Ohio is one of several states that have enacted laws which favor shared parenting for children after divorce, which is a preferred arrangement intended to maintain a strong bond between a child and parent. As such, the term “parenting time” is used to describe what has been traditionally referred to as visitation. Regardless of the language, the matter of parenting time can be a source of disagreement between divorcing spouses.
The parenting time/visitation practice group at Fout Law understands that divorce is tough, and parents’ concerns over minor children can make it difficult to resolve disputes. While reaching an agreement regarding parenting time is usually the optimal route, attorney Teresa Fout has extensive knowledge of divorce law and the litigation skills necessary to represent your interests in court.
State law recognizes that children benefit most when both parents have a hand in raising them, so shared parenting is the most common way to address parenting time/visitation. The arrangement does not necessarily require that parents get equal time, so there may be some variation on a 50-50 split based upon schedules, education, activities, and other factors.
The law encourages parents to agree on a parenting time plan, so it’s wise to retain an attorney to assist with negotiating, drafting, and executing the agreement. The goal is to create a realistic, flexible arrangement that provides each parent as much time as possible with the child.
In the absence of an agreement, it will be up to the court to make a determination on parenting time. As with other matters involving children, the child’s best interests are a paramount concern. This standard requires a judge to review:
Note that a court may take into account the child’s wishes, if appropriate considering the child’s age and level of maturity.
If you have questions regarding parenting time, visitation, and parenting plans, please contact the North Canton, OH office of Fout Law at 330-437-7455 or visit us online. Our legal team can help you understand your parental rights and responsibilities under Ohio law, and will advise you on options that help you maintain a strong relationship with your child. We will work to develop a parenting time arrangement that works for your entire family, while keeping in mind that the best interests of your child are the paramount consideration.