Parental Rights/Child Custody
Whether married or unmarried, if a relationship ends, only the court may order or establish parental rights. Those rights include whether or not there will be a shared parenting relationship, or if it is in the best interests of a child for one parent to be designated residential and custodial parent.
The court may allocate the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of the children to both parents and require them to share all or some of the aspects of the physical and legal care of the children. In such a case, the court must approve the parenting plan. Shared parenting establishes a legal relationship between both parents and a child and does not necessarily require an equal division of time.
Parenting Time (Visitation)
The parenting time schedule adopted by the Court will generally spell out which days of the week the non-residential parent will have the children (e.g. every other weekend), when the children will be available for out-of-town vacations, which holidays the children will spend with each parent, and so on.
Under current Ohio law, grandparents do have limited rights to have time with their grandchildren. Ohio courts are empowered to award visitation when the parents are divorced, when one parent dies, or when a child is born to an unmarried mother.
A parentage action will establish the father's rights and responsibilities relating to a child born when parents are unmarried. It may be accomplished by an acknowledgment, administrative order or by court order.
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