What is Shared Parenting in Ohio?

Ohio shared parentingUnder Ohio law, in many cases, parents are entitled to what is known in Ohio as “shared parenting.” This is very different from what has been known as “custody” in divorce cases.

In other states, what we call “shared parenting” this may be called joint custody, joint legal custody or joint physical custody. When an Ohio domestic relations court either imposes of signs a Shared Parenting Plan, both parents have the legal status of being a “residential parent.”

If only one parent has the primary custody of the child, the term that we now use is the “residential parent and legal custodian of the child.”

A shared parenting plan can be requested by either party, or imposed by the court. A shared parenting plan must be submitted to the court along with the request, and that usually has to be filed with the court at least 30 days prior to the hearing.

The judge will evaluate any plans that are submitted for fairness, or come up with one of his or her own. Each particular judge will have a different way of going about this process, so it is very important that you are represented by an attorney who is personally familiar with the judge or magistrate who you are in front of.

One particular myth about shared parenting is that the time has to be split 50/50 with each parent. This actually is not true.

The division of parenting time can be any division of parenting time that the parties propose and the Court approves. At the same time, the court will always consider the impact of that schedule on the child first and foremost. For instance, alternate nights with each parent will probably not be approved.

Your divorce and domestic law attorney will have a great understanding of how to write, propose, and implement a shared parenting plan.

But, no matter how it arrives at the decision, in every single case involving children, the court has to order a specific schedule for parenting time allocation to each of the parents. The primary consideration is the best interest of the children.

Ohio statutes provide many factors to be considered in making the determination. Each Ohio county must have a standard parenting time order. These standard parenting time orders can be changed to meet individual children’s needs.

Ohio law requires to court to consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the factors stated in Ohio Revised Code section 3109.04(F)(1) (link),  and all of the following factors:

  1. The ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly, with respect to the children;
  2. The ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent;
  3. Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, other domestic violence, or parental kidnapping by either parent;
  4. The geographic proximity of the parents to each other, as the proximity relates to the practical considerations of shared parenting;
  5. The recommendation of the guardian ad litem of the child, if the child has a guardian ad litem.

What about grandparent visitation and visitation with people who are not parents? In some cases, the court also may award companionship rights to persons other than the parents, but only if the court finds it is in the best interest of the child.

Child Support in Shared Parenting Plans: Having a shared parenting plan does not automatically mean that there will be no child support paid or received. Each individual case will be different, depending on the percentage of time spent with each parent under the plan and the relative incomes of each parent.

Ohio law is also very clear in stating that, when a Court is allocating parental rights and responsibilities for the care of children, the Court shall not give preference to a parent because of that parent’s financial status or condition (o0ne way or the other—rich or poor or somewhere in the middle).

This is an area of divorce law that requires the help of attorneys who have the experience and knowledge to work in this very complex area. The divorce attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP have extensive experience with all areas of divorce, dissolution and child custody. Please Contact Us by calling 1-800-297-9191 for a FREE consultation or send us a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.

Learn more about a wide variety of divorce and dissolution issues by visiting our website at http://www.dissolutionanddivorce.com

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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One Comment on “What is Shared Parenting in Ohio?”

  1. Thi Malarkey Says:

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