The Ohio Shared Parenting Plan
In a dissolution of marriage or a divorce, 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 parties or Ordered by the Court unless the parties mutually agree.
In an Ohio Shared Parenting Plan 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 children.
Parents consult with each other. They confer together on matters affecting the welfare of their children. They take into account the best interests, and as far as possible, the desires of the children.
What Is Included In A Shared Parenting Plan?
In an Ohio 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 made of when the children will be with each parent. The schedule may change to accommodate the parent’s work schedules or the children’s schedules.
One parent is named as the residential parent for school enrollment purposes. One parent is named as the residential parent for the receipt of government assistance for the children.
However, making one parent the residential parent for school enrollment or for government assistance purposes does not change the other rights of parents. They are equal in all other respects.
What Time Are The Children With Each Parent?
In an Ohio Shared Parenting Plan, 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 provides stability for the children.
It is up to the parents to decide upon the rough schedule of when the children will be with each parent. It is often based on the availability and work schedules of parents.
What About Child Support?
Child support can be the same as in the case where there is custody to one parent. It can be reduced or it can be set at $0 depending on the parenting time and various other factors.
Generally when the children are mostly with one parent the child support is the same as what it would be otherwise computed in the Child Support Guidelines. Often when parenting time is roughly equal and when the parents have comparable incomes, child support can be set at $0.
What Makes Shared Parenting Work?
If parents live a considerable difference apart it can be difficult to do an Ohio Shared Parenting Plan. The court can refuse to approve the plan if it just doesn’t seem workable because of the distance between parents.
The greater the cooperation and the spirit of shared decision-making, the greater the chance that shared parenting will work. The bottom line is that each parent is committed to making the plan work!
The Ohio Shared Parenting Plan can include clauses on:
- SHARING OF EXPENSES- This is clause that is used especially where there is no child support from one parent to the other. The clause can say that the parents are equally sharing expenses. Other times the parents are sharing expenses in proportion to their incomes. Sometimes one parent is responsible for particular expenses such as clothing, school fees and school activities.
- LIFE INSURANCE- This a clause that says that each parent shall name the minor children as beneficiaries on any life insurance policy available through the employment of the parent. There may be other life insurance policies which a parent agrees to maintain and to name the children as beneficiaries until they are adults. This is a protection for the children.
- PUBLIC OR NON-PUBLIC SCHOOLING- This clause says that how costs will be split when both parents choose to enroll the children in a private school. It is stated whether they are going to equally split expenses or split expenses in proportion to their incomes or if one parent is going to pay the expenses. In the event that the parents do not agree to enroll the children in a private school, then the party making the decision is responsible for all expenses.
- RELIGION- This is a clause in which the parents agree to consult each other on matters of religious education and training. Neither parent shall attempt to modify the children’s religious practices without consulting with the other or the Court.
- DISCIPLINE- This is a clause in which the parents agree to consult with each other regarding the forms of discipline of their children.
- POST HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION- Normally the obligation to support a child ends at age eighteen and the completion of high school. But parents can specifically agree and contract with one another to pay for post high school education. They can say in their agreement the terms and conditions of such support.
- MEDIATION- this is a clause which requires the parents to engage in co-parenting counseling or mediation to resolve any disputes that arise.
Attorney Ronald Ruskan specializes in preparing Dissolution of Marriage and Divorce papers for people who want to file their own papers. He does a full interview and answers the questions of clients and guides them through the process. He can prepare your Ohio Shared Parenting Plan and tailor it to your needs and wishes.
If you like help in preparing a Shared Parenting Plan, fill out the form and click “send”:
(For Ohio State Law on Shared Parenting: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3109.04%28F%29)
(For Ohio State Law on child support in Shared Parenting:http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/3119.24)