PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Counties change their local visitation schedules. The county you live in may have changed their rule(s) yesterday. The county you live in may have different visitation schedules for Juvenile Court and Domestic Court. The rule may have been changed or updated since the last time this web page was updated. In addition, if you already have a visitation schedule pursuant to local rule, and that schedule was attached to your parenting time orders, it is POSSIBLE that the court did not mean for YOUR visitation schedule to change if the local visitation schedule in your county changes. The local visitation schedules are put on this website as a courtesy and are updated as often as possible. They are NOT legal advice and they are NOT meant to help you figure out if a decision you are about to make would be a violation of an existing court order. If you want to make sure that you have the most current version of the local rule in your county, you can either look on your county Clerk of Court’s website, go to your local Clerk of Court’s office, or call your local Clerk of Court.
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The office of the Clerk of Court cannot give you legal advice. This website, although prepared in part by attorneys, cannot and does not give you legal advice. You can only get legal advice by talking to an attorney of your choice about the facts of your case, and the law as it applies to the facts of your case.
If you understand the information you have just read and would like to see the most recent local rule visitation schedule we have on our website, see the information below:
OTTAWA COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
(Effective: September 1, 2001)
Companionship is a time for children to be with the non-residential parent. It is vitally important that a child have a continuing and regular involvement with that parent. It is helpful to schedule activities and to teach the child skills during visitation. Assisting the children in finding friends within the neighborhood is beneficial in creating a home-like atmosphere for the child(ren).
It is important that each parent be flexible, willing to change times and/or dates by mutual cooperation and agreement based upon the changing needs of a child as he or she grows older, in addition to the parent’s own schedules and interests.
Liberal visiting arrangements are encouraged, as contact with both parents is important to the children. Specific items in the Judgment Entry take precedence over this schedule. Changes or modifications may be made by the Court if need for such is shown.
COMPANIONSHIP SHALL TAKE PLACE AT SUCH TIMES AND PLACES AS THE PARTIES CAN AGREE. This shall not normally be less than:
Visitation shall be on alternate weekends from Friday at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday at 6:00 p.m.
The child(ren) shall spend a mid-week visitation each week for two and one-half (2 ½) hours at such times as the parties may agree. If they cannot agree, then the visitation shall be each Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
(a) If not changed by agreement, holiday times are as follows:
|Even-Numbered Years||Odd Numbered Years|
|New Year’s Eve/Day||Mother||Father|
(b) If the parties cannot agree on hours for holiday visitation, it shall be as follows:
|Easter||Saturday at 5:00 p.m. to Sunday at 7:00 p.m.|
|Memorial Day||Sunday at 7:00 p.m. to Monday at 7:00 p.m.|
|July 4th||July 4th at 9:00 a.m. to July 5th at 9:00 a.m.|
|Labor Day||Sunday at 7:00 p.m. to Monday at 7:00 p.m.|
|Thanksgiving||Thursday at 9:00 a.m. to Friday at 9:00 a.m.|
|Christmas Eve||December 23rd at 9:00 p.m. to December 24th at 9:00 p.m.|
|Christmas Day||December 24th at 9:00 p.m. to December 25th at 9:00 p.m.|
|New Year’s Eve/Day||December 31st at 5:00 p.m. to January 1st at 5:00 p.m.|
(c) Holidays will take priority over any other visitation except birthdays. A holiday that falls on a weekend shall be spent with the parent who is designated to have the child(ren) for that holiday. The rest of the weekend is to be spent with the parent who would normally have that weekend. This time does not have to be made up.
4. Summer Vacation
Four (4) weeks of companionship shall be granted to the non-residential parent each summer, to be arranged by May 1st of each year. Said summer visitation shall be taken in 2 two-week intervals (unless otherwise agreed by the parties).
(a) Alternate weekends that normally would be spent with the residential parent which falls during the non-residential parent’s vacation must be given to the residential parent or made up at another time. Alternate weekends that normally would be spent with the non-residential parent and fall during the residential parent’s vacation must be given to the non-residential parent or made up at another time.
(b) There shall be no abatement of child support during summer vacation.
5. Days of Special Meaning
(a) The child’s birthday shall be spent with the mother in the even-numbered years and shall be spent with the father in the odd-numbered years. The non-residential parent must provide one-week’s notice of his or her intent to have companionship for a birthday.
