Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ohio Supreme Court reinstates nonbio mom visitation

The Ohio Supreme Court today stayed the order of an appeals court that halted visitation between nonbio mom, Julie Rowell, and the child she raised with her former partner, Julie Smith. I wrote about the appeals court ruling here last month. Today's order, signed by Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, explicitly reinstates the visitation ordered by the trial judge who heard the case.

The issue in the appeal is whether a trial judge has the authority to order temporary visitation during the time it takes for a nonbio mom's custody petition to go to trial. Without such an order, the child's relationship with the nonbio mom is completely disrupted for the months -- or longer -- it can take for the case to be resolved. Lack of contact over that period of time is bound to have an impact on the child and could affect the judge's final decision about what custody arrangement is in the child's best interest.

I hope this stay is an indication that the Ohio Supreme Court knows the appeals court was way off base.

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