Who Has Legal Custody of a Child When the Parents Are Not Married in Ohio

When a married couple in Ohio has a child, both husband and wife automatically receive all parental rights. There is an extremely important distinction between custody cases involving married parents and those involving unmarried parents. In the case of a married couple, the husband is not required to « prove » or sign anything to become the legal father of his wife`s child. He is assigned all parental rights and full parental duties from the moment the child is born. For unmarried parents who need help drafting a visitation agreement, the Franklin County Juvenile Court offers a visiting mediation program. The program can be reached by phone at 614-525-6640 or through the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations and Juvenile Branch website. Families in central Ohio come in all shapes and sizes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 43% of children born in the state of Ohio in 2016 were born to unmarried parents. If you`re a single parent, you need to know how Ohio`s custody laws affect your parental rights. In Ohio, fathers can determine paternity by completing an affidavit of paternity at the hospital upon the child`s birth.

If the affidavit is not revoked within 60 days, the declaration of paternity is considered legally binding. If the father does not make an affidavit of paternity, either parent may take steps to establish paternity through the local child support enforcement agency or the court. A single mother in Ohio never has to ask for custody. In fact, some courts in central Ohio prefer joint parenting, even if the parents are in high conflict. For unmarried couples, Ohio`s custody laws require that proactive steps be taken to determine paternity. If these measures are not taken, the man has no rights or obligations towards the child. Under Ohio Revised Statute 3109.042, a single mother automatically receives all rights and responsibilities for her child. In order for an unmarried man to enjoy the same parental rights and duties, he has two general options: Among the issues that the court will consider are all issues relating to the safety, health and well-being of a child, including: The father may choose to file an application for access or custody after paternity has been established. Created by FindLaw`s team of legal writers and writers | Last updated May 11, 2018 Every family is different and every custody case deserves fully individualized attention. In some cases, the best way to find an effective solution will be to negotiate jointly or use custody mediation. This is usually the best way to solve it.

If parents are able to work together, they may be able to make the most effective and equitable arrangements for child care and visitation. Unmarried fathers in Ohio must go to court to establish child custody and parental rights. A single father must apply to the court for legal rights over the child. The first step is to establish paternity. This can be done by signing a declaration of paternity by both parents or by DNA testing by the child support agency or court. There is a presumption that a man is the father of a child in the following circumstances: until paternity is established and the father receives custody of the children by the court, the mother is free to move anywhere and make all decisions regarding the upbringing, medical care and religious education of the children without the intervention of the father. If paternity has not been established and the father has not registered in the register of putative fathers, the mother may give the child for adoption without his knowledge and consent. On the contrary, the court automatically considers that an unmarried mother is the only parent of the house and the legal guardian. This means that a single mother has nothing to file to legally prove that she has sole custody. The birth certificate is the only proof she needs. If you are a single father who wants to determine your custody, or if you are a single mother who wants to establish a visitation schedule for the child`s father, it is best to contact a local attorney who has experience in the laws and procedures related to Ohio`s unmarried parent custody laws. At the law firm of Sowald Sowald Anderson Hawley & Johnson in Columbus, Ohio, our lawyers are experienced in representing unmarried fathers seeking to establish custody and access rights, as well as representing single mothers seeking to protect their rights and interests.

While this automatic designation of sole custody seems to be an advantage, it has a major drawback. The single mother cannot force the father to pay family allowances or health insurance until there is a child support order. Receiving one of these orders gives the father the opportunity to enforce his rights of custody, presence and decision-making. A father who establishes paternity does not automatically have the right to visit his child (even if he pays family allowances). With respect to child custody in Ohio, the law states that courts are not allowed to automatically favor the father or mother or show gender bias; Their duty is solely to protect and safeguard the best interests of the child. Of course, in some cases, Ohio parents have to take their case to court to protect their custody. .