Modifying Custody and Parenting Time

Central Ohio Child Custody Attorneys

If the Court made a decree of divorce, dissolution, or legal separation and there were kids involved, it retains jurisdiction over the issues related to the children until they reach 18 years of age. This means that so long as the children are minors, the Court can modify custody or parenting time with the proper showing. Most post-decree litigation involves modification of custody or parenting time.

How do I let the Court know I want to change custody or parenting time?

child custody modify columbus ohio attorneyThe party requesting a change to custody or parenting time needs to file a motion with the Court, along with affidavits identifying for the Court where the child has resided for the last 5 years and what the cost of health insurance is for the child. The same case number, judge, and magistrate are assigned to the Motion as in the original decree. The other party must be served and the case proceeds much in the same way that a divorce might. Discovery is conducted and the parties prepare for trial. Typically, modification of custody and parenting time motions are heard by the magistrate assigned to the case.

How does the Court decide whether custody should be modified?

Modification of Child Custody decrees issued by the Court requires a showing that there has been a change of circumstances since the last decree was issued and that such a change is in the best interest of the child. The party requesting the change must also show that the benefits of the change of custody will outweigh any harm that may be caused.

How does the Court decide whether parenting time should be modified?

Whether to modify the parenting time schedule requires a showing that the change will be in the best interest of the children. This type of request usually does not require the moving party to show a change in circumstances or that a change will benefit more than harm the child.

We had a guardian ad litem during our divorce. Will the Court appoint a guardian ad litem again?

It is highly likely that the Court will appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the best interest of the child(ren). If you had a guardian ad litem during your custody parenting time visitation modify columbus ohio attorneydivorce, dissolution, legal separation, or original custody proceedings, the Court will probably appoint the same guardian to your post-decree modification proceeding. The guardian ad litem will have the same investigatory abilities as before and will ultimately make a recommendation to the Court about whether custody should be re-allocated or whether the parenting time schedule should change.

What if the other parent and I agree about how custody or parenting time should change?

If you and the other parent agree about whether and how to change the custody or parenting time provisions affecting your child(ren), the procedures are much simpler. A good attorney will know how to prepare an “Agreed Entry” for the Court’s approval. As always, agreements between the parties save time, money, and energy.

If you are looking to modify custody or parenting time issues or need to defend against such a motion, our attorneys can help. Call our Columbus, Ohio office at (614) 567-3031 to schedule your initial consultation. If you hire us, we will credit your account with the cost of your initial consultation.