Which parent gains custody of the children in a divorce is major topic of contention among couples getting divorced. Some parents will even use the children as weapons in the divorce negotiations to get their way. This is definitely not in the best interests of the children. There are two types of custody for divorcing parents: sole child custody and shared parenting.

Should sole child custody be awarded during a child custody battle, the parent who is awarded sole custody receives legal and physical custody over the children exclusively. The parent with custody will have more control over the parent without custody when it comes to making day-to-day decisions for the child. This includes religious upbringing, education and more. Sole child custody works best when parents do not live close to each other, do not get along well or when one parent has been deemed unfit to hold custody by the court.

Shared parenting means that both parents will share in the decision making for the children. Both will handle day-to-day decisions and might have to come to an agreement on religious upbringing and education. There are some instances of shared custody where both parents will be deemed as residential parent and legal custodian.

When there is shared parenting present, both parents will typically share time with the children. Due to this, most child support payments will decrease. In Ohio, child support is reduced when the parent who is paying the support spends more time with the children. The reason for this is that the costs of caring for the children will be paid for by the parent paying support in person.

Shared parenting should be considered when any of the following is present:

-- Financial responsibilities

-- Parenting time arrangements

-- Medical care

-- Social and extracurricular activities

-- Education decisions

-- Religious upbringing

An experienced family law attorney can answer all of your child custody questions in Columbus, Ohio, and explain your rights as a parent.

Source: Findlaw, "Shared Parenting vs. Sole Custody," accessed March 10, 2017

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