Negotiating a child custody agreement is no small feat. Ohio parents who have elected to end their marriages or discontinue their personal relationships may discover that even though they have chosen to no longer be involved in each other’s lives, there is no way for them to fully disentangle themselves due to the presence of their shared children.

They must work out how they will share their time with their kids and how they will work together to make decisions for the benefit of those children.

Child custody planning can focus a lot on physical custody issues. Physical custody has to do with where a child will live and if both parents will have physical custody rights. This form of custody can be shared but it can also be exclusively given to one parent while the other parent retains visitation rights.

Legal custody, though, is a form of custody that parents often share. A parent with legal custody has the right to include their voice and opinions in the planning of a child’s schooling, medical care, religious education, and other important matters. A parent does not have to have physical custody to retain legal custody of their child, though a parent can be denied legal custody if their actions demonstrate a lack of regard for their child’s interests.

A parent who has legal custody of their child has the power to stay involved in their child’s upbringing and provide input into the long-term plans that will be effectuated when raising the child. Parents can fight to keep legal custody after their marital and personal relationships end even if retaining physical custody of their kids is not a possibility.