(b) Mother’s Day shall always be spent with the mother, Father’s Day shall always be spent with the father, regardless of which parent is entitled to the weekend. If the parties cannot agree on times, the time shall be from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Each parent shall be prompt for pickup and return of the child(ren), and the residential parent shall ready the child(ren) emotionally and physically for the companionship. The residential parent has no duty to wait for the non-residential parent to pick up the child(ren) longer than thirty (30) minutes, unless the non-residential parent notified the residential parent (s)he will be late, and the residential parent agrees to remain available after the thirty-minute waiting period. A parent who is more than thirty (30) minutes late loses the companionship period. A parent who has a pattern of lateness is subject to penalties under the law.
7. Actual Visitation
Visitation and companionship shall mean actual visitation with the non-residential parent and does not mean the non-residential parent picking up the child and leaving the child with a non-family member.
It shall be the responsibility of the non-residential parent to provide transportation for visitation. The non-residential parent, if unavailable for the pick-up or delivery of the child(ren) by car, must use an adult driver well known to the child(ren) for this purpose. All child restraint laws, including the use of proper car seats, must be complied with by any person driving with the child(ren). No person transporting the child(ren) may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Only licensed drivers may transport the child(ren).
9. Cancellation of Companionship by Non-Residential Parent
If a non-residential parent is unable to attend visitation, said parent shall give the residential parent at least twenty-four (24) hours advance notice when practical. A parent who does not exercise companionship forfeits the time.
10. Child’s Response to Companionship
(a) Children of divorce grow up to be as normal and healthy as children whose parents are not divorced if the parents communicate well; if both parents continue regular contact with their child(ren) when dealing with the other parent.
It is normal when parents first separate that a child may have a strong emotional reaction at companionship times saying goodbye to one parent. Parents need to know that the emotional response is quite natural, and that each parent needs to calmly reassure the child that he or she will see the other parent soon. Parents should understand that this response by the child does not mean that the child does not love the other parent, or wishes not to spend time with the other parent. The length of the adjustment time will vary.
If a child indicates a strong opposition to being with the other parent, it is the responsibility of each parent to appropriately deal with the situation, by calmly talking with the child as to the child’s best interests, and particularly to avoid confrontation or unpleasant scenes. If the matter is not settled, either parent should seek the immediate assistance of a mental health professional, a mediator, or a file a motion with the court. As uncomfortable as this issue may be for a parent, this issue should not go unresolved.
(b) The residential parent should encourage free communications between the children and the non-residential parent, and both parties shall encourage the children to love, honor and obey the other parent and refrain from criticizing the other parent.
11. Returning the Child(ren) After Exercising Companionship
The non-residential parent shall not return the child(ren) before the end of the companionship period stated (not early, not late, not on a different day), unless the parents agree in advance. The residential parent or other responsible adult well known to the child(ren) shall be present when the child(ren) is/are returned.
The residential parent is responsible for providing sufficient appropriate clean clothing for every companionship period, based on the lifestyle of the residential parent and child. If the planned companionship activities require special or unusual clothing needs, the non-residential parent must notify the residential parent at least two days in advance of the companionship period. If the child does not have the type of clothing requested, the residential parent is under no obligation to comply with the request. All clothing sent by the residential parent MUST be returned immediately after the companionship period.
A parent must provide time for any child to study, complete homework assignments, papers, or other school assigned projects, even if the completion of this work interferes with the parent’s plans with the children. If schoolwork is assigned by the school prior to the companionship, the residential parent must inform the other parent of the work to be done, and it must be completed.
14. Address and Telephone Number
Each parent must, unless the Court orders otherwise, keep the other informed of his or her current address and telephone number, and an alternate telephone number in the event of an emergency.
If the residential parent intends to move to a residence other than the residence specified in the visitation order or decree of the court, that parent shall file a Notice of Intent to Relocate. See R. C. 3109.051(G)(1)
16. Children’s Activities
Scheduled companionship periods shall not be delayed or denied because a child has other scheduled activities (work, lessons, sports, etc.). It is the responsibility of the parents to discuss activities important to the child in advance, including time, dates, and transportation needs, so that the child is not deprived of activities. Both parents are encouraged to attend all their child’s activities. Each parent is entitled by law to equal access to the student activities of their child, unless limited by Court order.
17. Communication between Parents
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PARENTS, NOT THE CHILDREN, TO MAKE ALL COMPANIONSHIP ARRANGEMENTS. Neither parent should communicate with a child about the issue of companionship, or future events or activities which conflict with the other parent’s allotted times. It is not the responsibility of a child to mediate or become involved in parental differences over companionship times, dates or activities. If the parents have temporary difficulty communicating about either companionship or the need of their child(ren), parents should not enlist the child to resolve the parents’ inability to talk to each other.
