Understanding Ohio Custody Laws for Unmarried Parents
In Ohio, an unmarried woman who gives birth to a child is automatically designated as the sole residential parent and legal custodian unless/until a court has granted custody to someone else. Under Ohio law, an unmarried mother maintains SOLE legal custody of the child without ever going to court.
It’s important to understand that the court can and does still award custody and/or shared parental rights to the Father. There is a rebuttable presumption that children born during a marriage are children of that marriage. What that means is an unwed mother can prove her parent-child relationship by providing evidence that she birthed the child. An unmarried father can establish his child-parent relationship by providing paternity evidence and then fighting for custody and parenting time rights.
At the Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline, our board certified attorney is an expert at helping unmarried fathers navigate the law and establish custody/shared parental rights. We also have years of experience representing unmarried mothers who are desperate to protect their rights and interests. It is our goal to help you navigate an outcome that puts your child first.
How the Ohio Court of Law Decides Establishes Paternity
In the state of Ohio, there are a couple of ways to establish the paternity of a child.
- Fathers can establish paternity by completing an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit at the hospital where the child was born. If the affidavit is not disputed within 60 days, the paternity is considered final.
- If an affidavit is not executed, either parent may seek to establish paternity through local Child Support Enforcement agencies or the Ohio court system.
- If the Mother is receiving benefits, the Child Support Enforcement Agency may seek to establish parentage so that a child support order may be issued.
Until paternity is established, an unmarried father has no rights, and an unmarried mother is free to make any and all decisions regarding the child.
Once paternity is established, unmarried fathers can work with a lawyer well-versed in family law to fight for custody or parenting time. Since these types of cases are emotionally charged and highly sensitive, it’s essential to work with a lawyer that helps you navigate Ohio custody laws in a way that is sensitive and compassionate.
The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline Can Help You Navigate Unmarried Parental Rights in Ohio
There is nothing more important than the well-being of your child. We fully understand the stress, fear, and frustration that comes with navigating the legal process pertaining to child custody, and parental rights in Ohio. By having The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline LLC on your side, you can gracefully navigate the process in a way that yields a positive outcome.
At The Law Office of Kenneth R. Kline LLC, our goal is to help you work towards a brighter future for yourself, and more importantly, your child. Ohio custody laws are complex, and it isn’t your job to understand them. It’s our job to help explain them in a way that puts you in the driver’s seat of your family’s future.
Learn More About Our Board Certified Columbus, Ohio Family Law Attorney
The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Kline is located in Columbus, Ohio, and proudly serves families in and around Grove City, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Upper Arlington, and Franklin and Delaware County. Trust our expertise to help you navigate your rights as an unmarried parent in Ohio. Schedule a risk-free consultation to learn more about our child custody attorney.