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How a parent should handle concerns about visitation

Some Ohio custodial parents might wonder what they should do if they have concerns about their children's visitation with the other parent. Reasons for concern could be that the children say they do not want to go, that they complain they spend more time with the parent's new partner or that there is a history of substance abuse or domestic violence.

A parent may not be required to send the child to visit the other parent if abuse could be occurring or there is another situation endangering the child. However, if a parent is going to defy a court order, it must be for a good reason that involves the child's safety and not a disagreement about issues such as the child's bedtime. While there are certain parenting practices that may be bad for a child's health, the court would normally not consider them reason enough to cut off visitation.

It may be possible to resolve the issue by talking to the other parent. For example, if a parent is concerned that the other parent does not have a safe car seat, it may be possible to resolve this by having the car seat inspected. However, if a parent feels unable to talk to the other parent about the situation, it might be necessary to go to court. A parent should provide as much documentation as possible as evidence.

When estranged couples negotiate parenting time during a divorce, they can also address potential areas of conflict in the parenting agreement. Of course, it will not be possible to anticipate and address every one, but if a parent feels strongly about certain issues, such as introducing children to new partners, an agreement can be made about how to handle them.

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