child custody

Child custody is an integral part of many divorce cases in Ohio. There are several types of arrangements, all with their own set of rights and responsibilities for parents. Understanding these arrangements can help you navigate the legal process and work toward the best interests of your children. 

Child Custody Types in Ohio

Ohio has several types of child custody arrangements, including sole, joint, physical, and legal custody. Here is a brief look at these arrangements. 

Sole Custody

This type of custody can be awarded when it is in the child’s best interest. Many times, this occurs when one parent is deemed unfit or unable to provide proper care. The parent with sole custody has the authority to make major decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, such as:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Religious matters

The courts may still grant visitation rights or parenting time to the non-custodial parent, but legal decision-making power is reserved for the custodial parent.

Joint Custody

Joint custody, also referred to as shared custody or shared parenting, is a custody arrangement where both parents share legal and physical custody of the child. This arrangement occurs if the parents can demonstrate the ability to cooperate and effectively communicate for the child’s well-being. 

With joint custody, parents have equal decision-making power and responsibility for major decisions concerning the child’s upbringing. Additionally, the child may split their time between both parents’ homes.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is granted to the parent with whom the child primarily resides. This means that one parent will have primary physical custody, and the child will spend most of their time living with that parent. The other parent will have visitation rights or parenting time, allowing them to spend time with the child on a scheduled basis. The specific visitation schedule may be determined by the court or agreed upon by the parents.

Legal Custody

Legal custody refers to the authority to make significant decisions concerning the child’s well-being, including education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. In Ohio, legal custody can be granted to one parent (sole legal custody) or both (joint legal custody). 

With sole legal custody, only one parent can make decisions, while joint legal custody grants both parents equal rights and responsibilities in the decision-making process. However, even if one parent is granted sole legal custody, the other parent may still access the child’s educational and medical records.

Impact on Rights and Responsibilities

The type of child custody arrangement defines the rights and responsibilities of each parent, such as:

Decision-Making Authority

The custodial parent can make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing in sole custody. In joint custody, both parents share decision-making authority.

Parenting Time

Physical custody determines the child’s primary residence and how parenting time is split between parents. The non-custodial parent may have visitation rights or a structured parenting schedule.

Financial Responsibilities

Regardless of the custody arrangement, both parents are financially responsible for supporting the child. The non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support to the custodial parent to meet the child’s needs.

Co-Parenting and Communication

Effective parental communication and collaboration are essential, especially in joint custody arrangements. Both parents must work together to make decisions and maintain a positive co-parenting relationship for the child’s benefit.

Reach Out to an Ohio Family Law Attorney Today

Understanding Ohio’s different types of child custody arrangements is vital for parents navigating divorce or separation. If you want to learn more about child custody in Ohio or have questions about other matters of family law, the team at Axelrod Law Office in Lake County, OH, can help you understand your options. Call our office at (440) 271-8126 or submit a contact form to schedule a free, confidential legal consultation.