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How the Ohio family law court can help protect your children

When you decided to divorce, you understood that your decision would not only affect you, but would also have a significant impact on your children's lives as well. Like most Ohio parents, you only want what is best for them. Perhaps a leading factor in your decision to end your marital relationship has to do with your spouse's addiction problems. You may be worried about having to let your kids visit and possibly be in environment that places their well-being at risk.

When a judge issues a custody and visitation order, both parents must comply with the terms set therein. If you fail to do so, the court can find you in contempt. However, if you believe your children's safety is at risk, you have recourse through the family justice system to petition the court to help protect them. You can do this regardless of whether there is an existing court order.

Identifying specific issues of concern

Just because you think your ex is too lenient or strict as a parent, doesn't necessarily equate to a safety issue regarding your children's custody or visitation plan. If you plan to petition the court for restricted or prohibited visits, you need to show evidence that your ex's presence in the children's lives is a detriment to their well-being. The following list shows issues that would definitely raise the court's concern:

  • Pornography is present in your ex's home.
  • He or she is an alcoholic or drug addict.
  • Your children tell stories of endangerment when they return for their co-parent's house.
  • You have observed symptoms of physical or sexual abuse in one or more of your children.

The court's main priority is always to keep children safe. A judge can modify an existing court order at any time if he or she is convinced that evidence exists to warrant the need to do so. If you plan to request modification of a court order, you'll want to make sure you gather as much evidence as possible to substantiate whatever claim you make.

Acting against a court order

What if there is a court order in place, but you believe your children may be in harm's way if you send them off with your ex? This is definitely a stressful position to be in. However, most Ohio parents would agree that it is always best to protect your children, even if you may suffer legal repercussions by refusing to send them on a visit. Turning to an experienced family law attorney for guidance in such circumstances is one way to obtain immediate support.

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Columbus, OH 43215

Phone: 614-464-4100
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