The Ohio divorce courts require couples opting for joint custody of their children to submit a shared parenting plan. At least one spouse must file a petition describing how he or she will take responsibility for the kids. If both parents show they could make amicable parental decisions as ex-spouses, the court may award joint custody.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, the court reviews the proposed plan and determines if it will work for the children. Some factors considered include how each spouse can maintain a separate residence and provide financial support. The age, health and education of each child take precedence over how the plan affects the divorcing couple.
Splitting time between two parents
A shared parenting plan generally outlines which days of the week children reside with each parent. The schedule may remain unchanged or rotate by week, month or season. With ex-spouses’ residences located near each other, children can remain close to their friends, school and extracurricular activities.
When ex-spouses live farther apart, shared parenting may require a more elaborate schedule. The children may reside with one parent during the week and stay with the other during the weekends and holidays. Deciding on which dates a parent has custody could, however, require constructive negotiation to come up with a schedule that balances out the holidays.
If a parent travels extensively or expects to be out of town often, a plan could include splitting custody around a work schedule. Children can reside with the parent who travels when he or she remains at home. Spouses could reduce their expenses with a shared parenting plan that allows each parent to take care of the kids while the other works or travels.
Covering child care and support costs
After a couple determines a plan that works for them and their children, requesting financial support could center on their shared parenting arrangement. In Ohio, an infant attending a care center can cost about $10,000 per year. As reported by Columbus Parent, hiring an individual to provide in-home child care could cost around $7,500 each year in the Buckeye State.