Ohio Grandparents Visitation Law


Divorce – Grandparents Visitation – Ohio

Companionship or visitation rights.
If a divorce, dissolution, legal separation, or annulment proceeding involves a child and if the court has not issued a shared parenting decree, the court shall consider any mediation report filed pursuant to section 3109.052 [3109.05.2] of the Revised Code and, in accordance with division (C) of this section, shall make a just and reasonable order or decree permitting each parent who is not the residential parent to visit the child at the time and under the conditions that the court directs, unless the court determines that it would not be in the best interest of the child to permit that parent to visit the child and includes in the journal its findings of fact and conclusions of law. Whenever possible, the order or decree permitting the visitation shall ensure the opportunity for both parents to have frequent and continuing contact with the child, unless frequent and continuing contact by either parent with the child would not be in the best interest of the child. The court shall include in its final decree a specific schedule of visitation for that parent. Except as provided in division (E)(6) of section 3113.31 of the Revised Code, if the court, pursuant to this section, grants any person companionship or visitation rights with respect to any child, it shall not require the public children services agency to provide supervision of or other services related to that person’s exercise of companionship or visitation rights with respect to the child. This section does not limit the power of a juvenile court pursuant to Chapter 2151. of the Revised Code to issue orders with respect to children who are alleged to be abused, neglected, or dependent children or to make dispositions of children who are adjudicated abused, neglected, or dependent children or of a common pleas court to issue orders pursuant to section 3113.31 of the Revised Code.

In a divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, annulment, or child support proceeding that involves a child, the court may grant reasonable companionship or visitation rights to any grandparent, any person related to the child by consanguinity or affinity, or any other person other than a parent, if all of the following apply:

(1) The grandparent, relative, or other person files a motion with the court seeking companionship or visitation rights.

(2) The court determines that the grandparent, relative, or other person has an interest in the welfare of the child.

(3) The court determines that the granting of the companionship or visitation rights is in the best interest of the child.

A motion may be filed under division (B)(1) of this section during the pendency of the divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, annulment, or child support proceeding or, if a motion was not filed at that time or was filed at that time and the circumstances in the case have changed, at any time after a decree or final order is issued in the case.

When determining whether to grant companionship or visitation rights to a parent, grandparent, relative, or other person pursuant to this section or section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, when establishing a specific visitation schedule, and when determining other visitation matters under this section or section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, the court shall consider any mediation report that is filed pursuant to section 3109.052 [3109.05.2] of the Revised Code and shall consider all other relevant factors, including, but not limited to, all of the factors listed in division (D) of this section. In considering the factors listed in division (D) of this section for purposes of determining whether to grant visitation rights, establishing a specific visitation schedule, determining other visitation matters under this section or under section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, and resolving any issues related to the making of any determination with respect to visitation rights or the establishment of any specific visitation schedule, the court, in its discretion, may interview in chambers any or all involved children regarding their wishes and concerns. If the court interviews any child concerning the child’s wishes and concerns regarding those visitation matters, the interview shall be conducted in chambers, and no person other than the child, the child’s attorney, the judge, any necessary court personnel, and, in the judge’s discretion, the attorney of each parent shall be permitted to be present in the chambers during the interview. No person shall obtain or attempt to obtain from a child a written or recorded statement or affidavit setting forth the wishes and concerns of the child regarding those visitation matters. A court, in considering the factors listed in division (D) of this section for purposes of determining whether to grant any visitation rights, establishing a visitation schedule, determining other visitation matters under this section or under section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, or resolving any issues related to the making of any determination with respect to visitation rights or the establishment of any specific visitation schedule, shall not accept or consider a written or recorded statement or affidavit that purports to set forth the child’s wishes or concerns regarding those visitation matters.

In determining whether to grant companionship or visitation rights to a parent, grandparent, relative, or other person pursuant to this section or section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, in establishing a specific visitation schedule, and in determining other visitation matters under this section or section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, the court shall consider all of the following factors:

(1) The prior interaction and interrelationships of the child with the child’s parents, siblings, and other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, and with the person who requested companionship or visitation if that person is not a parent, sibling, or relative of the child;

(2) The geographical location of the residence of each parent and the distance between those residences, and if the person who requested companionship or visitation is not a parent, the geographical location of that person’s residence and the distance between that person’s residence and the child’s residence;

(3) The child’s and parents’ available time, including, but not limited to, each parent’s employment schedule, the child’s school schedule, and the child’s and the parents’ holiday and vacation schedule;

(4) The age of the child;

(5) The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community;

