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Residential Parent and School Placement Parent

COLUMBUS CUSTODY LAWYERA Columbus Ohio Custody Lawyer article about the meaning of residential parent and school placement parent in Ohio.

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…)

COLUMBUS CHILD CUSTODY LAWYERSFirst, the definition of residential parent depends on what type of ORDER the word “residential parent” is included in.

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.

COLUMBUS OHIO CUSTODY ATTORNEYSIn 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.



  1. A says

    Is this really true:

    “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.”

    This is from the above article.

    What if the father is the school placement parent, he makes more money that the mother, and both parents live in the same school district. Would the father really be the one to receive child support?

  2. RF says

    I’ve searched various sections of our shared parenting laws & have not been able to find out at what age a child can choose which parent he or she would like to live with (in Ohio!).

  3. E says

    I have a question. My daughter will be attending kindergarten in about a year. I have full custody AND residential parent. Her dad and i will never live in the same town and most likely always thirty to fourty five minutes apart. He thinks when she starts school he can keep the same schedule we have no ( he gets her on tuesdays overnight and thursdays overnight). Is that the case or since I am residential parent will she stay with me throughout the week since we do not and will not live in the same school district? thanks

  4. Anonymous says

    I am the residential parent for school purposes for my high-school freshman. I recently remarried and live with my new wife in a different school district. I have decided to retain my apartment in my child’s current school district for the next few years so that he can continue in the school he likes. What are the requirements for actually physically occupying my apartment (e.g., nights per week) during that time?

  5. Anonymous says

    I’m the residential parent for school purposes in a shared parenting order with both of us being residential parents while in our care. Can my ex enroll our child in preschool or am I the only one who can?

  6. K says

    I have a question. I have been divorced for 7years and I am the residental parent. I have two children 7 and 9. My ex says his new wife has the right to tell my children they can not talk to me when we are at my sons football game (my ex did not show up). Does she have rights to my children?

  7. D says

    My ex & I have Joint Custody w/ Shared parenting. She is listed as residential parent for school. Our oldest son is having issues in his current school. We both have agreed that he should come live with me and change schools for a fresh start. What do we need to do or file to change that and also adjust child support?

  8. Anonymous says

    I am the Residential Parent with the other parent having visitation. Therefore, how did my local school district have the authority to have a sit down meeting with the parent with visitation, a guidance counselor and the school pricipal to discuss the possibility of moving the child to another school district? No papers had been filed in court and not change of custody has taken place. The parent with visitation has twice signed papers granting them only visitation.

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