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What factors do Ohio judges consider when awarding visitation?

In 1994, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that grandparents have no constitutional right to request visitation with their grandchildren. The justices later conceded that a statute must be passed if grandparents want to enjoy visitation with their grandchildren. Even still, they argued, their right to visit with their grandson or granddaughter would come down to whether doing so was truly in the best interest of the child.

There are several factors that judges consider when determining what truly is the most ideal decision to make in such instances.

State statutes here in Ohio spell out what factors that a family law judge should take into account when making custody or visitation determinations in cases here in Ohio.

Judges will often take into account how well the child gets along with their parents and other family members when rendering such decisions. They'll take into account their schedules and where they live in relationship to one another as well.

It's commonplace for a judge to consider a child's age, their school and extracurricular obligations and their preferences if they're mature enough to be able to voice them. It's not uncommon for a judge to call a child into their chambers to discuss their custody or visitation preferences.

A judge will consider both the child's and the caregivers' physical and mental health before making any custody decisions. The court will also take into account whether the grandparents or caregivers exercising their right to the child has a criminal conviction for neglect or abuse on their record as well. Anyone who does may have a hard time getting a Hamilton judge to approve their custody request.

The grandparent or other caregiver requesting custody must be willing to be flexible on times that they can see the child. They must show a willingness to reschedule appointments. A judge will likely want any decision that they make to allow the child to spend ample time with any siblings that they may have.

There are instances in Ohio when a grandparent may be able to sue for visitation of their grandkids. This may happen if the child's parents are separated or divorced, deceased or unmarried. Grandfathers and grandmothers may not sue if their grandchild's family is intact. A grandparents' rights attorney can review your case and advise you of your prospects for success if you were to file for visitation with your Ohio grandkids.

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