(6) If the court has interviewed the child in chambers, pursuant to division (C) of this section, regarding the wishes and concerns of the child as to visitation by the parent who is not the residential parent or companionship or visitation by the grandparent, relative, or other person who requested the companionship or visitation, as to a specific visitation schedule, or as to other visitation matters, the wishes and concerns of the child, as expressed to the court;

(7) The health and safety of the child;

(8) The amount of time that will be available for the child to spend with siblings;

(9) The mental and physical health of all parties;

(10) Each parent’s willingness to reschedule missed visitation and to facilitate the other parent’s visitation rights, and if the person who requested companionship or visitation is not a parent, the willingness of that person to reschedule missed visitation;

(11) In relation to visitation by a parent, whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child; whether either parent, in a case in which a child has been adjudicated an abused child or a neglected child, previously has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive or neglectful act that is the basis of the adjudication; and whether there is reason to believe that either parent has acted in a manner resulting in a child being an abused child or a neglected child;

(12) In relation to requested companionship or visitation by a person other than a parent, whether the person previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child; whether the person, in a case in which a child has been adjudicated an abused child or a neglected child, previously has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive or neglectful act that is the basis of the adjudication; whether either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding; whether either parent previously has been convicted of an offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense; and whether there is reason to believe that the person has acted in a manner resulting in a child being an abused child or a neglected child;

(13) Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent’s right to visitation in accordance with an order of the court;

(14) Whether either parent has established a residence or is planning to establish a residence outside this state;

(15)Any other factor in the best interest of the child.

The remarriage of a residential parent of a child does not affect the authority of a court under this section to grant visitation rights with respect to the child to the parent who is not the residential parent or to grant reasonable companionship or visitation rights with respect to the child to any grandparent, any person related by consanguinity or affinity, or any other person.

If the court, pursuant to division (A) of this section, denies visitation to a parent who is not the residential parent or denies a motion for reasonable companionship or visitation rights filed under division (B) of this section and the parent or movant files a written request for findings of fact and conclusions of law, the court shall state in writing its findings of fact and conclusions of law in accordance with Civil Rule 52.

On or before July 1, 1991, each court of common pleas, by rule, shall adopt standard visitation guidelines. A court shall have discretion to deviate from its standard visitation guidelines based upon factors set forth in division (D) of this section.

If the residential parent intends to move to a residence other than the residence specified in the visitation order or decree of the court, the parent shall file a notice of intent to relocate with the court that issued the order or decree. Except as provided in divisions (G)(2), (3), and (4) of this section, the court shall send a copy of the notice to the parent who is not the residential parent. Upon receipt of the notice, the court, on its own motion or the motion of the parent who is not the residential parent, may schedule a hearing with notice to both parents to determine whether it is in the best interest of the child to revise the visitation schedule for the child.

When a court grants visitation or companionship rights to a parent who is not the residential parent, the court shall determine whether that parent has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any other offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense, or has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive act that is the basis of an adjudication that a child is an abused child. If the court determines that that parent has not been so convicted and has not been determined to be the perpetrator of an abusive act that is the basis of a child abuse adjudication, the court shall issue an order stating that a copy of any notice of relocation that is filed with the court pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section will be sent to the parent who is given the visitation or companionship rights in accordance with division (G)(1) of this section.

If the court determines that the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any other offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense, or has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive act that is the basis of an adjudication that a child is an abused child, it shall issue an order stating that that parent will not be given a copy of any notice of relocation that is filed with the court pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section unless the court determines that it is in the best interest of the children to give that parent a copy of the notice of relocation, issues an order stating that that parent will be given a copy of any notice of relocation filed pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section, and issues specific written findings of fact in support of its determination.

If a court, prior to April 11, 1991, issued an order granting visitation or companionship rights to a parent who is not the residential parent and did not require the residential parent in that order to give the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights notice of any change of address and if the residential parent files a notice of relocation pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section, the court shall determine if the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any other offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense, or has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive act that is the basis of an adjudication that a child is an abused child. If the court determines that the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights has not been so convicted and has not been determined to be the perpetrator of an abusive act that is the basis of a child abuse adjudication, the court shall issue an order stating that a copy of any notice of relocation that is filed with the court pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section will be sent to the parent who is granted visitation or companionship rights in accordance with division (G)(1) of this section.

If the court determines that the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any other offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense, or has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive act that is the basis of an adjudication that a child is an abused child, it shall issue an order stating that that parent will not be given a copy of any notice of relocation that is filed with the court pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section unless the court determines that it is in the best interest of the children to give that parent a copy of the notice of relocation, issues an order stating that that parent will be given a copy of any notice of relocation filed pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section, and issues specific written findings of fact in support of its determination.

