How it differs in Ohio
A standard order of parenting time provides parents with basic rights and guarantees a minimum
amount of time they are able to spend with their children proceeding a divorce or separation.
A standard agreement typically gives one parent custody and the other parent visitation.
Parents are encouraged to agree on a fair, written parenting time schedule that fits their
circumstances and their children’s lives. Any agreement they reach must be approved by the
court. However, if both parents cannot come to an agreement, most courts have their own
standard order of parenting they will implement. It is also important to note that if the parents
have more than one child, the parenting time will be exercised with all children together. It is
important to the court and your children that they remain with their siblings when possible to
promote a health family life.
The court will always look to the best interest of the child, among other things, before making
any decisions about a standard order of parenting time. When determining what the best interest
of the child is, the court will consider all relevant factors, including the wishes of the children,
the wishes of the parents, the relationship and interaction that each child has with their parents,
their adjustment to a new home, school or community, the mental and physical health of
everyone involved, and how the parents interact with each other, for example, whether one
parent has denied the other parent parenting time. The court will use their findings to determine
the best interest of the child in terms of parenting time and other necessities.
If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the parenting plan may vary depending on the
jurisdiction. The most common parenting plan allocates that the non-residential parent shall have
the child/children every other weekend, and one evening during the week for three hours.
Holidays are typically shared by even and odd-numbered years. For example, in an odd
numbered year, the non-residential parent may have the children on Presidents Day, Easter
Sunday Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving Day. The next year it would switch and
the parent with custody would have the children on those holidays. Mother’s and Father’s Day
are almost always spent with the corresponding parent.
A standard order of parenting will also provide guidelines and rules for drop-off and pick-up,
transportation and payment of extra-curricular activities and what happens if parents need to
cancel or reschedule.
Pick-Up, Drop-Off and Cancellations
Usually, the individual designated as the residential parent needs to have the children ready for
pick-up at the start of parenting time. However, they do not have a duty to wait for the non-
residential parent to arrive for more than 30 minutes. Unless otherwise agreed, the non-
residential parent will forfeit their parenting time. The non-residential parent will drop the
children off at the agreed upon time and will not return the child early from parenting time unless
the parties agree. Unless there is an emergency, the non-residential parent needs to give the
residential parent 24-hour notice when they need to cancel any parenting time. If an emergency
prevents parenting time, make-up days will be allowed within 60 days of that emergency. Each
parent has a duty to facilitate and encourage the other parent’s parenting time with the children.
The court has specific legal rules for the transportation of children to and from the residential
parent’s home. First, and most obvious, anyone who is transporting the children may not be
under the influence of alcohol or drugs and must have their license and be an insured driver.
Furthermore, all seatbelt laws must be followed and children who need car seats must be in their
car seats. Parents can exchange car seats if needed. The residential parent will most likely be
responsible for transporting the children to and from their home for parenting time. If the non-
residential parent is not able to pick-up or drop-off their children, they may designate another
adult who is well-known to the children to assist them.
School and Extracurricular Activities
School is an essential part of a child’s life. The parents need to provide time for the children to
complete their homework and study regardless if the completion of that work interferes with the
plans for the children. The residential parent should provide the non-residential parent with any
school assignments and books the children may need to complete their schoolwork.
It is very important that children continue their participation in extracurricular activities,
regardless if they are provided by the school or otherwise, no matter who the residential parent is
or where the children are living. It is the responsibility of whatever parent the children are
currently residing with to discuss the scheduling of the activities with the other parent and the
children. The parent who the children are residing with usually will provide the transpiration to
and from activities, as well as provide the other parent with any schedule and the name and
telephone number of the activity leader if it is known.
Communication and Change of Address
Parents are encouraged to keep each other’s updated telephone numbers for communication
between them and the children. The parents should not interfere with the communication of the
children to the other parent through written, voice, or electronic communication. Some counties
will have a limit of the number of times a child should be calling a parent per day, and the times
that are appropriate to call their other parent. However, if the parents agree it will not be a
If any parent wants or needs to move out of the state for any reason, they need to obtain a
modified non-residential parenting time order. The parents may agree on the order modifying the
parenting time, with a provision for travel expenses. If the parents are unable to agree, the
moving parent shall, prior to relocation, the moving parent must obtain permission from the court
to modify the parenting time schedule and obtain a modified parenting time order. If the parents
want to move or change their address, they must give the other parent immediate, written notice
and a copy of that notice will be provided to the court.
Standard orders of parenting time may differ from county to county. Take a look at some
examples of different standard orders of parenting time in Ohio.
This article is based on general information and is not intended as legal advice. Each custody or
visitation arrangement is unique and any specific questions about your case should be directed
to your attorney.