What To Do When Your Child Wants To Change Your Ohio Custody Agreement
At the final stages of your divorce, you might have small children for whom you arrange custody and visitation with your spouse. The agreements might work well while your child is still young, but what happens if your child wants a different arrangement when he or she is older?
Courts recognize that circumstances change, particularly as children grow older, so you are not locked into the same custody arrangement for life. You have the option to change it whenever you need. The first thing to understand is what exactly is no longer working for your child: custody or visitation?
These two sound the same but represent different things. Custody involves decision making, while visitation involves time spent with each parent. Children might want to change who makes decisions, but under a shared parenting agreement, both parents will always need to be consulted about major decisions, like health and school. This should only change if circumstances present a danger to the child.
More often than not, children will want to change their parenting time when they become older to adjust the time at which they are at each parent’s house. During your divorce, the court will use a guide and consider the best interests of the child in setting parenting schedules. Often this will settle at the child living primarily with one parent during the week and staying with the other parent on weekends. Because of changes in school activities, sports, and seasonal schedules when children grow older, there might be a time when it will be better for the child to be at one parent’s house more or less often than before.
If your child raises this point, give it full consideration. If you agree that a new schedule probably works better at this stage, talk to your former spouse about the situation. When families work together and arrive at something that works best for everyone, they can simply file a joint motion to change the custody agreement. In these situations, the court will likely readily approve the motion, making things easier for everyone, including the child.
In the event you cannot come to an agreement together, one spouse will need to file an individual motion to change the custody agreement, and the court will listen to the facts, both parents’ points of view, and the child’s wishes to make a decision as to new visitation. The court will need to understand why the current agreement is no longer appropriate or in the best interests of the child.
One way to ensure you arrive at the best agreement is to work with an experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Columbus, Ohio. Even if we did not help you during your divorce, Dawes Legal, LLC can help you amend your custody agreement. If you need assistance amending your divorce terms, contact Dawes Legal, LLC, at (614) 733-9999 today.
Dawes Legal, LLC
169 E Livingston Ave
Columbus, OH 43215
Telephone (614) 733-9999