Divorces involving kids can be especially tough as child custody arrangements are a crucial part of any settlement or judgment. Parenting plans in Ohio are often tailored to each family’s individual needs, and sometimes divorcing parents choose to share parenting time equally. Ohio law says that shared parenting plans must designate one parent as the “residential parent for school placement purposes.”
Regardless of the parenting time allocation in a shared parenting plan – even if it’s equal, one parent must be designated as the residential parent for school placement purposes in order to determine which public school their child or children will attend. Moving out of state (or farther) complicates matters more so.
Considerations for the “Best Interest of the Child”
When a custodial parent wishes to move, they must file a document known as a “Notice of Intent to Relocate”. This document must be filed with the divorce court that issued the original custody order and also sent to the other parent. The court will also forward a copy of the notice to the non-custodial parent.
In many instances, the non-custodial parent will object to the move. When this happens, the court will hold a hearing to decide if it is possible to modify the agreed parenting time schedule to accommodate the move. If the judge finds it is not in the “child’s best interest” to modify the schedule and allow the move, the court can deny the custodial parent’s request. This action doesn’t stop the custodial parent from moving, but if they do, it will allow the non-custodial parent to ask the court to grant them primary custody and order the return of the kids.
In deciding whether to permit or stop the move, the court will consider many factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, ties to extended family in both areas, the distance the move will put between the child and the non-custodial parent, the reasons for the move, and the parents’ ongoing ability to amicably cooperate and for the sake of the child.
If your ex-spouse is requesting a move out of the area and has plans to potentially make visitation more difficult, it’s important to explore all of your potential legal options. Call the team at Garretson & Holcomb, LLC at (513) 863-6600 to learn more about their experience and set up an appointment to review your specific situation.