If a parent who is granted visitation or companionship rights pursuant to this section or any other section of the Revised Code is authorized by an order issued pursuant to this section or any other court order to receive a copy of any notice of relocation that is filed pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section or pursuant to court order, if the residential parent intends to move to a residence other than the residence address specified in the visitation or companionship order, and if the residential parent does not want the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights to receive a copy of the relocation notice because the parent with visitation or companionship rights has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any other offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense, or has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive act that is the basis of an adjudication that a child is an abused child, the residential parent may file a motion with the court requesting that the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights not receive a copy of any notice of relocation. Upon the filing of the motion, the court shall schedule a hearing on the motion and give both parents notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing. If the court determines that the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights has been so convicted or has been determined to be the perpetrator of an abusive act that is the basis of a child abuse adjudication, the court shall issue an order stating that the parent who is granted the visitation or companionship rights will not be given a copy of any notice of relocation that is filed with the court pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section or that the residential parent is no longer required to give that parent a copy of any notice of relocation unless the court determines that it is in the best interest of the children to give that parent a copy of the notice of relocation, issues an order stating that that parent will be given a copy of any notice of relocation filed pursuant to division (G)(1) of this section, and issues specific written findings of fact in support of its determination. If it does not so find, it shall dismiss the motion.

Subject to division (F)(2) of section 2301.35 and division (F) of section 3319.321 [3319.32.1] of the Revised Code, a parent of a child who is not the residential parent of the child is entitled to access, under the same terms and conditions under which access is provided to the residential parent, to any record that is related to the child and to which the residential parent of the child legally is provided access, unless the court determines that it would not be in the best interest of the child for the parent who is not the residential parent to have access to the records under those same terms and conditions. If the court determines that the parent of a child who is not the residential parent should not have access to records related to the child under the same terms and conditions as provided for the residential parent, the court shall specify the terms and conditions under which the parent who is not the residential parent is to have access to those records, shall enter its written findings of facts and opinion in the journal, and shall issue an order containing the terms and conditions to both the residential parent and the parent of the child who is not the residential parent. The court shall include in every order issued pursuant to this division notice that any keeper of a record who knowingly fails to comply with the order or division (H) of this section is in contempt of court.

Subject to division (F)(2) of section 2301.35 and division (F) of section 3319.321 [3319.32.1] of the Revised Code, subsequent to the issuance of an order under division (H)(1) of this section, the keeper of any record that is related to a particular child and to which the residential parent legally is provided access shall permit the parent of the child who is not the residential parent to have access to the record under the same terms and conditions under which access is provided to the residential parent, unless the residential parent has presented the keeper of the record with a copy of an order issued under division (H)(1) of this section that limits the terms and conditions under which the parent who is not the residential parent is to have access to records pertaining to the child and the order pertains to the record in question. If the residential parent presents the keeper of the record with a copy of that type of order, the keeper of the record shall permit the parent who is not the residential parent to have access to the record only in accordance with the most recent order that has been issued pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section and presented to the keeper by the residential parent or the parent who is not the residential parent. Any keeper of any record who knowingly fails to comply with division (H) of this section or with any order issued pursuant to division (H)(1) of this section is in contempt of court.

The prosecuting attorney of any county may file a complaint with the court of common pleas of that county requesting the court to issue a protective order preventing the disclosure pursuant to division (H)(1) or (2) of this section of any confidential law enforcement investigatory record. The court shall schedule a hearing on the motion and give notice of the date, time, and location of the hearing to all parties.

A court that issues a visitation order or decree pursuant to this section, section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, or any other provision of the Revised Code shall determine whether the parent granted the right of visitation is to be permitted access, in accordance with section 5104.011 [5104.01.1] of the Revised Code, to any child day-care center that is, or that in the future may be, attended by the children with whom the right of visitation is granted. Unless the court determines that the parent who is not the residential parent should not have access to the center to the same extent that the residential parent is granted access to the center, the parent who is not the residential parent and who is granted visitation or companionship rights is entitled to access to the center to the same extent that the residential parent is granted access to the center. If the court determines that the parent who is not the residential parent should not have access to the center to the same extent that the residential parent is granted such access under division (C) of section 5104.011 [5104.01.1] of the Revised Code, the court shall specify the terms and conditions under which the parent who is not the residential parent is to have access to the center, provided that the access shall not be greater than the access that is provided to the residential parent under division (C) of section 5104.011 [5104.01.1] of the Revised Code, the court shall enter its written findings of fact and opinions in the journal, and the court shall include the terms and conditions of access in the visitation order or decree.

