School district considerations and parental relocation in Ohio

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When a divorce involves kids, child custody arrangements are a critical component of any settlement or judgment. Parenting plans in Ohio can be tailored to meet the unique needs of individual families, and many divorcing parents choose to share parenting time equally. However, under Ohio law, shared parenting plans must designate one parent as the "residential parent for school placement purposes."

Each parent can be designated as a "residential parent for school placement" if they both reside in the same section of the same school district. If the parents live in different areas but share parenting time, one must be selected in order to determine which public school the child involved will attend. Moving further complicates matters.

Court will consider best interests of child when custodial parent wishes to move

When a parent with custody of the children wishes to move, he or she must file a document known as a notice of intent to relocate. This document is filed with the court that issued the original custody order. The court will forward a copy of the notice to the non-custodial parent.

The non-custodial parent may object to the move. When this happens, the court will hold a hearing to decide if it is possible to modify the parenting time schedule to accommodate the move. If the court finds it is not in the child's best interest to modify the parenting time schedule and allow the move, the court can deny the custodial parent's request to move. This will not stop the custodial parent from moving, but if he or she does, it will allow the non-custodial parent to ask the court to grant him or her custody and order the return of the kids.

In parental relocation cases, the court's primary concern is the best interests of the child or children. In deciding whether to permit or forbid the move, the court will consider many factors, such as the child's relationship with each parent, the child's ties to extended family members, the distance the move will put between the child and the non-custodial parent, the reasons for the move, and the parents' ability to cooperate with each other.

Get help from an Ohio family law attorney

The court is concerned with the best interests of your children, and you should be too. When deciding who should be designated as the "residential parent for school placement," or when one parent is considering a move, you can attempt to work out a compromise with help from your family law attorney. It makes sense to send a child to school in the best school district possible, and there are ways to accomplish this while still setting an acceptable parenting time schedule.

To learn more about parental relocation and structuring a parenting time schedule, get in touch with an Ohio family law attorney.