When parents decide to divorce or separate, learning to co-parent can be a challenge. Like other states, Ohio courts encourage both parties to create a parenting plan.
Can these plans help with situations like custody, support, and visitation?
In many cases, the answer is yes. Here is what you need to know about creating and implementing a parenting plan in Ohio.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
When both parents are responsible for a child’s legal and physical custody, a parenting plan can help delegate some of those responsibilities. In cases where a parent has sole legal and physical custody, these plans often do not apply.
If you are separating or divorcing, a parenting plan can help to address a few major issues, such as:
- Child custody
- Child support
However, these plans are much more than figuring out those issues. They can help to create a stable environment for the child and put their best interests forward.
Parenting plans are vital to the legal and joint custody decision-making process. Both parents can outline specifics regarding the child’s:
- Religious upbringing
- Extracurricular activities
Parts of a Parenting Plan
There are specific issues of co-parenting that need to be addressed. One of the top priorities often specifies when each parent will have physical custody of the children. Most of the time, these schedules will determine who will take custody during school breaks, special occasions, and holidays.
Another part of a parenting plan is child support. The state does have specific guidelines to award support, often focused on the child’s needs and each parent’s income. In the parenting plan, there should be details about how the support is claimed, who will pay for it, and the schedule of payments.
Getting a child from one home to another can be a hassle for both parties. However, a parenting plan can ease some of those concerns. The plans establish the drop-off and pickup arrangements. Plus, parents can also list who will be responsible for transportation costs. All these details can help to minimize stress and disruptions for the child.
How to Make a Parenting Plan Work
There is one important aspect of any parenting plan: communication. Open and consistent communication is vital to successful co-parenting. The plan will often outline how each parent will communicate with the other, whether through a phone call, email, or other means. With that, it can help to prevent any disputes before they become major issues.
Can You Revise This Plan?
Life is full of changes. Ohio courts understand that circumstances and the child’s needs can change over time. For that reason, these plans can be revised under certain conditions, such as relocation or a decrease in income. A revision will need to follow a few steps, such as adequately notifying the other parent of any potential changes.
Creating a plan and outlining certain terms can be difficult. You always want to ensure the plan complies with Ohio law. Working with an attorney who understands family law in the state can help you draft a plan that will work for you, the other parent, and your child.
Learn More About Establishing an Ohio Parenting Plan
Creating a parenting plan in Ohio is essential for your children’s well-being during and after a divorce. A well-drafted plan helps parents co-parent together in harmony. Along with that, it can provide stability for the children during these tough times.
If you would like to learn more about parenting plans, the divorce process, or child support, reach out to the Axelrod Law Office. Please call our office at (440) 271-8126 or submit a contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.