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Custody and visitation rights for unmarried parents

There are several reasons parents may disagree over where their children should live after they separate. Most times, both parents want what is best for their children, but when they can't agree, a family court judge may need to make the decision for them. Courts in Ohio award custody based on the best interest of the children. Courts could award sole custody to one parent or shared custody to both parents. When one parent is awarded sole custody, the other typically has rights to visitation.

To avoid a parenting time schedule that includes alternating weekends and one day during the week, parents could create their own visitation agreement and present it to the court. Because parents know their own and their children's schedules better than the judge, these agreements are often approved. Parents who don't have a good relationship may benefit from putting their own feelings aside to make an agreement that works for both of their busy lives.

In some cases, a parent might be denied visitation. Because family courts encourage both parents to be involved with their children, denial of visitation is rare. If the court doesn't feel comfortable, based on evidence, to leave children alone with the noncustodial parent, the judge might issue an order for supervised or virtual visitation so that the parent can maintain a relationship with their children. If this happens, a parent should learn how they can restore their full visitation rights.

When parents can't agree on where the children will live, they could depend on courts to intervene and make decisions on behalf of the family. A child custody lawyer may be able to help a parent present their story to the court. Whether a parent is interested in custody or visitation, an attorney may assist them in negotiating an agreement with their child's other parent.

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136 West Mound Street
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Phone: 614-556-4280
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