If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, a major concern will be the raising of your children in a post-divorce world.

In the state of Ohio, the courts prefer to see shared parenting plans in which both parents participate fully in the important responsibility of raising and caring for their children.

What it means

Shared parenting refers to an arrangement whereby you and the other parent will share in the physical and legal custody of your children. The children will live with both of you, and you will both make decisions on their behalf. This does not mean that there will be a 50-50 split; your children will still spend most of their time in a primary residence and visit the home of the other parent according to a schedule that the two of you will agree upon and present to the court.

What the court will consider

When considering a shared parenting order, the court will look at several factors.

  •         Any history of domestic violence, abuse or parental kidnapping
  •         The proximity of the parents’ homes to each other and to the children’s schools
  •         How well the parents can work with each other in making decisions about the children
  •         Whether one parent can encourage the children to have a close relationship with the other parent

Best interests

An attorney experienced with helping people navigate shared parenting issues will tell you that a judge will always make determinations based on the best interests of the children. The judge will not make a decision based on the gender of the parents, their financial status or even if either has remarried. The focus is on matters such as the parents’ wishes concerning the welfare and care of their children, the familial relationships that exist, the mental and physical health of all involved and the wishes of the children if they are old enough to convey their thoughts to the judge. There are comprehensive guidelines in Ohio law to help parents raise children so they can grow, adjust and move confidently forward in a post-divorce world.