Can I Modify My Ohio Child Custody Agreement?

Is your current child custody plan no longer working out? Do you need to make changes, but your child’s other parent isn’t making things easy? Call an Ohio child custody lawyer at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA for help resolving family disputes like these.

A qualified family lawyer is here to help with your Ohio child custody agreement. This way, you can get into a routine that works best for you, your children, and your family.

The child custody laws in Ohio can be complex. And parents can’t modify child custody plans on a whim. Learn more about the child custody and custody modification process below. To set up a consultation with one of our attorneys about your options, call (419) 625-7770.

Child Custody in Ohio

You and your child’s other parent should have a legal parenting plan in place. This helps protect both parents’ rights and your children’s. When family disputes arise, custody arrangements can become volatile. You can prevent situations from escalating if you have a custody plan in place.

You can work with your child‘s other parent to come to an arrangement. But if you are unable to work together, the court may decide what parenting plan is in the best interests of your shared children.

Ohio does not use the term “custody” but instead calls it the “allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.” There are two primary types of rights and responsibilities: Parenting time and decision-making responsibilities.

Physical Custody in Ohio

Parenting time is also called physical custody. It refers to the parent that the children primarily live with. In some cases, one parent may have primary residential time. They would be referred to as the residential parent. In cases where the children spend equal amounts of time with both parents, a shared parenting order can be issued.

Legal Custody in Ohio

Decision-making responsibilities are also commonly known as legal custody. This involves all of the ways your children will be raised, including:

  • Where they will go to school
  • What extracurricular activities they participate in
  • What religion they are raised to believe, if any
  • Making medical decisions
  • Other major life decisions

One parent may be awarded sole decision-making responsibilities. Here, that parent would not be required to discuss major life decisions with the other parent. Most families enter into shared parenting plans and make decisions about their children together. Shared parenting plans are also called joint custody agreements.

If you do not already have an existing child custody order in place, your Ohio family lawyer can help formulate one that best suits your needs.

When a Custody Agreement Can Be Modified

Modifying a child custody plan in Ohio isn’t easy. The only way you can get a custody agreement modified is to prove that there has been some kind of substantial life change that requires it.

Reasons a child custody plan can be modified:

  • One parent loses their job
  • One parent moves
  • One parent wants to move
  • One parent gets married or remarried
  • One parent has been involved in criminal activity
  • One parent has been abusing or neglecting the children

You will also need to show that the modifications are in the best interests of your children.

Factors the courts will consider:

  • What the children want
  • Whether the children will need to move
  • Whether the children will need to change schools
  • If both parents are physically and mentally healthy
  • How the children will be taken care of financially
  • Whether either parent has a criminal record
  • Whether the parents agree to a modified plan

After reviewing the details, your child custody lawyer can help you figure out your next steps in the custody modification process.

How To Modify a Child Custody Agreement in Ohio

Modifying your child custody plan probably requires filing a motion in the Ohio family court system.

If your child’s other parent agrees to the changes, the judge should have no problem granting your petition and enacting a new child custody plan with your modifications in mind.

But when your child’s other parent contests the changes, you may need to prove that your modifications are necessary and in the best interests of your children.

In either case, you’ll be scheduled for a hearing where you can appear before the judge to try to get your custody motion granted.

Reach Out To a Child Custody Lawyer in Ohio

Do you need to modify your existing child custody agreement? Make sure you protect your rights and your child. Get help from an Ohio child custody lawyer at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA.

We have the experience and ability to get you through this challenging time. Schedule a consultation when you call our office at (419) 625-7770. Or you can fill out our contact form to get started on your custody modification petition.