. If you two cannot agree on the schedule, the court will decide what schedule is best for your child. In such cases, the following factors may be considered:

  • The child's relationships with both parents, siblings, and other significant people
  • Where the parents live and the distance between the parents' homes
  • The child's school, holiday, and vacation schedules
  • The child's age, health, and safety
  • The child's adjustment to home, school, and community
  • The amount of time that will be available for the child to spend with siblings
  • The mental and physical health of the parents and the child
  • Each parent's willingness to reschedule missed parenting time
  • Other factors that affect the best interest of the child

In cases where you and the other parent are having a difficult time finding a schedule that you both agree on, reviewing the above factors may help you make the decision before a judge does so for you. Working with an attorney throughout the process will also help you find a solution that suits both parties.

Visitation Attorney in Cleveland, OH

Attorney Sherry Naegele has been practicing law in the state of Ohio since 2000. Her practice encompasses all areas of family law, and her experience and compassion can help you through life’s most difficult situations. Contact her today to get started.