Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I was not married to the father of my baby when my child was born, what are my custody rights? What are the father's custody rights?
A: In Ohio, an unmarried female who gives birth to a child is the sole residential parent and legal custodian of the child until a court of competent jurisdiction issues an order designating another person as the residential parent and legal custodian. This simply means that an unwed mother has sole and full custody of the child. The father of the child has no legal rights until a court grants them to the father. However, once the father files for custody, he stands equal with the mother before the court.(ORC 3109.042).
Q: I pay child support for my child, does this give me visitation rights?
A: No. Merely paying child support does not grant a parent any time with or legal authority over their child. You must have custody or visitation ordered by a court.
Q: I am the father and want to get parenting time with my child. How do I do that?
A: You need to file a complaint for Parenting time/Visitation in the county in which the child lives.
In most counties, the standard visitation schedule is every other weekend and some time during the weekday, depending on the age of the child. However, you can ask for more than standard time. The court will grant you the time they believe is in the best interest of the child. Contact Law Office of Laurie B. Gibson to help you reach your child custody goals.
Q: What exactly is the best interest of the child in my custody case?
A: The best interest of the child is a legal standard found in ORC 3109.04 (F)(1)that the court determines based on the facts presented in each child custody case. The facts used in determining the best interest of the child include, but are not limited to, these factors:
(a) The wishes of the child's parents regarding the child's care;
(b) If the court has interviewed the child in chambers pursuant to division (B) of this section regarding the child's wishes and concerns as to the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities concerning the child, the wishes and concerns of the child, as expressed to the court;
(c) The child's interaction and interrelationship with the child's parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest;
(d) The child's adjustment to the child's home, school, and community;
(e) The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;
(f) The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights;
(g) Whether either parent has failed to make all child support payments, including all arrearages, that are required of that parent pursuant to a child support order under which that parent is an obligor;
(h) Whether either parent or any member of the household of either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any criminal offense involving any act that resulted in a child being an abused child or a neglected child; whether either parent, in a case in which a child has been adjudicated an abused child or a neglected child, previously has been determined to be the perpetrator of the abusive or neglectful act that is the basis of an adjudication; whether either parent or any member of the household of either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of section 2919.25 of the Revised Code or a sexually oriented offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding; whether either parent or any member of the household of either parent previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any offense involving a victim who at the time of the commission of the offense was a member of the family or household that is the subject of the current proceeding and caused physical harm to the victim in the commission of the offense; and whether there is reason to believe that either parent has acted in a manner resulting in a child being an abused child or a neglected child;
(i) Whether the residential parent or one of the parents subject to a shared parenting decree has continuously and willfully denied the other parent's right to parenting time in accordance with an order of the court;
(j) Whether either parent has established a residence, or is planning to establish a residence, outside this state. Law Office of Laurie B. Gibson can guide you through these factors. Contact now via the Contact page.