There are many different ways to parent children in Ohio and each parenting style differs from family to family. Even within the same family, two parents may parent differently. This does not necessarily mean that one style is wrong. Parents may have discussions about parenting while they are married and may disagree with the other parent from time to time, but the parents still may make the decisions together. This can be true if the couple ever divorces as well, but the parents must have a child custody order specifically stating that there is going to be shared parenting.
All decisions that are made about children in a child custody order are made based on what is in the best interests of the children. So, in making a custody determination, the court will analyze a number of factors and try to determine the best custody arrangement for the children. However, if the court is considering a shared parenting order, it must analyze an additional set of factors to determine whether shared parenting is also in the children’s best interest.
The court will analyze whether the parents can cooperate in making decisions regarding the children. They will also look at whether the parents can encourage the children to have affection and contact with the other parent. Other factors that the court will analyze are whether there has been any domestic abuse between the parents, how close the parents live to each other, recommendations of a guardian ad litem, if one has been appointed, and other factors that will assist a judge in determining what is in the best interests of the children.
Many parents go through divorces each year in Ohio. Each divorce will be unique based on the specific facts of the case, especially as it relates to custody and parenting time decisions. These are based on the best interests of the children and there are no bright line rules. Instead, there are different factors that the court will analyze as they relate to the specific situation of each individual family.