The Best Interests of the Child—Considerations in Grandparent Visitation

There is a lot of language in Ohio law that refers to “the best interests of the child.” When talking about grandparent’s visitation rights, there are a number of “best interest” considerations that the court must take into account.

Any “best interest” decisions have to start with the actual language of the court order or mediation agreement. The court will then go on to look at the following eleven factors, which will actually apply to all visitation and custody rights decisions:

  1. The wishes and concerns of the child’s parents;

2.  The prior interaction and interrelationships of the child with parents and other relatives;

3.  The location of the grandparent’s residence and the distance between it and the child’s residence;

4.  The child’s and parents’ available time;

5.  The child’s age;

6.  The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;

7.  The wishes of the child if the court has interviewed the child in chambers;

8.  The health and safety of the child;

9.  The amount of time that a child has available to spend with siblings;

10.  The mental and physical health of all parties;

11.  Whether the person seeking visitation has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving an act that resulted in a child being abused or neglected.

A court is under no obligation to tell the parties why visitation is denied, although the judge may issue a written order explaining the decision. If there is no such order, any party can ask the judge for an explanation, which is called a “finding of fact and conclusion of law.”

To learn more about divorce and visitation issues in Ohio, please visit http://www.dissolutionanddivorce.com.

 

 

 

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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