In Ohio, a parent cannot just pick and move to another state with a child in tow if that child is subject to a shared-parenting arrangement – unless, of course, he or she gets consent from the other parent or approval from the court.
In fact, Ohio law expressly states that if a residential parent – otherwise known as a custodial parent – wishes to move to any residence other than the one listed in the custody order or parenting time agreement, he or she must first file a notice of intent to relocate with the court that originally issued the custody order.
The court will then typically send a copy of this notice to the other parent, who then has an opportunity to object to the move and request a hearing on the matter. In some cases, the court may also order a hearing on its own.
However, regardless of who requests the hearing, the court will have to determine whether the proposed relocation is in the child’s best interests before the move will be allowed. Some factors a court may consider when making this determination include, but are not limited to:
- The reasons for the move
- The distance of the proposed move
- The child’s ties to the community and his or her existing relationships, including those with relatives and friends
- The relationship the child has with the non-relocating parent
- Whether the non-relocating parent has been convicted of a crime, particularly offenses involving domestic violence or child abuse
- Whether the relocating parent will continue to promote and foster a good relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent.
If the court ultimately decides to permit the move, it will then have to modify the parenting time agreement accordingly. However, it is important to keep in mind that the laws regarding child custody and relocation can be quite complex in Ohio, meaning the information outlined above barely scratches the surface of what you need to know should you be involved in a relocation dispute.
This is one reason why it is always best to speak with an experienced attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can explain your options and help ensure you and your child’s rights are protected.