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If you are a parent, part of getting a divorce in Ohio is working with your spouse to create a parenting plan. A comprehensive and fair plan may help both you and your spouse develop healthy, nurturing relationships with your children.

With a sensible parenting plan in place, you may ensure your children get to enjoy time with both parents and feel stable and loved even after the stress of divorce.

Overview of parenting plans

According to the Supreme Court of Ohio, a parenting plan is necessary for both sole and shared custody arrangements. Even if you have the legal right to make all the major decisions relating to your children (i.e. you are the sole residential parent), the court still requires a parenting plan to detail how and when your ex-spouse spends time with your children. If you and your ex-spouse agree on the terms of a parenting plan, the court may simply approve it. If you cannot agree, the court creates a parenting plan that reflects your children’s best interests.

Important conditions of a parenting plan

The Ohio Supreme Court’s guide to parenting plans indicates that your children’s needs vary based on their ages. A schedule that works well for toddlers and preschoolers may need to change as your children get older. For example, younger children thrive within predictable routines that have few transitions, which means that moving between you and your ex-spouse’s house frequently may be a difficult situation.

Older children, however, may move between houses easily, and they may prefer a schedule that gives them long stretches of time with each parent. Parenting plans must also account for changes in your children’s schedule as they mature and have more commitments to school, sports and other extracurricular activities.