Determining Sole Custody and Shared Parenting

From the moment one spouse says the word “divorce” to the other, no issue consumes more emotional energy than the uncertainty of how spouses will parent their children after the marriage is over.

In any divorce or dissolution, Ohio law requires the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of all minor children. Although there are many different words and phrases used online and throughout social media to describe custody and parenting responsibilities, Ohio recognizes only two:

Sole Custody:             The court allocates the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the minor children primarily to one of the parents and designates that parent as the sole residential parent and the legal custodian of the children; or

Shared Parenting:        The court allocates the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children to both parents and each is designated the residential parent.

Christopher M. Alexander has represented hundreds of clients throughout his 20-plus years of practicing family law. The most common issue raised and litigated in those cases has been the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of minor children. Christopher M. Alexander has extensive experience negotiating and litigation custody and shared parenting issues. When you need an experienced family law lawyer, call Christopher M. Alexander at (513) 228 – 1100, mobile (513) 226 – 8489, or email him at Chris@awklegal.com.

 

What Do We Need to Allocate for Our Children?

 

If you intend to terminate your marriage and you have minor children, Ohio law requires that you allocate the following rights and responsibilities relative to the minor children:

 

  1. Sole Legal Custody vs. Shared Parenting

  2. Parenting Time Schedule During the School Year

  3. Parenting Time Schedule During Summer Break/Extended Time

  4. Parenting Time Schedule During the Holidays

  5. Right of First Refusal

  6. School District Registration

  7. Decision Making

  8. Will You Mediate Differences

  9. Calculation of Child Support

  10. Health Insurance and Providers

  11. Unreimbursed and Uninsured Medical Expenses

  12. Scholastic and Extracurricular Activities Costs

  13. Day Care Expenses

  14. Life Insurance Beneficiary

  15. Relocation

  16. Transportation

  17. Tax Credits and Benefits

 

Due to the importance and breadth of this subject, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a publication entitled Planning for Parenting Time, Ohio’s Guide for Parents Living Apart with the intention of encouraging the creation of sensible parenting time schedules based on children’s developmental milestones and best interests. Christopher M. Alexander provides an electronic copy of the Guide to all family law clients who have minor children and who are either litigating a divorce or negotiating a dissolution.

What Does a Court Consider in Determining the Best Interest of Children?

In determining the best interest of a child, the Court will consider all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:

1.         The wishes of the child's parents regarding the child's care;

2.         If the court has interviewed the child in chambers, the child's wishes and concerns as to the allocation of parental rights

            and responsibilities concerning the child and the wishes and concerns of the child;

3.         The child's interaction and interrelationship with the child's parents, siblings, and any other person who may

            significantly affect the child's best interest;

4.         The child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community;

5.         The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;

6.         The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship

            rights;

7.         Whether either parent has failed to make all child support payments;

8.        Whether a parent has been determined to be, or plead guilty, to any one of a series of crimes or acts that resulted in

           domestic violence to a family member or which resulted in a child being an abused or neglected child;

9.       Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully

           denied the other parent's right to parenting time;

10.      Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state.

What Does a Court Consider in Determining if

Shared Parenting is the Best Interest of Minor Children?

 

In determining whether shared parenting is in the best interest of children, the court shall consider the factors listed above plus the following relevant factors:

 

1.         The ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly, with respect to the children;

2.         The ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other

            parent;

3.         Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, other domestic violence, or parental kidnapping by either

           parent;

4.        The geographic proximity of the parents to each other, as the proximity relates to the practical considerations of shared

           parenting;

5.        The recommendation of the guardian ad litem of the child, if the child has a guardian ad litem.

 

Christopher M. Alexander has represented hundreds of clients throughout his 20-plus years of practicing family law. The most common issue raised and litigated in those cases has been the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of minor children. Christopher M. Alexander has extensive experience negotiating and litigation custody and shared parenting issues. When you need an experienced family law lawyer, call Christopher M. Alexander at (513) 228 – 1100, mobile (513) 226 – 8489, or email him at Chris@awklegal.com.

Call to Schedule Your Initial In-Person Consultation Today

Call (513) 228 - 1100 or email Chris@awklegal.com