Study Finds Ohio Courts’ Parenting Time Guidelines to be Less than Ideal

A recent study by the National Parents Organization (NPO) found that the parenting time guidelines of the majority of Ohio’s county courts of domestic relations was less than ideal for the wellbeing of children of separated parents. The NPO’s cites research that shows a correlation between benefits to the mental health of children of divorce and equal parenting time as part of its conclusion.

Ohio county courts of domestic relations have default guidelines regarding how to split divorced parents’ time with their children when the parties cannot agree otherwise. The report found that the majority of default parenting time guidelines were short of what is recommended by research which recommend equal time for both parents.

In fact, the vast majority of Ohio’s counties, 64 of 88, allow children only two overnight stays and 60 hours or less with the non-residential parent. The overnight stays were also limited to weekends. Only three Ohio counties allowed for near equal or equal time with the non-residential parent.

The NPO was very critical of Ohio courts in its report. NPO took issue with Ohio courts “best interest of the child” standard, which is the standard used to decide parental time, not being based on the research the NPO cited to. In their report the NPO pointed to the vastly inconsistent results between counties as evidence of the state not taking the best interest of children seriously.

Specifically, the report points out that in Tuscarawas County separated parents are allowed equal time while children in Magnolia County, four miles away, can only see their non-residential parent for two days every two weeks. In both instances, the parenting time is considered in the best interest of the child.

Of course, there is more to consider than statistical research when it comes to child custody. Every family’s situation is different and courts should treat each child custody case uniquely. The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm are dedicated to doing what is best for you and your children. We are here to fight for your interests and will do everything we can to help.

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