Making decisions related to child custody can be one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce. Sometimes parents are able to come up with a custody arrangement on their own. More often than not, however, the court needs to intervene. Each state has its own laws to govern child custody decisions, but generally it all boils down to what's in the best interests of the child.
In Ohio, the law distinguishes visitation rights for parents versus visitation rights for non-parents by calling visitation "parenting time" when it refers to parents' visitation rights, and "companionship or visitation rights" when it refers to a non-parent's visitation rights. The court grants parenting time to the parent who isn't the "residential parent" - the parent with primary physical custody. The court generally issues orders or decrees that allow the opportunity for both parents to have frequent and continuing contact with the child, unless such contact by either parent wouldn't be in the child's best interest.
Ohio Child Visitation Laws at a Glance
While it's important to read the literal language of a statute, it can be helpful to read a summary of the statute in plain English as well. In the following chart you can find a summary of Ohio child visitation laws, and links to relevant statutes.
Ohio Revised Code Title XXXI Section 3109.051 (Parenting Time - Companionship or Visitation Rights)
|Factors in Determining Parenting Time or Visitation Rights
In determining whether to grant parenting time or visitation rights, the court considers various factors* including:
- The location of each parent's home and distance between the two homes, or if the person seeking visitation is not the parent, the location of his or her home and distance of that person's home from the child's home;
- If either parent is living (or plans on living) out of state;
- The availability of the child and parent depending on each parent's work schedule, the child's school schedule, and the parent's and child's holiday and vacation schedule;
- The child's age;
- The child's adjustment to home, school, and community;
- The child's health and safety;
- How much time the child will be able to spend with siblings;
- The physical and mental and health of all parties;
- The willingness of each parent to reschedule any missed parenting time and to facilitate the other parent's parenting time rights.
*For a complete list of factors, please see Section 3109.051(D).
|Visitation Rights for Non-Parents
The court can grant reasonable visitation rights to any person that's related to the child, or any other person (other than a parent), if the following conditions are met:
- The person seeking visitation files a motion with the court;
- The court determines that the person has an interest in the welfare of the child; and
- The court determines that granting the visitation rights is in the best interest of the child.
Ohio Revised Code Title XXXI
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Ohio Child Visitation Laws: Related Resources
If you'd like more information related to this topic, you can visit the links below:
Get Legal Help to Better Understand Child Visitation Laws in Ohio
Even though a divorce ends the relationship between a couple, it's important for a child to maintain their parental relationships. If you have questions about Ohio child visitation laws, or you'd like help with enforcing your child visitation rights, it's a good idea to reach out to an experienced child custody lawyer near you today.