Nancy L. Sponseller

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Does Ohio permit shared parenting in custody decisions?

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

When parents divorce in Ohio and cannot agree on a child custody arrangement on their own, the courts are generally charged with dividing parental responsibilities and rights between the two former spouses. The decision is made based upon the best interests of the child, and the court’s decision involves dividing other rights and obligations, such as parenting time and support payments.

Today, the most common child custody arrangements are “shared parenting” arrangements. This means both parents get to spend significant time with the child and are involved in decision-making on major issues in the child’s life. Parents who agree to a shared parenting arrangement must submit a shared parenting plan to the court.

These plans often outline how the parents will handle various points of contention, including physical living arrangements and child support obligations. Plans might also include relatively detailed information, such as the location of a child during holidays. These plans are subject to review by the court.

Before making a decision concerning custody or accepting a shared parenting plan, the court takes a number of factors into account.

For example, a parent’s criminal history, especially if the violations involved child neglect, might influence a judge’s decision. In addition, Ohio statutes allow the court to request investigations into a number of issues regarding a family’s circumstances before allowing a case proceed to a trial. The court might call for evaluations of the involved parties’ psychological and medical conditions and may seek information regarding parents’ current and potential future financial situations.

Each child custody case involves a variety of factors that might affect a court’s decision, and the information above may not apply in every circumstance. However, a family law attorney can help a parent involved in a child custody dispute understand their rights and obligations, as well as provide representation throughout court proceedings.

Source: Codes.Ohio.gov, “Child Custody Basics – Custody Decisions: Factors to Consider,” July 25, 2014