In Ohio, there are two different types of custody: sole legal custody and shared custody, known
as shared parenting. The custody designation determines who is entitled to make decisions for
the child such as health care, education, and religious decisions. With sole custody, only one
parent makes those decisions. In shared parenting, however, one or both of the parents can
have decision-making authority depending on the specific details on the parties’ shared
parenting plan. In both cases, what usually matters most to parents is who has what time with
the child. In legal terms, this is called parenting time or companionship time. To non-lawyers,
this is commonly understood to be “physical custody” meaning when the child is actually in your
There are several potential combinations of legal custody, shared parenting, and parenting time
that can be established by the court, all of which matter significantly to parents and the care of
● Sole Physical Custody: If you have sole physical custody, you are the only
decision-maker for the child. The non-custodial parent has visitation rights and the rights
to access records for the child but cannot make the decisions. Most of the time, a person
with sole custody has a vast majority of the parenting time with the child.
● Shared Parenting: If you have shared parenting, both parents have some
decision-making authority but the details of that are included in the details of the shared
parenting plan. With a shared parenting time, there is also the establishment of
parenting time. Shared parenting can mean 50/50 parenting time but also can have a
number of other parenting time schedules. Shared parenting does NOT automatically
mean equal parenting time. It is possible that a parent can have shared parenting but
still very limited parenting time/physical custody of the child.
The issue of child support takes into consideration several factors including parental incomes,
child care expenses, health care expenses, and health insurance, and who has what time with
the child under the specific custodial arrangement and parenting time schedule. Child support
covers more than just bear necessities. Both parents are expected to contribute to the financial
support of their children, whether they have the child in their home most of the time or not.
In most cases involving sole custody, the court will order the non-custodial parent to pay support
to the custodial parent because the custodial parent is incurring daily expenses of the child that
the non-custodial parent does not also have. However, if the parents have a shared parenting
plan, a court may decide that child support is not necessary, especially if the parents have
similar incomes and similar times with the children.
Generally, most child support orders are fairly simple and straight-forward because in Ohio there
is a set calculation method that was established by the Ohio legislature. Periodically, as parentaland life circumstances change, the child support agreement may need to be revisited and
Due to the complexities involved in child custody proceedings, and the resulting child support
orders, it is highly advisable to consult a child custody attorney at the beginning of that case or
in the event you wish to modify your current child support order. Having experienced
representation in these cases is paramount to a fair outcome.
The lawyers at Hoover Kacyon, LLC., are dedicated to supporting our clients. We
deliver the highest quality legal representation from a team of professionals while also
providing excellent customer service. Call us at 330-922-4491 or contact us online to
make an appointment.