DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — An Ohio House Bill could change the rules of how parental rights are handled when it comes to visitation when parents see their children.

If approved, completed and signed by Governor Mike DeWine, the way custody exchanges for parents or guardians are handled could change. Representative Rodney Creech from West Alexandria and Representative Marilyn John from Richland County introduced HB 14 in the Ohio House.

The two held a press conference on Tuesday, March 7 and discussed how the bill could affect how parents would be able to see their child if the legislation is passed all the way through. The proposed legislation would allow parents to share time with their child in an equal manner, plus the responsibilities of caring for their child in the same equal way.

“Ohio’s laws haven’t changed in decades and our bill takes into account the large and growing body of research that shows the benefits of equal parenting,” Rep. Creech said. “What our bill does is create an official state policy that ensures children have a continued and meaningful relationship with both parents and, to the greatest extent possible, that parents share equally in time and responsibility.”

House Bill 14 would make access equal for those with cases of divorce, dissolution, legal separation or annulment of parents’ marriages.

According to Rep. John, “House Bill 14 encourages parents to work together instead of incentivizing them to fight against each other.”

There is a way that if passed and signed that some parents would not have access to the equal time.

The Ohio House Bill website says if there would be evidence that parents having equal time to the child or children would be “detrimental”, the courts would be able to create a new arrangement that would be best-fitting for everyone. The website goes on to say if both parents involved do not agree to submit a shared parenting agreement, it would create “rebuttal presumptions”.

The bill has been referred to the House Families and Aging Committee awaiting action.