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While not always the case, children typically benefit when they’re able to maintain a relationship with both parents after a divorce. A growing number of Ohio courts are in favor of a shared custody agreement, which allows both parents to share responsibilities and parenting time.

Even though shared custody may be beneficial to your children, it’s often difficult on the parents. For example, if you’re not getting along with your ex as a result of a complex divorce, it can be difficult to co-parent with success.

Here are some of the most common questions associated with shared custody and shared parenting:

  • Does this really mean both parents have equal custody? While it’s the goal, it doesn’t necessarily mean both parents will have equal physical custody. Your parenting plan can detail a child sharing schedule that works for both parents.
  • What happens if one person doesn’t follow the plan? A shared custody order is a court order. If your ex doesn’t cooperate, regardless of the reason, you have the legal right to take action with the intention of modifying the agreement.
  • Can shared custody turn into sole custody? If you start off with shared custody after a divorce, it’s not easy to pursue sole custody. It’s possible in some circumstances, but you must have substantial proof that this is necessary. For example, proof that your ex is abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Is relocation possible? A shared parenting plan allows both parents to spend time with their children. If you relocate too far away, the other parent may not be able to share parenting responsibilities as outlined in the plan. If you need to move, such as to accommodate your career, it’s critical to discuss your situation with your ex and have your agreement modified by the court.

When going through a divorce, especially in the early stages, it’s easy to believe that fighting for sole custody of your children is the way to go. However, as you learn more, you may come to find that shared custody is best for your children.

The divorce process is complicated, especially when you add children to the equation. If you have any questions or concerns about custody, learn more about your legal rights in Ohio and clear the air before you make any final decisions.

Visit our blog for more guidance pertaining to custody, child support and other family law topics.