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Modifying Child Custody and Moving with Your Child

When courts in Columbus, Ohio allocate parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children, Ohio law requires that courts consider a variety of factors to determine what kind of child custody situation is in the best interests of the child. Even when parents share child custody, or share parental rights and responsibilities, one of the parents will still be the residential parent. The residential parent’s address will determine the child’s school district and other related factors. Yet what happens if one of the parents is planning to move to a new home and wants to modify child custody? Under Ohio law, you should consider the following when you have questions about child custody modifications and moving with your child. 

Providing Notice to the Other Parent

If you are the residential parent and you share custody with your ex, making a plan to relocate will require you to inform the court of your plans. Then, the court will provide notice to the child’s other parent. If the other parent agrees to the relocation, the process is usually quite straightforward and the relocation can occur. However, if the other parent objects, then it will be necessary for the parent seeking the modification to show that the modification (and the move) is in the best interest of the child.

Modifications Require a Change in Circumstances in Addition to an Application of the “Best Interests of the Child” Factors

Ohio law states that, in addition to showing that the modification is in the best interest of the child, the parent seeking the modification will need to show that “a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child, the child’s residential parent, or either of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree.” If the residential parent has been offered a job in a new area, for example, then that job offer likely will be enough to constitute a change in circumstances for purposes of modifying child custody.

When the Non-Residential Parent Wants to Move with the Child

What happens in cases where the non-residential parent wants to modify child custody and to become the residential parent? Ohio law says that “the court shall retain the residential parent designated by the prior decree or the prior shared parenting decree” unless modifying the residential parent is in the child’s best interests and one of the following is true:

  • Residential parent, or both parents, agree to a modification of the residential parent;
  • The child has become integrated into the family of the party who wants to become the residential parent; or
  • The benefits of a change in environment for the child outweigh the harms of the change in the residential parent.

Seek Advice from a Columbus Child Custody Attorney to Learn More About Modifications

 If you want to have your decree that allocates parental rights and responsibilities modified, you should seek advice from one of our Columbus child custody attorneys. We can speak with you about your circumstances and help you to determine the best way to go about planning your relocation and modifying child custody. Contact the Lawrence Law Office to learn more about how we can assist you.

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