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North Canton Parenting Time Lawyer

Ohio is one of several states that have enacted laws that 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.

Parenting Time Under Ohio Law

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 on 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 with as much time as possible with their child.

The Child’s Best Interests

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:

  • The mental and physical health of the parents;
  • The child’s mental and physical health, and any special needs considerations;
  • The child’s relationship with each parent, siblings, and other members of each household;
  • How well the child will likely adjust to changes in the home, school, and community;
  • The parents’ wishes;
  • Each parent’s willingness to support the child’s relationship with the other;
  • The parents’ willingness to cooperate and share in the major decisions related to raising the child; and,
  • Other considerations as designated by the statute or where appropriate.

Note that a court may take into account the child’s wishes, if appropriate considering the child’s age and level of maturity.

A Parenting Time and Visitation Lawyer Can Help

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.

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