A Columbus Ohio Shared Parenting Attorney article about shared parenting in Ohio.
Ohio shared parenting is similar to what other states refer to as joint custody, joint legal custody or joint physical custody. When an Ohio family court approves a Shared Parenting Plan, both parents have the legal status of being a “residential parent”.
Q. What is the difference between shared parenting and sole custody?
When an Ohio family court enters a Shared Parenting Decree, both parents have the legal status of being a residential parent. When only one parent is the residential parent, the other parent may be awarded parenting time, but does not have the legal status of being a residential parent. In this example, the residential parent has what used to be called sole custody (now called the “residential parent and legal custodian of the child.)” The parent who has parenting time only may have less authority to participate in major decisions effecting the child.
Q. Do both parties have to request Shared Parenting?
No. At least one party must file a motion requesting the Court enter a Shared Parenting Decree, and at least one party must file a Shared Parenting Plan for the Court’s approval. Unless both parties agree to waive this requirement, the plan MUST BE FILED 30 DAYS PRIOR TO THE FINAL HEARING DATE. In addition, the court must review the plan and find that the plan is in the best interest of the children.
Q. If the Ohio family court awards Shared Parenting, does that mean that time with the child will be split 50/50?
No. The division of parenting time can be any division of parenting time that the parties propose and the Court approves. However, when determining an appropriate division of parenting time, it is important to consider the impact of the plan upon the child. A parenting plan that has the children in a different home every night and living out of a suitcase is unlikely to be approved by a Court. A better approach is a plan that maximizes time with each parent and provides stability and predictability for the children.
Q. If the court awards Ohio Shared Parenting, does that automatically mean that neither party pays child support?
No. The same child support worksheet is used to calculate support for sole custody and shared parenting cases. However, if the parties agree to lower child support, and the court approves lower child support, and finds it to be in the best interest of the children, child support may be lower than ohio child support guidelines.
Q. How does the court decide whether shared parenting is in the best interest of the children?
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) and all of the following factors:
- The ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly, with respect to the children;
- The ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent;
- Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, other domestic violence, or parental kidnapping by either parent;
- The geographic proximity of the parents to each other, as the proximity relates to the practical considerations of shared parenting;
- The recommendation of the guardian ad litem of the child, if the child has a guardian ad litem.
Ohio law also states 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.
Additional information from one of our blog posts: