November 28, 2023


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Ohio House Bill 508: A Potentially Monumental Shift In Ohio Child Custody Law | Kohrman Jackson & Krantz LLP

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On Dec. 8, 2021, Ohio House Monthly bill 508 (HB 508)—which would make the presumed final result in youngster custody matters that of Shared Parenting and an equal parenting time schedule—was launched into the Ohio Legislature by Representatives Thomas West (D) and Rodney Creech (R). Though to day, HB 508 has not progressed over and above the first stages of the legislative system, the bill has now found some level of bipartisan help, therefore signaling that a feasible considerable transform in Ohio little one custody laws might be on the horizon.

In mild of this improvement, it is our intention to examine the content of HB 508 as properly as the potential affect of the laws, if passed, around a collection of two article content on this matter. In purchase to definitely understand HB 508 as properly as how it may possibly affect baby custody laws in Ohio, it’s significant to very first understand the nature and standing of Ohio’s present-day child custody statutes.

OHIO’S Existing Boy or girl CUSTODY Regulation

Presently in Ohio, there are two key approaches that custodial legal rights to small children can be allotted in between mom and dad: Shared Parenting and Sole Custody. Despite the fact that the time period “joint custody” is typically employed in well known lifestyle, it is not, in reality, a type of custodial arrangement in Ohio. The most important difference involving Shared Parenting and Sole Custody relates to parental final decision making—specifically, who is entitled to make decisions for the minimal young children.

In a Sole Custody arrangement, only 1 mother or father (i.e., the residential father or mother) is entitled to make selections for the insignificant youngsters, and the other mother or father (i.e., the non-household father or mother) is entitled to visitation with the slight children. In contrast, in a Shared Parenting arrangement, every parent is deemed the household parent—and therefore, is entitled to make selections for the insignificant kids.

It is also essential to observe that a family’s custodial arrangement (i.e., Shared Parenting vs. Sole Custody) is wholly unbiased from the visitation program that the parents love with the slight little ones. Consequently, getting a particular custodial arrangement does not automatically end result in or require a specified corresponding parenting time or visitation program. For instance, a spouse and children could have a Shared Parenting arrangement exactly where 1 of the dad and mom has the overpowering the greater part of the parenting time with the slight small children. Also, a relatives could have a Sole Custody arrangement in which the parties have roughly equal parenting time with the insignificant small children.


So, in a child custody case (which includes divorce lawsuits with young children or kid custody issues involving unwed moms and dads), how do Ohio’s courts now decide an appropriate custodial arrangement and parenting time or visitation routine? In the end, the courtroom will have to examine the evidence and make a custodial determination—specifically, either Shared Parenting or Sole Custody—that is in the finest curiosity of the boy or girl or youngsters at issue. Similarly, immediately after examining the evidence, the courtroom should also craft an ideal parenting time or visitation schedule that is in the ideal curiosity of the child or small children at difficulty.

However, at present, in get for a court to allocate custodial rights in between the mothers and fathers pursuant to a Shared Parenting arrangement, a single of the mother and father must get affirmative ways to notify the court docket that he or she thinks that Shared Parenting is in the greatest fascination of the kids. These affirmative ways include, but are not minimal to, presenting a proposed Shared Parenting System to the court for its evaluate and thought. If neither mum or dad requires these affirmative measures with the courtroom, then, under Ohio’s present kid custody legislation, the court docket can not difficulty an buy for Shared Parenting, and instead is only equipped to award Sole Custody to a single of the mother and father. This is real even if the courtroom at situation thinks, based mostly on the proof introduced, that Shared Parenting is, in truth, in the most effective interest of the young children. In this way, the present-day Ohio baby custody legal guidelines work in a way which, in result, ties the courts hands and sets Sole Custody as the presumed final result in a child custody case, except if a person of the mother and father will take affirmative ways to ask for and exhibit or else to the court.


Additionally, as it relates to the issuance of a parenting time or visitation timetable in a baby custody subject, the current starting off position for an Ohio court’s assessment is typically the regular parenting time and visitation timetable that that unique court docket has issued. Ordinarily, most typical parenting time and visitation schedules issued by Ohio courts outcome in one particular dad or mum receiving a little more than 50 percent of the annual parenting time with the child, while the other parent receives marginally much less than fifty percent of the yearly parenting time. Notably, having said that, an Ohio court docket is not, in any way, demanded to only difficulty its standard parenting time and visitation routine. As an alternative, each and every Ohio court docket is completely able to deviate from its typical parenting time and visitation plan when conditions of a situation dictate that these kinds of a deviation is appropriate and in the greatest interest of the kid. In simple fact, Ohio courts generally do deviate from their regular parenting time and visitation schedules—both by issuing greater parenting time or less parenting time—as every single specific custody issue ought to be evaluated and analyzed on a situation-by-scenario basis.


Even though the earlier mentioned-referenced summary is, by its mother nature, extremely simplistic, it does deliver a standard summary of the recent governing statutes and legal guidelines in Ohio’s boy or girl custody situations. As a end result, the normal upcoming inquiries are as follows: how would HB 508, if handed by the Ohio Legislature, impression the present custodial and parenting time or visitation framework, as described earlier mentioned? In addition, as a simple subject, how could HB 508, if handed, influence the current position of custody preparations in Ohio, in standard? We will check out these concerns in depth in the future installment of this sequence.

At KJK Relatives Legislation, we fully grasp just how hard navigating little one custody issues can be, particularly when governing legislation might shortly be in flux. Rest confident that we are remaining up to day on these types of developments, and we are listed here to recommend you in a way which properly normally takes into account both of those the present-day and potentially forthcoming lawful frameworks of which you need to be knowledgeable.

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