Subject to division (F) of section 3319.321 [3319.32.1] of the Revised Code, when a court issues an order or decree allocating parental rights and responsibilities for the care of a child, the parent of the child who is not the residential parent of the child is entitled to access, under the same terms and conditions under which access is provided to the residential parent, to any student activity that is related to the child and to which the residential parent of the child legally is provided access, unless the court determines that it would not be in the best interest of the child to grant the parent who is not the residential parent access to the student activities under those same terms and conditions. If the court determines that the parent of the child who is not the residential parent should not have access to any student activity that is related to the child under the same terms and conditions as provided for the residential parent, the court shall specify the terms and conditions under which the parent who is not the residential parent is to have access to those student activities, shall enter its written findings of facts and opinion in the journal, and shall issue an order containing the terms and conditions to both the residential parent and the parent of the child who is not the residential parent. The court shall include in every order issued pursuant to this division notice that any school official or employee who knowingly fails to comply with the order or division (J) of this section is in contempt of court.

Subject to division (F) of section 3319.321 [3319.32.1] of the Revised Code, subsequent to the issuance of an order under division (J)(1) of this section, all school officials and employees shall permit the parent of the child who is not the residential parent to have access to any student activity under the same terms and conditions under which access is provided to the residential parent of the child, unless the residential parent has presented the school official or employee, the board of education of the school, or the governing body of the chartered nonpublic school with a copy of an order issued under division (J)(1) of this section that limits the terms and conditions under which the parent who is not the residential parent is to have access to student activities related to the child and the order pertains to the student activity in question. If the residential parent presents the school official or employee, the board of education of the school, or the governing body of the chartered nonpublic school with a copy of that type of order, the school official or employee shall permit the parent who is not the residential parent to have access to the student activity only in accordance with the most recent order that has been issued pursuant to division (J)(1) of this section and presented to the school official or employee, the board of education of the school, or the governing body of the chartered nonpublic school by the residential parent or the parent who is not the residential parent. Any school official or employee who knowingly fails to comply with division (J) of this section or with any order issued pursuant to division (J)(1) of this section is in contempt of court.

If any person is found in contempt of court for failing to comply with or interfering with any order or decree granting companionship or visitation rights that is issued pursuant to this section, section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, or any other provision of the Revised Code, the court that makes the finding, in addition to any other penalty or remedy imposed, shall assess all court costs arising out of the contempt proceeding against the person and require the person to pay any reasonable attorney’s fees of any adverse party, as determined by the court, that arose in relation to the act of contempt, and may award reasonable compensatory visitation to the person whose right of visitation was affected by the failure or interference if such compensatory visitation is in the best interest of the child. Any compensatory visitation awarded under this division shall be included in an order issued by the court and, to the extent possible, shall be governed by the same terms and conditions as was the visitation that was affected by the failure or interference.

Any person who requests reasonable companionship or visitation rights with respect to a child under this section, section 3109.11 or 3109.12 of the Revised Code, or any other provision of the Revised Code may file a motion with the court requesting that it waive all or any part of the costs that may accrue in the proceedings under this section, section 3109.11, or section 3109.12 of the Revised Code. If the court determines that the movant is indigent and that the waiver is in the best interest of the child, the court, in its discretion, may waive payment of all or any part of the costs of those proceedings.

The juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction to enter the orders in any case certified to it from another court.

As used in this section:

“Abused child” has the same meaning as in section 2151.031 [2151.03.1] of the Revised Code, and “neglected child” has the same meaning as in section 2151.03 of the Revised Code.

“Record” means any record, document, file, or other material that contains information directly related to a child, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(1) Records maintained by public and nonpublic schools;

(2)Records maintained by facilities that provide child day-care, as defined in section 5104.01 of the Revised Code, publicly funded child day-care, as defined in section 5104.01 of the Revised Code, or pre-school services operated by or under the supervision of a school district board of education or a nonpublic school;

(3) Records maintained by hospitals, other facilities, or persons providing medical or surgical care or treatment for the child;

(4) Records maintained by agencies, departments, instrumentalities, or other entities of the state or any political subdivision of the state, other than a child support enforcement agency. Access to records maintained by a child support enforcement agency is governed by division (F)(2) of section 2301.35 of the Revised Code.

“Confidential law enforcement investigatory record” has the same meaning as in section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Title 31, Chap. 3109, ยง 3109.051