The history of American child custody has seen a number of changes since the birth of our nation. Early Americans followed the English practice by which the father retained all rights to shared children in the event of a divorce. Later beliefs rested on the assumption that women are naturally more suited to nurture a child, and fathers were relegated to the role of occasional visitor in the lives of their children. The current model follows the belief that both parents should play an equal role in the upbringing of shared children, but this approach may not be in line with the best interests of the child or children involved, in Ohio or elsewhere.
Perhaps the biggest issue with "shared" or "equal" custody is the assumption that parenting is or ever has been a task that can be equally divided. When most marriages are intact, one parent virtually always shoulders a heavier burden when it comes to caring for the children. In fact, couples often discuss and determine how these responsibilities will be divided even before attempting to start a family. Why then should that balance be shifted once a divorce has taken place?