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Noncustodial father has recently moved close to mother; he wonders how to modify the existing "long distance" parenting plan schedule

Your Question:
Husband has 9 year old daughter with ex-girlfriend.Would like to return to court and change the visitation shedule after moveing to same state their in.Has had monthly conact and weekly phone calls while out of state,and as much visitation mother would allow sense returning.Child goes to same school as our's.What would you ask for in his shoes for visitations in the state of ohio?He'd like to have acess to school records,etc to.

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My Answer:

Thanks for writing.

I asked you for further information, and you said that dad sees the kid 2 or 3 weekends per month. You clarified that there are no court orders.

Upon moving close to the mother, the father should request a parenting plan that he feels is in the best interest of the children (i.e., not what is "fair", since fairness to parents isn't really a measure in determining what's best for a child).

If the mother isn't working with the father on a new parenting plan, he'll need to file for orders to create a parenting plan. All information you provided indicates that the mother will remain the custodial parent (i.e., though you provided very nominal details).

So, he would just put together a parenting plan that he feels would best suit the child's needs at this point in her life and file a paternity action.

In my experience, the court is going to make orders for something similar to what has been in place.

If dad doesn't go in demanding sole custody and making himself out to be a selfish jerk, he just may be viewed as a reasonable guy and wind up with slightly more frequent contact and a bit more custodial time than he currently has. I can't imagine that there would be HUGE changes ordered, but I'm not an attorney of course.

If I were in his shoes, I'd want to nail down a custodial schedule that is ordered by the court, so I don't have to put up with the mother's mood swings as a determinant of whether or not I'd see my child.

If dad is happy with two or three weekends per month, maybe he'd want to ask the court to order his custodial time as being the first three weekends of the month, from Friday after school until Monday return to school (i.e., he'd pick up child on Friday, and bring her to school on Monday morning). Additionally, he may want to ask for a mid-week period (e.g., every Wednesday from after school until 7pm). He should ask for more than he wants, so he can negotiate down if needed.

As to access to school records, he can request joint legal custody and orders that both parents are allowed to attend educational and health appointments (and must notify each other of such). This is pretty common. Unless the father is a violent or dangerous guy, the court will probably think it's important for him to be involved in the daughter's life.

Finally, it's important to know that child support will be ordered when the court makes a ruling on custody and the custodial schedule. Good luck!


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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