Contempt of Court Ordered Shared Parenting Plan

Ohio shared parenting plansMost families that endure divorce or dissolution with children end up having a shared parenting plan in place which is enforceable by the court.  Shared parenting is a model of allocation of parental rights and responsibilities which contemplates both parents having fairly equal rights.  In fact, the Ohio Revised Code (Ohio law) states that before any decisions are made in consideration of custody of children that the parents are to be viewed as standing on equal footing as to custody rights.

But what happens when your ex-spouse fails to follow a court ordered shared parenting plan?  Unless there is a mediation clause in your shared parenting plan which requires mediation before court action, you are left with one remedy—Contempt of Court.

Contempt means that the parent who does not comply with the shared parenting plan is in violation of the order and can be subject to penalties as a result.  In order for there to be any penalties for the violating parent, the other parent must file a motion for contempt with the court.  The court will then schedule a hearing that both parties will have notice of, and at that hearing any evidence of the contempt will be presented to the judge along with rebuttal evidence from the opposing parent.

The court has several options if a parent is found in contempt of a shared parenting plan.  The objective is to correct whatever problem that the contempt caused.  The Revised Code grants broad authority to the courts in this area, stating as follows:

3109.051 Parenting time – companionship or visitation rights.

(K) If any person is found in contempt of court for failing to comply with or interfering with any order or decree granting parenting time rights issued pursuant to this section or section 3109.12 of the Revised Code or companionship or visitation rights issued pursuant to this section, section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, or any other provision of the Revised Code, the court that makes the finding, in addition to any other penalty or remedy imposed, shall assess all court costs arising out of the contempt proceeding against the person and require the person to pay any reasonable attorney’s fees of any adverse party, as determined by the court, that arose in relation to the act of contempt, and may award reasonable compensatory parenting time or visitation to the person whose right of parenting time or visitation was affected by the failure or interference if such compensatory parenting time or visitation is in the best interest of the child. Any compensatory parenting time or visitation awarded under this division shall be included in an order issued by the court and, to the extent possible, shall be governed by the same terms and conditions as was the parenting time or visitation that was affected by the failure or interference.

Effective Date 3/22/2001

If you are experiencing problems with visitation of your child(ren) or your former spouse is not abiding by the court ordered shared parenting plan, please contact Slater & Zurz LLP by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send us a blog message with any questions or concerns that you have, and set up a time to consult with attorneys who know how to handle your child custody needs.

To learn more about divorce, dissolution and family law related matters in Ohio, please visit

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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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