18. Communication between Parent and Child
Each parent has the right to talk over the telephone with the children as often as the parents agree. If the parents do not agree, then the non-residential parent shall have telephone privileges twice per week. Telephone calls shall be during the normal hours a child is awake. If the child is unavailable for conversation, each parent shall take the responsibility of seeing that a child timely returns the call. A child is permitted to call a parent.
19. tep-parent Name
A parent should not, nor permit any other person to, suggest, encourage or require a child to refer to any person other than the child’s parents as “mom” or “dad”, etc.
20. School Records
Both parents are entitled by law to equal access to their children’s records, unless otherwise limited by Court order.
21. Medical Records/Consultation
The residential parent shall, upon request by the non-residential parent, immediately comply with whatever action is required, including the signing of a full release, to provide access to any medical, dental, hospital, surgical, optometric or mental health records of the minor child. Both parents are entitled to equal access to their children’s records, unless limited by Court order.
22. Mediation of Companionship Disputes
In the event a dispute shall arise between the parties concerning any provision of this schedule, the parties shall attempt to discuss and resolve any such dispute between themselves. If they are unable to do so, then
(a) either or both parties may file a request of the Court to set the matter for mediation; or
(b) move the Court to resolve the dispute.
23. Penalties for the Parent Who Willfully Fails to Comply with this Companionship Schedule
A parent who willfully fails to comply with this companionship schedule may be found in contempt of Court, which may include a fine and/or jail sentence. The Court may also assess attorney fees and court costs, order the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem and payment of the Guardian Ad Litem’s fee. The Court may order the reimbursement of transportation costs, and make-up companionship, in addition to any other remedy available at law.
OTTAWA COUNTY – LONG DISTANCE COMPANIONSHIP SCHEDULE
(over 100 miles one way)
1. Companionship is to take place at such times and places as the parties agree.
This will not normally mean less than:
A. For the parent who is not the Residential Parent:
1. Christmas school vacation in the even-numbered years or up to five (5) days for preschoolers with no school-aged siblings.
2. Spring vacation in the odd-numbered years or up to five (5) days for preschoolers with no school-aged siblings.
3. One-half (1/2) of the school summer vacation. Summer school necessary for the children to pass to the next grade must be attended. Must notify the residential parent as to the arrangements by April 15.
(a) The parties can determine which half they prefer.
(b) If the parties cannot agree, in the even-numbered years, the first half of the summer vacation shall be spent at the home of the non-residential parent, with the second half of the summer vacation at the home of the residential parent, and the opposite in the odd-numbered years.
(c) Unless the parties agree otherwise, responsibility for transportation costs for summer and spring or Christmas vacations shall be shared, based on the usual earnings of the parties.
(d) There will be a fifty percent (50%) decrease of support during the entire visitation period if the visitation is more than four (4) weeks (unless the parties agree otherwise). There will be no decrease of support if visitation is four (4) weeks or less. The residential parent shall reimburse the non-residential parent fifty percent (50%) of the current support obligation during summer visitation within ten (10) days of receipt of child support.
(e) Children and residential parent must be allowed to communicate by telephone once a week. Calling party shall bear the expense and parties shall alternate placing the call.
(f) A general itinerary should be provided the residential parent if any part of the vacation will be spent away from the home of the non-residential parent
4. Additional visitation:
(a) The residential parent shall be notified at least two (2) days in advance of any time the non-residential parent will be in the area and is desirous of a visitation period.
(b) Once-a-month weekend visit to the home of the non-residential parent will be permitted if the time the child is traveling does not exceed three (3) hours one way.
(1) The residential parent must be notified at least one (1) week in advance.
(2) The transportation cost shall be the responsibility of the non-residential parent.
(3) Father’s Day or Mother’s Day can always be spent with the appropriate parent.
B. For the Residential Parent:
1. Christmas vacation in the odd-numbered years.
2. Spring vacation in the even-numbered years.
3. One-half (1/2) of the summer vacation. The residential parent shall notify the non-residential parent by March 15 of when summer vacation begins.
4. Additional visitation:
(a) If given at least two (2) day notice, the residential parent shall give visitation to the non-residential parent who is visiting in the area.
(b) If given a one (1) week notice, the residential parent shall give visitation to the non-residential parent once a month if the travel time does not exceed three (3) hours one way
C. Each parent shall provide the other parent with a telephone number and address where the child may be reached.
NOTE: Sufficient clothing and personal items must be sent with the children. This schedule can be changed or modified by the Court if need for such is shown.