Ohio Dissolution with Children: Sole Custody or Shared Parenting

Ohio Dissolution with Children, Ohio Divorce with Children, Ohio Child Support Guidelines

Parenting Plan

In an Ohio Dissolution with Children there are two types of parenting plans.  In the first, custody is given to one parent and the other parent is given parenting time with the child(ren) with a schedule of parenting time (what was previously called visitation).  In the second, the parents agree on a Shared Parenting Plan.

Custody to One Parent

Ohio divorce law lists various factors which can be considered in the granting of custody.  The most important factor is always what is in the best interests of the children.   Money is not the issue and one parent who has more money is not favored.

The parent who does not have custody should have liberal parenting time and contact with the children.  Usually, parenting time for the parent who does not have custody is alternating weekends and one weekday evening every week from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Holidays are alternated between parents.  There may be provisions for longer parenting time over the school breaks of Christmas Break, Spring Break, or Summer Break.

In an Ohio Dissolution with Children the parent who doesn’t have custody has many rights which are set out in the Parenting Plan.  This includes involvement with school activities, and access to school and medical records.

There must also be notification and a possible Court hearing if the parent who has custody plans to move out of the area.  A move may limit the time that the other parent has with the children.

A parent who wants the parenting time or conditions of parenting time restricted will have to justify the restrictions.  There must be a good reason that is in the best interests of the children. Evidence or testimony of the reason will be required by the Court.

Alcoholism, drug addiction, sexual and physical abuse are common reasons for a restriction.  The Court can order that parenting time is to be supervised.  The Court can say that there is no overnight parenting time, or that there is no parenting time, depending on the circumstance.

Parenting time and the payment of child support are two separate issues.  Parenting time is not restricted because of the non-payment of child support.  You shouldn’t refuse a parent to see their children because they have not payed child support.

When the parent who doesn’t have custody lives more than 100 or 150 miles away from the residence of the child, special provisions may have to be made for parenting time and transportation costs.

Shared Parenting in Ohio

In an Ohio Dissolution with Children, parents can decide that it is best that they have a Shared Parenting Plan for their children.   An Ohio Shared Parenting Plan cannot be forced upon the parents.  Both parents must agree to it.

In Ohio Shared Parenting there is shared responsibility for all major decisions.  This includes the upbringing, education, medical care, dental care, spiritual care and all other matters concerning the general welfare of the children.

Parents consult with each other and confer together on matters affecting the welfare of their children.  They take into account the best interests of, and as far as possible, the desires of the children.

When parents live a considerable distance away from one another, it is difficult to do shared parenting.  The Court may refuse to adopt the Shared Parenting Plan if it looks like the distance will prevent the plan from working.

The greater the cooperation and the spirit of shared decision-making over major issues affecting the welfare of the children, the greater the chance that shared parenting will work.

Both Parents Are The Residential Parents

In a Shared Parenting Plan, Mother and Father are the residential parents without regard to where the children are physically located.  A rough schedule of parenting time is set forth of when the children will be with each parent.  The schedule may change to accommodate the parent’s work schedules or the schedules of the children.

One parent is named as the residential parent for school enrollment purposes.  This is because schools check if a child in their school district.

One parent is named as the residential parent for the receipt of public benefits for the children. This would be if the children were to receive government health insurance or some other form of government assistance.

However, making one parent the residential parent for school enrollment or for the receipt of government assistance for the children does not change any of the other rights of the parents. The parents are still equal in all other respects. .

What About The Division of Time and Child Support?

In a Shared Parenting Plan in an Ohio Dissolution with Children, the parenting time of each parent may be roughly equal or it can be more with one parent.  The Plan should be what is best for the children and be a plan that gives the children stability.  It is up to the parents to decide on a general schedule.

Child support can be the same as in the case where there is custody to one parent, or it can be reduced or set at $0 depending on the parenting time and various other factors (see explanation in Ohio Child Support Guidelines).

What is Best for the Children

There are so many variations in parenting plans in an Ohio Dissolution with Children and sometimes the legal jargon loses sight of the most fundamental principle:  parents should know and should do what is best for their children.   Think about what you feel is best for your children.  Try to work with and cooperate with the other parent in making decisions which are best for your children.


If you Want Help In Preparing Your Ohio Dissolution With Children:

Attorney Ruskan specializes in preparing dissolution and divorce papers for clients who are filing their own papers and want to greatly reduce the cost but still have the benefits of a lawyer interviewing the client, answering questions, and preparing papers.

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