What does it mean to be the “residential parent“? In Ohio, the answer to this question depends on a couple of things. (Yes, I’m sure you’re shocked that a lawyer answered a question with the phrase “it depends”, but just stay with me here…)
In SHARED PARENTING, both parents are residential parents, and one parent is the school placement parent. The SCHOOL PLACEMENT PARENT is the parent that is the child’s home base. The school placement parent is also the parent who is entitled to receive full guidelines child support unless the court orders a child support deviation. Sometimes attorneys and even the court will tell the parties that the school placement parent is only significant when deciding what school the child will attend. Given that the school placement parent’s home is considered the child’s home, and that the school placement parent is the parent entitled to receive child support, clearly the designation of the school placement parent is more important than which parent attends the highest ranked school district.
In Ohio, cases where there is only one residential parent and no shared parenting decree, the RESIDENTIAL PARENT is the parent who has what is commonly referred to in Ohio as sole custody (or full custody, legal custody. Some states also use the term physical custody.) If one parent is the residential parent, that parent has almost all of the LEGAL RIGHTS regarding the child. They are the decision maker for all major decisions, it is much easier for them to convince a court to allow them to move and more difficult for the other parent to get a child support guidelines deviation.