In a divorce where children are involved, the court will allocate parental rights to ensure that the best interests of the children are protected. In many divorce cases, the court will appoint a special type of attorney called a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) to represent the best interest of the minor children. After making a best interest determination, the court will either order shared parenting or select a parent to have custody of the children.
Shared parenting is one method of allocating parental rights and responsibilities. In shared parenting arrangements, both parents will “share” the parental rights and responsibilities pursuant to a shared parenting plan. Since both parents will be involved in the decision-making process, shared parenting generally requires that the parents cooperate and communicate with one another.
For shared parenting arrangements, both parents will be the “residential parent;” however, one parent will be deemed the “residential parent for school purposes only.” If the parties do not agree as to who should be the residential parent for school purposes only, the court will make a determination based on the best interest of the children.
It is important to note that shared parenting does not mean equal parenting! Shared parenting merely means that the parties will share the rights and responsibilities of raising a child. It does not mean that each parent will have 50/50 split time with the child.
Sole Residential And Custodial Parent
The court may deem one parent to be the sole residential parent if it is in the best interest of the children. This is common when the parents cannot communicate with one another in a respectful and cooperative manner. The sole residential parent will have custody of the children and will be responsible for making all major decisions regarding the children. The sole residential parent will be responsible for keeping the nonresidential parent informed of the children’s health, school records and extracurricular involvement. The nonresidential parent will have rights to regular parenting times, and will be allowed to participate in other activities involving the children. Oftentimes, the nonresidential parent will be ordered to provide child support for the children.
Child support is the payment of money from one parent to the other for purposes of supporting the parties’ children. Typically, the nonresidential parent will pay child support to the residential parent. The amount of support provided is calculated by a formula, which takes into account the number of children, the income of the parties, and the cost of health insurance and childcare. Generally, child support is payable until a child reaches the age of 18 or finishes high school; however, there are exceptions for children with disabilities.
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Whether you have questions about mothers’ rights, fathers’ rights or any other parental rights issues, call us at 513-889-0400 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. We proudly serve clients throughout the surrounding Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren County regions.