If parents have good reasons to change their child custody arrangements, they can agree to modify the court’s order and obtain court approval. The parents need to use certain forms to petition for this, which the state also calls reallocating parental rights and responsibilities. Ohio offers a simple process, whether parents are divorced or have children but have never been married to the child’s other parent.
Steps to Modify Child Custody Agreements in Ohio
1. Work Out a New Agreement With the Other Parent
Talk to the other parent about modifications to your child custody agreement. Legal reasons for modifying the court’s order include a parent moving, a changed family situation, the child’s age, or the child’s safety. If you reach a new child custody agreement, you need Form 17, Shared Parenting Plan, or Form 18, Parenting Plan, and the Parenting Time Schedule.
2. File the Child Custody Modification Petition in Court
Parents who were never married must file their modification motion and affidavits in juvenile court, using the same case number they used when the court first established their custody rights and responsibilities. Divorced parents file their motions to modify and affidavits in domestic relations court, using the same case number as their divorce.
3. Submit the Forms the Court Needs to Finalize the Case
To finalize your case, the court needs the DR Form 19/Juvi Form 1, Parenting Judgment Entry. All of the forms are available online, and can be printed out or completed online. However, they do not contain instructions or legal advice. Before going to court, it is wise to consult a family law attorney or a divorce lawyer.
If you want to change your child custody agreement, seek advice and representation from Vernau Law LLC. Based in Granville, OH, this law office has more than 25 years of experience providing wise legal counsel and a wide range of services throughout Franklin, Knox, Licking, and Muskingum counties in family law matters, income tax preparation, personal injury accidents, and civil litigation. To make an appointment for a confidential consultation, visit their website or call (740) 587-2637.