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There are two types of custody arrangements in Ohio, shared parenting and sole custody. Neither arrangement is connected to a specific visitation schedule. Thus, shared parenting does not mean equal or 50/50 time. When the parents cannot agree on a particular arrangement, the court will decide the appropriate parenting arrangement based upon its determination as to what is in the best interest of the children.

To aid the court in making the decision, the court may cause an investigation to be conducted into the character, family relations, past conduct, earning ability, and financial worth of each parent. The court may also order medical, psychological and psychiatric examinations of the parents and the children. The court will consider the testimony and evidence presented by each parent and their witnesses. The court may also interview the children to ascertain their wishes and concerns.

Child custody is always subject to future modifications.

In Ohio, mothers and fathers stand equally before the court with regard to their parental rights and responsibilities for the care of their children.

Shared Parenting

Shared parenting generally requires the parents to make joint decisions concerning matters affecting their children including, but not limited to, health, education, religion, daycare and extracurricular activities. The details of the arrangement are set forth in a written document called a shared parenting plan. The court will consider a number of factors when determining whether shared parenting is appropriate such as:

  • the ability of the parents to cooperate and make decisions jointly;
  • the ability of the parents to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and other parent;
  • whether there is a history of child abuse, domestic violence or parenting kidnapping;
  • the geographic proximity of the parents; and
  • the recommendation of a guardian ad litem, if the child(ren) have one.

Sole Custody

Sole custody generally grants one parent the right to make all decisions concerning matters affecting their children including, but not limited to, health, education, religion, daycare and extracurricular activities. In a sole custody arrangement, one parent is designated as the residential parent and legal custodian of the children.


If, after the original court order is issued, the circumstances of the parties and/or the children change, it is possible to request that the court modify the terms of the parenting order.

  • Regardless of the custody arrangement, each parent will be afforded parenting time (formerly known as visitation) with their children. The time afforded to a parent is not necessarily related to the type of custody arrangement that is determined to be best. Therefore, you can have equal time even in a sole custody arrangement. Likewise, you can have a situation where one parent has more time than the other in a shared parenting arrangement.









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Moskowitz & Moskowitz, LLC
810 Sycamore Street, First Floor
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Phone: (513) 721-3111
FAX: (513) 721-3077
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