Both mothers and fathers have certain rights that are protected by law. But unfortunately, the rights of unmarried fathers in Ohio are limited. An unmarried father does not have any rights to his children until he has taken legal action and obtained a court order. Do what’s best for your children by fighting for the rights that you deserve. Here’s what you should know:
If a child is born out of wedlock, the mother will automatically be considered the sole custodial parent in the state of Ohio. In order to be recognized as a parent, the father must establish paternity either by conducting genetic testing or filling out an Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit. However, it’s important to note that the Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit will not be valid if another man is the presumed father of the child. For instance, if the mother of the child was married to another man at the time of the child’s birth, this man is the presumed father.
Paternity will need to be established before the court will grant you any rights related to your children. As soon as paternity is established, the child is automatically given the right to child support from his or her father. However, the father is not automatically given the right to child custody or visitation even when paternity has been established.
Child Custody & Visitation
An unmarried father who wants to spend time with his child must go to the court to ask for it. First, the unmarried father must show that he has legally established paternity. Then, he must prove that it is in the child’s best interest to spend time with his father.
The court will consider a number of factors when determining if the father should be awarded custody or visitation rights. What is your current relationship with the child? What are your living arrangements? Can you provide a safe and stable home environment for the child? Do you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse? All of these factors—and more—will be taken into consideration.
The judge will then issue a court order that outlines both parents’ custody and visitation rights. Both parents must comply with the terms of this court order. Parents who refuse can be held in contempt of court.
If you are an unmarried father, seek legal representation from the family law attorneys at Adams Family Law today. We will guide you through the process of establishing paternity and fighting for the right to see your child. To schedule a consultation, call 513-929-9333 or email Steven@adamsfamilylaw.com.