Allocation of Parental Rights & Responsibilities


Allocation of Parental Rights & Responsibilities

A. Establishment

In all divorce, dissolution and legal separation actions where there are minor children the Court will allocate parental rights and responsibilities (formerly “custody”) for the care of the children, provided no other court has determined or is in the process of determining an allocation of parental rights of the same children.  An allocation of parental rights may be awarded to one parent who is designated the residential parent and legal custodian or both parents if shared parenting is awarded. Ohio Revised Code §3109.04 sets forth the requirements and factors the Court needs to consider when making an allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.


When making a determination of parental rights the Court will also order parenting time (formerly “visitation”) to the parent determined to be the nonresidential parent. If shared parenting is awarded a parenting time schedule will be included in the shared parenting plan. Ohio Revised Code §3109.051 governs the award of parenting time along with the Court’s Local Rule 17 and 18.

A Parenting Proceeding Affidavit must be filed pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §3127.23 at the initial filing of a complaint for divorce, legal separation, annulment or a petition for dissolution when there are minor children. The Parenting Proceeding Affidavit is a sworn statement stating the names and dates of birth of the minor children of the parties, their residence addresses for the previous five years and whether any or all of the children have been the subject of any court cases where a designation of parental rights has been made no matter where the location of the case. The Parenting Proceeding Affidavit is necessary for the Court to determine if it has the authority to issue parenting orders in the case being filed.

B. Modification

The allocation of parental rights and responsibilities is always modifiable. In order to modify a previous allocation of parental rights and responsibilities the party requesting the modification must show that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child, the residential parent, or either parent if there was an award of shared parenting, and that a modification is in the best interest of the minor child. 


As with the initial allocation of parental rights any modification of the allocation of parental rights may cause a need for the court or the parties to modify the schedule of parenting time. Ohio Revised Code §3109.051 governs the modification of parenting time along with the Court’s Local Rules 17 and 18.

A Parenting Proceeding Affidavit must be filed pursuant to Ohio Revised Code §3127.23 upon the filing of a motion to modify a parenting order. The Parenting Proceeding Affidavit is a sworn statement stating the names and dates of birth of the minor children of the parties, their residence addresses for the previous five years and whether any or all of the children have been the subject of any court cases where a designation of parental rights has been made no matter where the location of the case. The Parenting Proceeding Affidavit is necessary for the Court to determine if it has the authority to issue parenting orders in the case being filed.