Child custody is an important legal matter that Ohio parents must address when they choose to end their relationships in divorce. Custody concerns two particular forms of parental rights, physical and legal, both of which have been discussed on this family law blog. However, if a parent is not awarded custodial rights to their children, specifically, physical custody rights, then they may find themselves contending over a visitation order or plan.
Visitation allows a parent to spend time with their child but not to a degree to consider it physical custody. For example, visitation between a parent and child may be fixed to certain and specific days and times, or it may be directed to be reasonable. If a parent is to have “reasonable visitation” with their child, then they may not have to follow a particular schedule for every visit.
A parent’s right to visitation with their child will, like custodial matters, be based on considerations of the child’s best interests. If a parent has allegations of abuse or neglect in their past, a court may rule that no visitation or supervised visitation is appropriate. Supervised visitation requires that visitation events happen in the presence of an approved third party.
If a parent is unable to secure physical custody of their child and is not allowed to share this power with their child’s other parent, they may fight for visitation time. Contact with one’s own child is necessary to maintain a close and meaningful relationship between a parent and their offspring. Family law attorneys can help their clients advocate for their parental rights to custody and visitation with the children that they love.