Shared Parenting or Sole Custody

Whether facing a potential divorce, attempting to work out dissolution of a marriage, or addressing how to best plan for the future of your child as an unmarried parent, it is important to know your options and the factors the court will consider.

In Ohio, there are two basic parenting models: shared parenting and sole custody. The difference in these two models is how decisions are made, which does not necessarily affect the parenting time strategy that may be appropriate for your children. These decisions can range from what medical and mental health providers to use, activities in which the child participates, educational pursuits, and religious affiliation.

Sole custody is where one parent is designated the custodial parent, meaning that parent has the right to make the decisions on all matters concerning the child. If the court must decide who should serve as the child’s custodian, the court must make the determination based on the “best interest of the child.” There are several factors that go into that decision, for example, the child’s adjustment to the home or community, the mental and physical health of all persons involved, the parent more likely honor and facilitate parenting time, and whether either parent has established a residence outside the state.

Under shared parenting, both parents are custodial parents and must work together to make decisions for the welfare of the child. There are several additional factors the court must consider if shared parenting is an option, such as the ability of the parties to cooperate, the recommendations of a Guardian ad Litem (if one has been appointed), and either parents ability to encourage the child to share love, affection, and contact with the other parent.

Generally, the courts favor shared parenting, but certain circumstances or issues may prevent that from being ordered. For instance, in cases where one parent suffers from a personality disorder or other psychological disorder the mental health of the parent becomes extremely important to the future safety and 

several factors that go into that decision, for example, the child’s adjustment to the home or community, the mental and physical health of all persons involved, the parent more likely honor and facilitate parenting time, and whether either parent has established a residence outside the state.

Under shared parenting, both parents are custodial parents and must work together to make decisions for the welfare of the child. There are several additional factors the court must consider if shared parenting is an option, such as the ability of the parties to cooperate, the recommendations of a Guardian ad Litem (if one has been appointed), and either parents ability to encourage the child to share love, affection, and contact with the other parent.

Generally, the courts favor shared parenting, but certain circumstances or issues may prevent that from being ordered. For instance, in cases where one parent suffers from a personality disorder or other psychological disorder the mental health of the parent becomes extremely important to the future safety and wellbeing of the child. In that case, it may be necessary to engage an expert to render a psychological evaluation. It could also be the case that one parent is unable to place the needs of the child above their own, making joint decision-making difficult, if not impossible.

There are numerous tools and structures that can be utilized to maximize the potential success of a shared parenting arrangement. Which model is appropriate can be a very difficult issue and can often lead to major conflict. Where shared parenting is best for your child, the experience and creativity of the attorneys at our firm will assure a Shared Parenting Plan is created to address the particular needs of your family.

 If your case is one in which shared parenting is not appropriate, it is vital that the court is made aware of the factors that make sole custody necessary to serve the best interest of the child. The attorneys at Edward F. Whipps & Associates are exceptionally well equipped to analyze and effectively determine the key factors that make sole custody appropriate for your family.  

Contact an Experienced Child Custody Lawyers Today

If you need a child custody lawyer, please contact Edward F. Whipps & Associates for help. To arrange a confidential initial consultation and to find a mutually convenient time, you may call the Columbus office at (614) 461-6006 or our Dublin office at (614) 461-6007