COMMON MYTHS ABOUT SHARED PARENTING PLANS AND JOINT CUSTODY
Summary: For parents who are in the process of going through a divorce or child custody case
For parents who are in the process of going through a divorce or child custody case, the decision of whether or not the parents should share custody is one of the most important considerations to be resolved by the Court. Like every other state, Ohio has its own unique laws pertaining to child custody and it’s important for parents to be accurately informed. In order to help prepare parents for matters pertaining to child custody, it is important to debunk some of the myths about shared parenting and joint custody.
MYTH #1 – WE DON’T NEED A PARENTING PLAN OR CUSTODY ORDER FOR OUR DIVORCE SINCE WE AGREE ON EVERYTHING
Here in Ohio, state law requires divorcing parents to submit a parenting plan to the court in any case where there are minor children. The purpose of a parenting plan is to outline the child’s needs, how the child’s time should be divided between the parents, and each parent’s access to the child. The Parenting Plan will set forth the details of legal and physical custody, the parenting time schedule, the Summer and holiday schedule, transportation arrangements, child support and any other details specific to your unique circumstances. The parties can agree to a Parenting Plan, or the Judge in your case will implement a parenting plan based on the testimony and evidence presented at trial.
MYTH #2: SHARED PARENTING OR JOINT CUSTODY MEANS THERE WILL BE NO CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS
In cases of shared parenting or joint custody arrangements, both parents will typically share equal decision-making rights and parenting time is allocated for the best interest of the child up to equal time. However, equal time does not necessarily negate the possibility of child support payments. In Ohio, courts will still look to the needs of the child and both parent’s respective financial earnings to determine if child support will be required. Generally, if one parent is earning a far greater income than the other, then the parent who is earning more will pay some form of child support. Many parents can work out arrangements where certain expenses are paid for the child and there is reduced child support or certain expenses are paid instead of child support. In Ohio, regardless of circumstances, a child support calculation must be submitted to the court and explanations must be provided by the parents for any deviations from the statutory calculation.
MYTH #3: A SHARED PARENTING OR JOINT CUSTODY ORDER IS A FINAL ORDER
Once the court has issued an order regarding custody or the parties have agreed to an order for custody, that order will remain in place until a child reaches the age of 18. However, under certain circumstances, custody, parenting time, and child support can be modified. It is common for changing circumstances to make it increasingly challenging or impossible to abide by the terms of the original parenting plan or custody order. In these cases, either parent can file a petition to modify the terms of the parenting plan or custody order as necessary to incorporate changes. The parent who requests the modification must successfully prove that there has been a material change in circumstances that impacts the child’s best interests before a judge will grant a change to the custody order. Alternatively, the parties can agree to modify the terms as they deem appropriate by filing any amendments in writing with the court.
Hopefully you found this information helpful and informative. If you have any questions pertaining to divorce, child custody or any other family law matter, please don’t hesitate to contact R. A. Parish Law, LLC at (614) 407-0443 for a No Cost, No Obligation 30-minute consultation.
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