Shared Parenting Plans in Ohio

[Thursday, 01 July 2010 02:13] [Saturday, 05 January 2013 23:47]

Parenting plans in Ohio

What are parenting plans?  Really, they are just agreements for  parents that spell out the rights and responsibilities between them. The information they contain can vary from case to case.  No two plans are exactly alike, since each set of parents have different circumstances that need special attention.

Unfortunately, most people believe that all parenting plans are shared parenting plans .  This is not true.  The term "parenting plan " refers to the document itself, and the terms of which the parents will abide by, where their child is concerned.

Just so it is clear, you can have a plan where there isn't really anything necessarily "shared" about it.  A big problem with domestic and juvenile courts is that they are issuing parenting plans and considering them all to be shared parenting plans in "the books", even when they aren't truly shared as they should be amongst parents.

What does a parenting plan contain?

Even though plans are different for each situation,  a well made plan should contain certain information in order to be considered acceptable for adoption by a court.  Here are some important issues you will want to address with your parenting plan:

  • Legal custodian(s) and residential parent(s) of the child;
  • Child support and medical insurance coverage obligations;
  • Parenting time schedule, including holidays and vacations;
  • Any other reasonable terms the parents can agree upon.


The questions you should ask yourself when making a parenting plan are:

  • Does it make sense?

  • Are the terms reasonable?

  • Do I agree with the plan?

  • Will my child benefit from this plan?

If you are able to answer yes to these questions and have addressed the previous issues suggested in the last paragraph, chances are that the court will have a much  easier time adopting the plan you want.

What kind of rights can I get with a parenting plan?

The answer is simple, what ever rights are agreed upon between the parents and the court which ratifies the plan.  Some plans are written to designate one parent the legal custodian and sole residential parent, while others show both parents as sharing custodialship and residential status.  Parenting time (visitation) is flexible too, as is the rest of the rights and responsibilities in the plan.  A good word to remember when making any plan for your child is reasonable.

What is a shared parenting plan exactly?

Shared parenting does not really have one meaning.  The possibilities and benefits to parents and children are endless.  It is likely that shared parenting plans are the most commonly known type of plan out there.  Generally speaking, however, the term shared parenting plan would typically mean: "an agreement between parents which assigns a level of rights and responsibilities to each parent, where they cooperate or "share the load" to one extreme or another, in order to raise their child".

*Remember: A parenting plan isn't necessarily a shared parenting plan, but... a shared parenting plan is a type of parenting plan!

How do I get the court to accept my parenting plan?

Either parent during any case, may submit a plan for the court's consideration.  The court will then review the plan, determine whether both parents agree and decide if the plan is in the best interest of the child.  Bottom line is, if you don't submit it, you will not likely get it!

FYI If you are looking for shared parenting, or any other type of parenting plan in the state of Ohio, keep in mind that at least one of the parents must first submit a plan before the court can consider such an arrangement.