Study Underway to Examine Improvements in Visitation Orders

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Visitation on Monday, November 19, 2012

Divorced St. Louis parents might well be interested in a study designed to increase opportunities for parents to have appropriate child visitation orders.

The four-year study will include a wide variety of experts on parenting time, all focused on improving ways for children to get to share time with both mothers and fathers.

The project is taking place in Ohio and is funded by a $400,000 federal grant.

Partners in the study include family support agencies, policy experts and judicial officials from 12 Ohio counties and Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions.

The group members hope to generate a “best practices” guide for establishing child visitation or parenting time. Their recommendations might well include changes to the legal process or to procedures; all aimed at getting visitation and parenting time established for noncustodial parents.

One goal is to figure out a way to establish these custody/parenting time plans at the same time child support orders are issued.

“Parents are often in favor of establishing both orders at the same time,” one county official helping to spearhead the study said, noting that “payments of child support are more consistent when there is a healthy parental bond.”

Even more important, children are happier and healthier when strong parental bonds can be maintained with both parents after a split.

The project will deal not deal with situations involving indications of domestic violence.

Participants in the project say they hope to establish at least 2,000 parenting time orders in the next four years.

They will also study child support rates after the establishment of parenting time/visitation orders.

The project “will inform…national policy,” a participant said.

Hopefully, the project will come up with practical ways for Missouri and other states to improve child visitation processes and procedures.

Source: Athens Ohio Today, “Ohio University taking part in $400,000 parental visitation initiative,” Oct. 18, 2012

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