Modifying a Parenting Order in Ohio

November 24, 2014

Parenting Order Ohio

Modifying a parenting order in Ohio can require some degree of finesse.  The process for modification can be tricky, as the court will only grant a modification of the existing order with proof that the change is necessary and in the best interest of the child.  As with modifying any court document, it is important to work with a team of attorneys who understand the complexities of Ohio family law.

Ohio courts no longer use the term “custody,” rather they address these parental responsibilities in a parenting order.  This parenting order serves to allocate rights and responsibilities each parent has in regards to the minor children.   These responsibilities include daily decisions regarding education, religion, and medical care.  When spouses decide that divorce is the best option, often times they will come to an agreement on how to raise the minor children and commit this to a document.  If the divorce isn’t a collaborative one and is conducted under court order, often times the parental responsibilities are split in a way that may not be beneficial to both parents. 

The parent who is granted the parental responsibilities often retains the marital residence along with monthly support payments for the minor child.  If circumstances change that would dictate a change of how the child is raised, or there is danger in the home, you are within your rights to request a change.  Working with a family law firm where Children Matter Most will insure that your voice is heard in this process. 

If you receive a parenting order that is not favorable and you feel there is great need for a change, you can seek a modification of the parenting order.  The court generally will not modify the order unless it finds that new facts have come to light that would change the circumstances under which the first order was granted.  Remember, the court will always examine what is in the best interest of the child.   If new facts come to light that would reflect a change is in order, the court will hear evidence in favor of changing the decree ad a modification hearing. 

Modifications can be made in two ways: a petition through the child support enforcement agency, or motion for a change in the order through the court.  Every situation is different, so what may have worked best in the past may not be prudent.  Each method has pros and cons, and it is best to speak with an Ohio family lawyer to find the modification method that is best for you and your family.

Perhaps you prefer to seek a modification through the child support enforcement agency.  If you select this route, you will need to provide documentation that your support order is at least 3 years old.  The agency will only make a modification to a support order that includes parenting rights if circumstances require a change be made to protect the best interests of the child.  If you seek modification and are denied, you are within your rights to request a state hearing to review actions taken by the department.

A state hearing is a meeting with the person seeking the order modification, someone from the local agency, and a hearing officer from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.   Ohio family lawyers often represent parents at these hearings, and it is always a good idea to work with an attorney to best prepare for the hearing.  If you and your attorney decide that it is best to seek a modification through the court, you will need to complete a motion to modify the parenting order.  The court will not consider the motion until you have properly notified your former spouse by giving them notice of the motion to change the order.  Working with a family attorney in Columbus, Ohio who understands this process will help you follow the steps needed to bring your motion for a change before the court.   

No matter the method, it is important to have a family law attorney working with you while you seek the change in parenting order.  The knowledge and insights provided by a family lawyer are invaluable and can help to expedite the process.  Additionally, an attorney can help prepare any legal documentation required by the court including providing notary services for any documents that require notarization before being filed with the court.

If you or someone you know need a family attorney in Columbus, Ohio, please contact Edward F. Whipps & Associates for help.  Our firm is dedicated to helping families understand the divorce process and the impact it can have on your family.  The attorneys at Edward F. Whipps & Associates have over 30 years of experience with family law and know the intricacies of modifying child support and parenting orders.  To arrange a confidential consultation, please contact out Columbus office at 614-398-4182.  You can also contact our Dublin office at 614-461-600, or call toll free at 877-367-6544.



Contact Form