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Reacting to a child's request to live with the other parent

There is a chance that a child in Ohio will want to live with a noncustodial parent. Ideally, custodial parents will not take this personally and engage in a discussion about the topic. In some cases, it could be acceptable to allow the noncustodial parent to be a part of the conversation. However, if a change in residence is not in the child's best interest, a judge is unlikely to approve such a request regardless of how the child and parents feel.

Parents are encouraged to express any concerns or fears that they have about their son or daughter wanting to live elsewhere. This can make it easier to deal with the issue in a calm and rational way. It is generally not a good idea to avoid talking about it or acting as if the child's opinion on the subject doesn't matter.

As difficult as it could be to hear that a child wants to live somewhere else, it was likely difficult for the child to express that opinion. Ideally, a parent will take a day or two to process what was said before responding to the request to live at the other parent's house. This helps to ensure that the child feels heard while the adult can respond in a measured and mature way.

Custody, visitation and other parenting time issues may arise before, during and after a divorce becomes official. Ideally, parents will try to resolve these issues on their own before going to court to do so. An attorney may assist an individual during private talks or while taking other steps to settle a conflict outside of court. Generally speaking, working out problems in private allows parents to develop healthy ways to resolve conflict, which can also be beneficial for children.

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