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Parenting Disputes That Ohio Family Courts Will Not Touch

With a month of the 2013-2014 school year nearly complete, divorcing and separated parents may have finally settled into a routine. Now comes the difficult part: parent-teacher conferences, decisions about Halloween and holiday parties and costs for extracurricular activities. For parents in the midst of a separation, these decisions may be more difficult with the emotional battles being waged.

Disputes over school activities and management of behavioral issues may lead a frustrated parent to petition the court for relief; specifically an order to bar the "offending" parent from imposing his or her own rules with regard to the child. Some parents may even ask the court to suspend parenting time until the other parent can get their act together.

Nevertheless, Ohio family court judges may be reluctant to get into the middle of a parenting dispute.

There are several reasons behind this stance. First, judges do not want to be seen as "parenting referees" that parties may consult. Indeed, they make decisions based on fact and law, but their function is not to decide which parent's methods are right (and which are wrong). To that end, some custody orders will have specific dispute resolution procedures that the parties must follow before filing a motion in court.

Second, courts expect parents to put their egos, senses of control, and personal agendas aside and work together for the sake of the child. They are not blind to the fact that parents will try to manipulate situations involving kids, but the court cannot acede to one parent's wishes simply because he or she does not like how the other parent is caring for the child.

Source:, "Putting the spotlight on family law legal needs," September 17, 2013

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