In Ohio, children of divorce are able to live with both parents if the court grants the co-parents joint physical custody.
When divorced parents have joint physical custody, their children stay at each of their homes for certain lengths of time set by the court. Joint physical custody doesn’t always mean equal time spent with each parent, but it does mean that both parents would have the opportunity to live with their children.
The courts offer a sole custody option to divorcing parents, as well. Only one parent would be the custodial parent in a sole physical custody scenario, while the other parent could have visitation rights. This option works best for parents who do not get along or when one parent tends to carry out most of the parental responsibilities. Divorcees who would prefer to co-parent with their ex must ask themselves these three questions before choosing joint physical custody:
- Are both parents willing to work together?
- Do both parents live close to each other?
- Did one co-parent submit a parenting plan to the court?
Once all of these questions have been answered “yes,” the court can review the submitted parenting plan. A parenting plan should include provisions for the holiday season, summertime and the school year, as well as decisions about health care and legal custody. Then, the court will decide whether that parenting plan is in the best interest of the children. If it is, then the court can approve the plan. Both co-parents must adhere to the court-approved parenting plan. If the plan doesn’t work in the future, then they can request a modification.
It can be difficult for divorcing parents to identify impending issues with a parenting plan they created themselves. That’s why many divorcing couples reach out for help from an experienced professional. A skilled lawyer knows how to craft a plan that can work for a family many years into the future. Having a functional parenting plan provides a peace of mind during a stressful transition period. That’s why it’s better for divorcing parents to plan as early as possible.