What Are The New Changes In The Standard Order of Parenting Time Regarding Mother’s Day And Father’s Day?
On September 3, 2011, I posted an article on the Ohio Family Law Blog about the “New” and “Improved” Montgomery County Standard Order of Visitation. At that time, the major change was in the way Summer Parenting Time was to be exercised. The Court decided that Fathers should have alternate weeks of visitation during the summer rather than being limited to just five weeks or thirty-five (35) days of visitation. Some Fathers have elected to take advantage of this change in the Standard Order of Parenting Time and some Fathers, because of work schedules and other factors, have simply chosen to stay with the four (4) to five (5) weeks of visitation during the summer vacation period. Click here to read that article.
On February 1, 2016, the Domestic Relations Court of Montgomery County, Ohio issued a “new” Standard Order of Parenting Time with the major difference being in the way that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are addressed. I shall present to you the exact changes in this provision and the rationale for same:
7/01/2011: Standard Order of Parenting Time regarding Mother’s Day and Father’s Day:
On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, no matter the parenting time schedule, the children shall be with the appropriate parent on those days from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.
2/01/2016: Standard Order of Parenting Time regarding Mother’s Day and Father’s Day:
On Mother’s Day (the 2nd Sunday in May) and Father’s Day (the 3rd Sunday in June), the parties shall agree in writing which parent shall have the children from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. In the absence of a written agreement, in all even-numbered years, the residential parent is awarded the 2nd Sunday in May and the non-residential parent is awarded the 3rd Sunday in June. In all odd- numbered years, the reverse shall apply.
The noticeable change is that the phrase, the “appropriate parent”, has been eliminated from the New and Revised Standard Order of Parenting Time. Why the need for the change? It is due to the fact that the traditional marriage between a “man” and a “woman” is no longer the law of the land. Gay marriages have been approved by the Supreme Court of the United States. Accordingly, one child or several children might have two “Mommies/Mothers” or two “Daddies/Fathers”. This makes it difficult to celebrate a traditional Mother’s Day or a traditional Father’s Day.
The Court and family law practitioners are having to adapt their practices and to adjust language of their pleadings to accommodate this recent major change in the law. I recently completed my first divorce proceeding of parties in a gay marriage. I chose to use the words Partner #1 and Partner #2 as it was not appropriate to identify them as “Husband” or “Wife”. So, we had a Plaintiff/Partner #1 and Defendant/Partner #2. This worked well in that proceeding and I shall use the same terminology in the future. Click here to read the entire Standard Order Of Parenting Time PDF document.
Bottom Line On Standard Order of Parenting Time In Ohio And Divorce
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Anne Shale is of counsel to Dayton, Ohio, law firm, Holzfaster, Cecil, McKnight & Mues. She is a former registered nurse and concentrates her practice in Family Law and Divorce cases.