Protecting A Father’s Relationship With His Children
Many fathers facing divorce or separation still worry over whether they have a real chance at gaining custody of their children. The good news is that Ohio courts must treat mothers and fathers equally when considering questions of custody. Gone are the days when courts made a presumption that children should only live with their mothers and perhaps see their fathers every other weekend.
At Greco Law, we will fight for your right to custody. With over 50 years of combined experience, our attorneys understand how important it is for you and your child to maintain a meaningful relationship and will pursue your interests in court, if necessary. We understand how contentious and emotional custody matters can become. We will keep your interests front and center throughout the proceedings.
Addressing Questions Of Paternity
For some fathers, gaining custody requires clearing an additional legal hurdle that mothers do not need to worry about. You may have to prove you are the child’s biological parent. Ohio law will presume you are the father in two situations:
- You were married to the child’s mother at the time of the birth.
- You filed an acknowledgment of paternity close to the time of the birth.
If neither of these applies to you, you have several methods for proving your paternity, including medical and genetic (DNA) testing. The mother can only rebut a presumption of paternity through genetic testing.
Paternity Is Only The First Step
If you and the mother were never married, establishing paternity does not grant you any custody rights automatically. Nor does the payment of child support. Ohio law considers unmarried mothers the legal custodian and sole residential parent by default. You will need to request a court order granting you custody rights such as the right to make important decisions about your child as well as parenting time or visitation.
The good news is that once you establish your paternity, the court must treat you and the mother equally when deciding custody issues. The court will have a great amount of discretion when applying the best interest of the child test and hearing from different professionals. In most cases, Ohio courts encourage shared parenting plans where both parents are involved in decision-making and parenting time.
At Greco Law, we have been helping fathers establish their custody rights since 1993. We understand the process and the law, and we are not afraid to fight aggressively for you in court.
Rely On Our Experience
Do not leave your custody issue to chance. Greco Law will provide you with the professional and experienced legal guidance you need. Contact our office in Dublin to schedule an initial consultation by calling 614-792-7800 or reaching out to us online.