Legal Information: Ohio

Custody

Updated: 
July 12, 2023

Can I change an order after it is issued?

There are two types of orders:

  1. one that allocates parental rights and responsibilities to one parent, and 
  2. joint custody (shared parenting). 

There are different standards for changing each one. The judge can change (modify) an order that allocates parental rights and responsibilities if:

  1. there has been a change in the circumstances of:
    • the child;
    • the residential parent; or
    • in the case of a shared parenting order, either of the parents;
  2. the change of circumstances are based on either:
    • new facts that have arisen since the order was issued; or
    • facts that were unknown to the judge at the time the order was issued; and
  3. the modification is necessary to serve the best interest of the child.1

    If there is a shared parenting order, either parent can file in court to modify a shared parenting plan or the judge can suggest a change at any time. In addition, both parents can jointly modify the terms of the shared parenting plan on their own at any time if they agree to the change. The modifications to the plan must be filed jointly by both parents, and the court will include them unless they are not in the best interests of the child. The judge can also terminate a final shared parenting order upon the request of one or both of the parents or whenever the judge determines that shared parenting is not in the best interest of the child. The judge would then issue a modified order for the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities as if no order for shared parenting had been granted and as if no request for shared parenting ever had been made by considering the best interest factors listed in the law.2

    However, to change who is the residential parent, the judge will only do that if one of the following applies:

    • the residential parent agrees to the change or, in the case of a shared parenting order, both parents agree;
    • the child has been integrated into the family of the person seeking to become the residential parent with the consent of the residential parent or, in the case of a shared parenting order, both parents; or
    • the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantages of the change of environment to the child.1

    1 Ohio Rev. Code § 3109.04(E)(1)(a)
    2 Ohio Rev. Code § 3109.04(E)(2)

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