Giving birth to a child is a life changing experience. When it happens to married and unmarried couples, legal differences arise in regards to how custody is determined. It is helpful to understand these differences when you encounter a struggle between who should have the child the majority of the time, who is responsible for making important decisions and much more.
Unmarried parents commonly seek to know what the law says about delegating responsibility of the child after disagreements arise. Knowing what state laws mandate for the rights of each parent is vital.
Ohio laws for unmarried parents
Ohio is a state that grants automatic residential custody to the mother of a child born outside of wedlock. This stands as law unless a legal motion is made to file a court order stating otherwise. The rights gained by the mother are sole residential (primary residence) and legal custody. These rights allow the mother to have the child in her possession the majority of the time. It also allows the mother the ability to determine educational, medical and lifestyle (i.e. religious upbringing) decisions and more.
Fathers need to seek legal support to gain rights
The father of the child will need to be legally recognized by family law courts before any accessible rights to the child is legally granted. His rights to visit the child are not legally protected unless the father goes through the legal protocol necessary to enforce them. The mother in this situation is only able to secure financial help from the father if she petitions the assistance of the court or the Child Support Enforcement Agency.
Legal support can help
When a dispute is at hand, parents in Ohio family courts are viewed as equal in consideration of how to delegate child custody properly. State courts place a high value on what is in the best interest of the child when finalizing decisions. Custody of a child is often a sensitive issue and can instigate many emotions on both sides of the legal argument.
Adequate legal support can help a parent seeking more rights find the assistance needed for a desired outcome. It is never too late when seeking legally recognized parental rights.
Do you think state laws for unmarried child custody disputes should be different?