Over the years, your children’s relationships with you and your ex-spouse may have changed. While these changes may be due to their ages or schedules, they could also stem from a shift in parental circumstances. No matter the reason, you may need to modify your parenting plan as a result. Before moving forward, you must understand when this is possible in Ohio and whether you need to adjust custody or parenting time.
Reasons for modifying custody
Ohio courts will likely presume that your original parenting plan remains in the best interests of your children. If you file a motion to modify its custody provision, then, you must prove that you or your ex-spouse have experienced changes in circumstance. These changes must have an adverse impact on your children’s lives and their best interests. And they must be substantial enough that they warrant the switch of their custodial parent.
Common reasons for modifying custody include:
- The custodial parent experienced a job or income loss
- The custodial parent was convicted of a criminal offense or jailed
- The custodial parent engaged in child abuse
- The custodial parent engaged in substance abuse
- The custodial parent was neglectful
Reasons for modifying parenting time
Changes to custody usually happen as a response to negative events. Yet, your family may have experienced neutral or positive events that could impact the share of parenting time allocated to you or your ex-spouse – whoever is the noncustodial parent. One of you may have received an increase in income and can now better provide for your children. Or, your children may need to spend more time with a specific parent as their schedules change. In these cases, you will need to file court motion to adjust your parenting time. In doing so, you must prove that the proposed arrangement would benefit your children more than their current schedule.