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Co-Parenting in Ohio: Joint Custody Tips for Divorced Parents


In Ohio, legal custody of the child refers to the parent’s decision-making authority in terms of their child’s health care, education, extracurricular activities, and so on. Under the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 3109.04, if both parents jointly share in the decision-making process, they are both presumed to have equal rights and authorities regarding the child. Unless ordered otherwise, both parents are also presumed to have joint physical custody of the child.


Child Support

When unmarried parents split, the non-custodial parent is generally required to provide financial support for the children. According to Ohio’s Child Support Guidelines, the non-custodial parent generally pays calculated support based on their income and the number of children they have. For co-parents, the amount of support is determined by dividing the combined incomes of both parents by the number of children, and factoring in the respective care times for each parent.


Co-Parenting Expenses

In addition to child support, co-parents in Ohio may also be required to contribute to additional expenses related to the children’s care. According to ORC 3109.04, this could include educational costs, childcare, and medical expenses. Co-parents may also be required to share other costs associated with the children’s activities, such as transportation and extracurricular fees.


Parental Rights

Both parents, regardless of marital status, are generally permitted to be involved in the decisions made regarding their children’s upbringing and care. However, the custodial parent typically has the ultimate right to decide in situations concerning the child’s medical care, educational institutions, extracurricular activities, and religious upbringing. If both co-parents agree on a decision, it takes precedence over a custodial parent’s decision.



When it comes to making decisions and establishing a parenting plan, both co-parents should strive to make their decisions together. In the event that a consensus cannot be reached, the non-custodial parent may be able to request additional authority from the court. This can be done by filing a motion to substitute parental decision making as provided for in ORC 3109.04.


Parenting Plan

When co-parents cannot resolve their disputes regarding their children, they may be able to establish a parenting plan. This plan serves as a contract between the parties and outlines the terms of parental responsibility and visitation. Establishing a parenting plan is generally done through the court and involves determining which parent has legal and physical custody of the child, and outlining the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of both parents.


Visitation Rights

The non-custodial parent is typically allowed sensitive, frequent and meaningful visitation time with the children, provided for in the parenting plan. According to ORC 3109.051, the custodial parent must also respect the non-custodial parent’s court-ordered visitation rights.



When it comes to resolving disputes between co-parents, the court may look to mediation as an option. Mediation is typically held with a neutral third-party who can help the parents reach an agreement in regards to visitation, parenting plan, or other co-parenting related issues. The mediator can also help to develop communication strategies, or provide any other form of assistance that may be required while attempting to resolve a dispute.



Being an unmarried parent in Ohio can be a complicated task. From making decisions together to affording the expenses, it can be difficult to navigate the intricacies of co-parenting in the Buckeye State. This blog post has explored the challenges of co-parenting in Ohio, covering topics such as: custody, child support, co-parenting expenses, parental rights, decisions, parenting plan, visitation rights, and mediation. By understanding the laws and regulations associated with co-parenting in Ohio, parents can help to ensure a positive parental bond and successful care for their children.


Fact Check and Sources

In writing this post, we conducted thorough fact-checking and research, consulting the following sources:


Co-parenting in USA


Co-parenting in Canada


Warning:  This post is neither financial, health, legal, or personal advice nor a substitute for the advice offered by a professional. These are serious matters, and the help of a professional is recommended as it can impact your future.

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