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What factors enter into a court's decision about visitation?

When a court in Ohio is making decisions about child visitation, several different factors will have to be considered before visitation rights can be granted to the person requesting them. In addition to deciding whether or not the petitioner will be allowed to visit the child, the court will have to make a ruling on a specific visitation schedule.

One of the factors that a court will look into before granting visitation rights is the prior relationship that was established between the child and the petitioner. The court may also examine the school and work schedules of all of the parties involved along with their geographical locations. How well the child is adjusted to the current home, community and school will also be assessed.

The court will attempt to make a decision about visitation that is in the best interest of the child, and children may even be interviewed privately about their own wishes. Both the mental and physical health of all of the parties involved will also be looked into. If one of the child's parents has intentionally denied previously court-ordered visitation time that was granted to the other parent, this may be a factor that is considered while establishing a new visitation order.

A parent who wishes to gain visitation rights or change an existing visitation order may want to consult a family law attorney about petitioning the court for visitation. Such an attorney may also be able to help a client who has an existing visitation order that is not being honored by the other parent. There are many factors that might be considered by the court when determining a visitation order, and the attorney can offer guidance based upon the client's particular set of circumstances.

Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, "3109.051 Parenting time - companionship or visitation rights.", October 17, 2014

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