If you are a parent who is going through divorce, you have many important choices ahead of you. One of the most important choices you will have to make involves what kind of custody arrangement you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will use to share time with your child after the divorce.
In the past, mothers were often given primary custody of the children while fathers were given visitation rights, typically on the weekends. But the times have changed, and now more parents and courts are getting behind the shared parenting movement.
Shared parenting in Ohio is similar to what other states refer to as joint custody, joint legal custody or joint physical custody. Essentially, it means that both parents are considered the "residential" parent, and both are equally involved in making important decisions regarding the child.
In many cases, it is determined that a shared parenting arrangement is in the best interests of the child because research has shown that children do best when they have both parents actively involved in their lives. But shared parenting isn't always the best option.
In fact, in some cases, both parents have parenting time but only one is considered the residential parent and is thus able to make important decisions regarding the child's life.
Deciding which type of parenting arrangement would work best for your family has to do with factors including:
- the ability of the parents to work together to make decisions for the child;
- the ability of the parents to support each other's relationship with the child;
- any history or violence or abuse;
- the geographical location of the parents and the child; and
- any recommendations of a guardian ad litem who was assigned to the case.
An experienced family law attorney can help explain how shared parenting works in Ohio and whether it may or may not be a good fit for your family.