As part of your divorce proceedings, the family courts of Ohio may determine custody arrangements that work best for the children in your family, if you and your spouse are unable to come up with an agreement outside of court. The court may award sole custody to one parent or joint custody/shared parenting to both parents.
When one parent is granted sole physical custody, the child will primarily live with the custodial parent while the other parent will be granted parenting time to spend time with the child. Oftentimes, the parent with sole physical custody will also be granted legal custody, so they can make decisions for the child, including decisions regarding their schooling, religion, and health.
Ideally, both parents will share custody when it comes to raising their children post-divorce. However, this does not necessarily mean that each parent will get equal time with the children. The courts will evaluate various factors when determining parental rights including:
- The living arrangements of each parent
- The distance between parents’ households
- The child’s current school and community
- The parents’ work schedules
What should I expect in my final parenting plan?
Whether you and your spouse draft a parenting plan together or the court creates one for you, the goal is always to ensure that your child is well taken care of. Parenting time plans will often include:
- Parenting time schedule (addresses weekdays, weekends, holidays, and vacations)
- Pickups and dropoffs
- Child support owed
- Child care (where child will stay where parent works)
- Medical and health care information (e.g. who will provide medical insurance for child, who pays for health care costs)
- Education information (e.g. who pays for school, who attends school events)
- Extracurricular activities (e.g. how to decide on the child’s activities, who pays for activity expenses)
- Directions on how to revise the plan
Child custody issues can be difficult for families to navigate, but an attorney in your area can help you figure out the best arrangement for your family, while keeping the best interest of your child as the main priority.