Grandparents Rights in Ohio
Grandparents can be granted visitation
Grandparent Rights 101
Visitation and the best interests of the child
Grandparents in Ohio may be granted visitation as part of a divorce, dissolution, legal separation or child support proceeding in both Domestic Relations (Family Law) Court and Juvenile Court proceedings.
The Court may grant “reasonable companionship or visitation rights” to any grandparent with an interest in the child’s welfare if the court deems the visitation is in the best interests of the child. The same standard applies to any person “related to the child by consanguinity or affinity,” meaning anyone who is important in the child’s life. See Ohio Revised Code 3109.051 concerning visitation rights.
O.R.C. 3109.12 concerns cases involving unmarried parents. In the case of unmarried parents, grandparents may seek visitation, although paternity must be acknowledged and legalized before paternal grandparents may seek visitation. In cases involving deceased parents or unmarried parents, the court is instructed to consider the same factors listed above.
Some of the factors the court considers in determining visitation include:
- The geographical location of the grandparent’s residence and the distance from the child’s residence
- The child’s and parents’ available time, including schedules for employment, school, holidays and vacations
- The child’s age
- The child’s adjustment at home and school and in the community
- Any wishes of the child, as expressed in chambers
- The child’s health and safety
- The availability of time for the child to be with his or her siblings
- The mental and physical health of all parties
- The willingness of the grandparent to reschedule missed visitation
- Any conviction of the grandparent or guilty plea by the grandparent involving a crime of child abuse or child neglect
- The wishes and concerns of the parents as expressed to the court
- Any other factor in the best interest of the child.