Children’s Legal Rights During Divorce in Ohio

Divorce is a necessary, yet often messy and difficult reality for millions of American’s across the nation. And while parents tend to find themselves battling it out over asset (and debt) division, financial support, and child custody, too often the children are the ones caught in the middle of it all.  As parents, you love your children and want what’s best for them. One way to ensure that you children emerge from a difficult divorce in a healthy way is to know and protect their rights. The following is a short list of children’s rights to consider as a parent going through divorce:

Child looks at the swearing parents

Your children’s rights during divorce include:

  • Parents shall deny children reasonable use of the telephone to place and receive calls with the other parent and relatives.
  • Neither parent shall speak or write derogatory remarks about the other parent to the child, or engage in abusive, coarse or foul language, which can be overheard by the child whether or not the language involves the other parent.
  • Parents should not allow children to overhear arguments, negotiations or other substantive discussions about legal or business dealings concerning the divorce.
  • Parents should not try to pressure or influence their children’s personal opinions concerning legal proceedings between the parents.
  • Each parent will permit the child to display photographs of the other parent or both parents in the child’s room.
  • Neither parent shall communicate moral judgments about the other parent to the child concerning the other parent’s choice of values, lifestyle, choice of friends, successes or failures in life (career, financial, relational) or residential choice.
  • The parents will acknowledge that the child has two homes, although the child may spend more time at one home than the other.
  • The parents shall cooperate to the greatest extent possible in shared parenting roles.
  • Neither parent will interrogate the child about the other parent nor will either parent discourage comments by the child about the other parent.
  • Neither parent will interfere with communications to the child from the other parent.
  • Neither parent will refuse to acknowledge that the child can have or should have good experiences with the other parent.
  • Neither parent will use the child as a “middleman” to communicate with the other parent on inappropriate topics.
  • Neither parent will encourage or instruct children to be disobedient to the other parent, stepparents, or relatives, or reward them to do so.
  • Parents should not discuss child support issues with their children.
  • Neither parent will manipulate any facts that the child originally knows to be different.
  • Neither parent will permit the child to be transported by a person who is intoxicated due to consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs.
  • Children have the right to carry meaningful objects belonging to them -such as toys, books, gifts, or items- between both homes, and parents shall not interfere with this.

The goal is to keep in mind that your children can easily find themselves feeling lost or caught in the middle of their parents’ divorce. As a parent, your job is to protect them and make them feel loved and treasured. To the greatest extent possible, your children deserve to feel the love and security of both parents, regardless of how you two feel about each other. Consider your children’s feelings, and do everything possible to provide the stability and love they need during such a chaotic time.

Michael E. Bryant, Attorney at Law, has been helping families throughout Northwest Ohio navigate through the difficult waters of divorce. If you’re considering a divorce and would like the expert counsel of one of Toledo’s leading divorce attorneys, don’t hesitate to contact the law offices of Michael. E. Bryant today at 419-243-3922 and schedule a free initial consultation.