Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson
614-556-4231

Does your situation warrant a court order modification?

One of the only things you can logically assume about life is that it never stays the same. Beyond that, it is impossible to predict with 100 percent accuracy what the future holds. In fact, you may find that your life is headed in a particular direction one week, then unexpected events prompt a drastic turn the next week. If you've recently divorced, you may be one of many Ohio parents who are currently encountering child custody challenges.  

When the court hands down a custody ruling, you and your co-parent are legally obligated to adhere to the terms of the court order. Your children's best interests are, of course, among your highest priorities as you move on in life after divorce. However, the court's ruling is the deciding factor in certain things you must do, as well as certain thing you must avoid, regarding your children. If a problem arises, you can't simply take matters into your own hands if the situation involves an existing court order. 

If your current plan is no longer feasible     

Just because your ex makes you mad, it doesn't mean you can keep him or her from seeing your children if the court has already issued an order that allows it. The following issues may mean you have valid grounds for requesting a court order modification, however:  

  • If you believe your children are in danger in the presence of their other parent
  • If you believe your ex's lifestyle is a detriment to your children's well-being, such as situations involving substance abuse
  • If your children are telling you things about their time at the other parent's home that causes you concern
  • If you are moving to a new location and are unable to keep the current custody transfer schedule
  • If your former spouse refuses to adhere to the existing court order
  • If the other parent dies 

There may be other reasons why you might request modification of your existing child custody, visitation or child support court order. However, wanting to get back at your ex is definitely not one of them.

The court has full discretion as to whether or not your request should prompt a change and, unless and until the court grants its approval, you must continue to adhere to the terms of the existing court order. If your ex refuses to do so, you can bring the matter to the court's immediate attention.

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