Any parent who has undergone or even contemplated divorce knows how difficult it can be to try and figure out a parenting plan that allows for the best possible care for their child and is convenient for both parents, who are now living apart. Although we previously discussed the three main elements of a parenting plan, it is also important to note additional, very important details, such as how child development and age can affect these plans and other “special issues” that can come up.

Given that each family and individual within it is unique, it can be quite a challenge for the state of Ohio to govern all parenting schedules and help guide them into place. While there really is no one “standard” parenting schedule, however, guidance from the state and the courts is often necessary in the context of a family law dispute.

Important Considerations for Parenting Schedules

These are the follow questions listed in the Ohio Supreme Court’s guidebook for considering a parenting schedule:

  • How old is the child?
  • How mature is the child?
  • What is the child’s personality like?
  • How strong is the child’s attachment to each parent?
  • Does any member of the family—including the child—have any special needs?
  • Does the child have any siblings or friends? If so, what is the relationship like with them?
  • How convenient are the parents’ home locations?
  • How flexible are the parent’s schedules?
  • Will either parent need to make childcare arrangements?
  • How will parents exchange the child?
  • How will transportation be provided for the exchange?
  • Do the parents cooperate and communicate?
  • Are there any particular cultural and/or religious practices that are important to take into account?
  • Is there any history of domestic abuse, substance abuse, mental health problems, etc.?
  • What is each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs, provide consistency, etc.?
  • What are the wishes of the child?

The guidebook also provides several examples of suggested parenting time schedules based on the age of the child, splitting those categories into the following and providing both the advantages and disadvantages of each schedule:

  • Birth – two years;
  • Two – three years old;
  • Three – five years old;
  • Six – nine years old;
  • 10 – 12 years old; and
  • Teenagers (13 – 18 years old).

This includes taking into account how, at each stage of development, the child has different needs and will form different levels of attachment to a parent based on how frequently they interact with them.

Dedicated Family Law Attorneys in Dayton, Ohio

As with many areas of the law, courts typically prefer for families to reach agreements about parenting time amongst themselves rather than deal with contentious courtroom battles that involve the court having to allocate parental rights and responsibilities and make the decision to provide one parent with sole residential custody, etc. However, even if you do plan on coming up with a parenting plan with your ex, it is still highly advisable that you work with an experienced family law attorney in the process so that you are aware of your and your child’s legal rights.

At the Comunale Law Office, we have been practicing family law here in Ohio to understand just what an emotional time this is for you and your family, and we are here to provide you with the support you need, around the clock. We are dedicated to aggressively representing our clients, while also handling each of our cases with care and concern. Contact us today and we can get started helping you.