In Ohio, one parent can have sole custody or the parents can share parenting time. In a sole custody arrangement, one parent decides on everything from medical care to decisions regarding the child’s school. In shared parenting, both parents can make decisions for the child.
When determining whether sole custody or shared parenting will be ordered, the courts consider what is in the child’s best interests. There are several factors that the court considers when making that decision, including the following: each parent’s wishes and the wishes of the children; how the children feel about each parent’s home and community; if either parent has withheld the children from the other parent; whether the parents can communicate with each other regarding the children; and the recommendation of a guardian ad litem.
The court will typically have a model visitation schedule, in which the children live with one parent most of the time, having parenting time with the other parent every other weekend and additional days during the week.
Parents can agree on a different schedule than the court’s model visitation schedule if they find that there is a schedule that works better for their family, such as spending one week with the mother and the following week with the father.
The court’s model visitation schedule can be found on the court’s website, and the Ohio Supreme Court has some model visitation schedules available to review.