Amy M. Levine & Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC - Family Law, Bankruptcy, Probate Litigation, Criminal Defense
We now have a New Albany, Ohio location!

Columbus, OH 614-360-2942
Huntington, WV 304-519-4354
New Albany, OH 614-721-7726

Columbus, OH 614-360-2942
Huntington, WV 304-519-4354
New Albany, OH

PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Family Law

Bankruptcy Law

Criminal Defense

Personal Injury

Probate

You are here:
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Articles
  4.  » Order granting grandparents visitation rights reversed on appeal

Amy M. Levine
View Profile

Our Latest Blog Posts

Man found guilty of defrauding Medicaid of $2 million

On April 27, a 57-year-old Ohio man was found guilty of health care fraud and several other charges related to a Medicaid billing scheme. According to prosecutors, the man received around $2 million in fraudulent reimbursements from Medicaid. Billing for X-rays that...

Medical debt is the top cause of bankruptcy filings

Medical debt is the No. 1 reason that people file for bankruptcy. An abrupt illness can lead to excessive medical bills that are even difficult to pay for people who have full-time jobs and health insurance. The medical debt factor has been on the minds of many people...

Understanding the Ohio probate process

It's a good idea to take the time to draw up a will if you haven't already. This document lets you leave money and assets to your family, friends and selected charities. If you don't leave a will, your estate may be subject to laws that determine how your estate is...

Signs a divorce may be right for you

Nobody gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but it may be right for some couples. Even though 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, many more couples turn a blind eye to the signs they divorce may be the best option for themselves....

What should you do after a car crash in Ohio?

Being in a car accident can leave you confused and not knowing what to do next. However, it is important to know what steps to take in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Being decisive after a car accident can also help you get compensated for...

Visit Our Blog

Order granting grandparents visitation rights reversed on appeal

Contact Us For A
Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
This field is required.

disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

In the case of In re I.R.H., the Ohio Court of Appeals reversed an order granting the maternal grandparents visitation rights with the child. The case was sent back to the trial court to establish a more limited visitation schedule.

An Ohio statute authorizes grandparents to petition for court-ordered visitation rights in cases where the child’s parents are unmarried, or have filed proceedings for divorce, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or one of the child’s parents is deceased. Visitation rights can be ordered if the court determines that the grandparent has an “interest in the welfare of the child” and that grandparent visitation would be in the child’s best interest. The court must consider a “fit” parent’s wishes when deciding whether to make an award.

Background and procedural history

The child was born in 2006, while the parents were married, but the parents obtained a divorce in 2009. The divorce decree provided for shared parenting.

The mother was killed in an automobile accident in 2012. The father permitted the grandparents some limited visits and invited them to soccer games and dance recitals. After disagreements arose, the grandparents filed a request for court-ordered visitation.

At the hearing, the father argued that forced visitation with third parties, including the grandparents, might be harmful to the child. He presented evidence that, since the mother’s death, the child suffered from separation anxiety and had difficulty being separated from the father, to the point where the child was unable to go on sleepovers with friends or family members.

The magistrate determined that it was important for the child to continue to nurture a relationship with the maternal grandparents, and that the father agreed, but that the father’s concerns were real and not vindictive, and overruled the grandparent’s request for expanded visitation.

The trial court overruled the magistrate’s decision, and granted visitation rights to the grandparents under the court’s standard visitation schedule for non-residential parents.

The Seventh District’s decision

The Seventh District agreed that the best interest factors supported visitation rights for the grandparents, but reversed the trial court’s ruling on two grounds.

First, the Seventh District held that the father’s due process rights were violated. Ohio law presumes that a fit parent acts in the child’s best interests. The trial court must give some special weight to the parent’s wishes, but the parent’s wishes are not the sole determining factor and they should not be placed ahead of the child’s best interest. The court’s duty is to protect the child’s best interest. The magistrate’s ruling indicated that he gave special weight to the father’s wishes, but that the trial court did not give recognition or special weight to the father’s opposition to visitation nor to his concerns regarding the child’s separation anxiety.

Second, the Seventh District held that it was improper for the trial court to issue a standard order of visitation. The standard visitation schedule included visitation every Wednesday evening, overnight visits on alternating weekends, and alternate visitation on all major holidays, the child’s birthday, and school vacations, including one-half of the child’s summer vacations. The appellate court stated that there is no court precedent for such an order, and that it extended even beyond the schedule which the grandparents had requested. The case was sent back to the trial court with instructions to establish a more limited, reasonable visitation schedule.

Contact an attorney

Individuals involved in family law matters such as child custody and visitation are urged to consult with a competent attorney for the protection of their legal rights.

Amy M. Levine
View Profile

Our Latest Blog Posts

Man found guilty of defrauding Medicaid of $2 million

On April 27, a 57-year-old Ohio man was found guilty of health care fraud and several other charges related to a Medicaid billing scheme. According to prosecutors, the man received around $2 million in fraudulent reimbursements from Medicaid. Billing for X-rays that...

Medical debt is the top cause of bankruptcy filings

Medical debt is the No. 1 reason that people file for bankruptcy. An abrupt illness can lead to excessive medical bills that are even difficult to pay for people who have full-time jobs and health insurance. The medical debt factor has been on the minds of many people...

Understanding the Ohio probate process

It's a good idea to take the time to draw up a will if you haven't already. This document lets you leave money and assets to your family, friends and selected charities. If you don't leave a will, your estate may be subject to laws that determine how your estate is...

Signs a divorce may be right for you

Nobody gets married with the intention of getting a divorce, but it may be right for some couples. Even though 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, many more couples turn a blind eye to the signs they divorce may be the best option for themselves....

What should you do after a car crash in Ohio?

Being in a car accident can leave you confused and not knowing what to do next. However, it is important to know what steps to take in order to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Being decisive after a car accident can also help you get compensated for...

Visit Our Blog

Contact Us For A
Free Consultation