Sophisticated Solutions For Complex Family Changes
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We Set The Standard For Family Law In Cincinnati

With over 40 years of recognized excellence practicing law, Barbara J. Howard Co., L.P.A., is the law firm for Ohio and Kentucky families. We serve clients in all matters of complex custody and parenting time issues. Whether a domestic relations matter or a juvenile custody matter, we are prepared to offer skillful and creative solutions for your family, both in the initial custody determination as well as in the resolution of problems that might occur years later.


In Ohio, the term custody is related to decision-making for minor children. This is different from a parenting time schedule, which concerns where the children will spend time. The legal term for the order of custody of minor children is “allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.” A court must make this allocation for all minor children of a marriage as part of a divorce or dissolution.

Both parents often get custody, called shared parenting. If the parents cannot make joint decisions, however, or if shared parenting would not be in the best interests of the minor children, one parent can be designated as the custodial parent.

Important areas of decision-making that must be addressed by a custodial parent or jointly by both custodial parents in a shared parenting situation include school enrollment, medical treatment and extracurricular activity participation. With shared parenting, the parents make decisions about the minor children jointly. With sole custody, one parent makes the ultimate decisions about the minor children.

Visitation Vs. Parenting Time

While custody addresses decision-making for minor children, visitation and parenting time address the schedule of time-sharing between parents. We work hard to build parenting time schedules that make sense for the parents and the minor children, taking into consideration children’s educational, social and extracurricular needs, as well as parents’ work schedules and the logistics of transportation.

Through our many years of experience in family law, we are familiar with schedules that have worked well for other families and will review those options with you. We will also work with you to craft a creative schedule that makes sense for your children.

In addition to addressing parenting time between biological parents, we can determine visitation rights and schedules for nonparents. This is useful for relatives such as grandparents or anyone who has an interest in the welfare of the child. We have assisted grandparents and other adults who have a relationship with children of divorce in obtaining visitation with their loved ones. Through a consistent and regular schedule, your visitation may include creative solutions such as one-on-one time during the month or going to the child’s extracurricular activities during the week.

Whether you have a parenting time or visitation issue, our lawyers put family first in our legal practice. The well-being of your children will be a priority during all parenting discussions.

Modifications To Orders And Contempt

We are mindful that our clients want finality and a lasting resolution at the end of their divorce. We work hard to help craft agreements that avoid the necessity of returning to court. Occasionally, modifications are necessary when you or your children’s circumstances change. Examples might include an updated parenting time schedule, a relocation to a new city or a change of your child’s school enrollment.

While you cannot plan for the unpredictable, you can feel confident that if the need arises, we will help you negotiate modifications to your custody and parenting time orders.

As part of your divorce or dissolution, the court will make parenting orders or will incorporate your agreement into its final order. These court orders are legally binding and enforceable by a court. If your ex-spouse is not following the court order, we can assist you with filing a motion for contempt. In a civil contempt action, the court can enforce the orders.

Unmarried Parents

When a child’s parents have never been married, the parties will be under the jurisdiction of an Ohio juvenile court. In those cases, we will do our best to help you obtain the best result for you and your child, always keeping the child’s best interests at the forefront of our strategy.

The Right Plan Sets The Tone For The Future

Our team of attorneys will always help you look beyond the immediacy of the issues at hand. While termination of your marriage and asset division may be a priority right now, your children will be a priority for life. To start the process, call our Cincinnati office at 513-421-7300 or send us a message.