Divorced couples who share children may continue to work together to raise their children through a shared parenting arrangement. According to the Supreme Court of Ohio, continued, healthy involvement of both parents in the lives of their children following a divorce may play a vital role in their overall adjustment. People allocated shared parenting by the court work together to make decisions about the health, religious upbringing and education of their children.

To make shared parenting arrangements work, parents create parenting time schedules. This document clearly lays out the schedule for the time the child will spend with each parent and how the parents will make decisions regarding the child. Creating such agreements helps provide consistency and predictability for children, and they may help avoid discourse between parents down the road.

Shared parenting may not suit every family’s unique situation. According to Ohio state law, in deciding how to allocate parental rights and responsibilities for children during a divorce, the court may consider factors such as the following:

  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, community and school
  • Each parent’s wishes regarding the child’s care
  • The interactions and interrelationships between the child and his or her parents or siblings
  • The likelihood of each parent to comply with and facilitate the parenting time rights
  • A history for either parent of missing child support payments

When appropriate, and if the court interviewed the child, the court may also take into account the child’s preferences. The conviction or guilty plea of either parent to criminal offenses involving child abuse or neglect may also factor into the court’s decision regarding the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities.