Lisa Christensen's blog

The difference between Sole Custody and Shared Parenting

In Ohio, what is the difference between Sole Custody and Shared Parenting ?

The key difference between Sole Custody and Shared Parenting involves a parent’s court ordered decision making ability on key parenting issues.

If only one parent is assigned the responsibility to make all key decisions affecting a child, chances are that parent has sole custody. However, if both parents have the right to participate in key decisions affecting a child, the parties most likely have a Shared Parenting arrangement.

Real estate deeds and financing- two very separate transactions

There is a difference between real estate being deeded to you and your spouse and the mortgage or loan that you get to pay for your property. When you buy your home, the seller signs a deed granting you and your spouse title to the property. The deed is then filed with the county recorder.

The mortgage loan that you obtain to finance your home is a separate transaction. Your mortgage lender loans you the money to pay for your home. The home is used as security (collateral) to protect the mortgage lender in the event you stop making payments on the home (default).

Residential Parent for School Placement Purposes

Parenting plans and court orders regarding minor children must address where the children will go to school. When a single party has been granted sole or full custody, that person has the authority to make all decisions regarding the child’s education. Within the public school framework, this custodial adult’s residence is used to determine the appropriate school district.

In a shared parenting plan, both parents are involved in decisions affecting the child’s education and both parents are considered residential parents. However, language in the shared parenting plan must designate which parent shall be designated as the residential parent for the purpose of determining the school the child attends.

Rights of Unmarried Parents

It is important for unmarried parents to establish their parenting rights and responsibilities. This is especially so if parents are:

  • experiencing difficulty getting along with one another,
  • refusing to cooperate regarding visitation, or
  • disagree on parenting decisions.

In Ohio, an unmarried woman who gives birth to a child is automatically granted full custody. The unmarried father must obtain his parenting rights through the courts. An order to pay child support through the child support enforcement agency does not provide an unmarried father with parenting rights. A court order establishing parental rights and responsibilities provides an important framework which unmarried parents can build upon to establish a positive and healthy relationship between both mother and father.

Divorce & Dissolutions

Feeling alone, angry, confused, abandoned, scared and frightened of change? Believe it or not, these are all feelings that most people share when going through a divorce or dissolution. In Ohio, parties can pursue a dissolution if the parties are able to place in writing their agreement on issues such as division of property, allocation of marital debt, allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (custody and support). If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the parties must file for a divorce.