Nancy L. Sponseller

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Unmarried mothers and family visitation rights in Ohio

On behalf of Law Office of Nancy L. Sponseller posted on Friday, November 14, 2014.

Unmarried mothers in Ohio may wonder who can claim visitation rights to their children. By state law, the child’s father who has acknowledged paternity as well as family members of the mother or the father may request visitation or companionship rights.

In deciding whether or not to grant these types of rights rights to the father and other family members, the court will primarily take into account the best interests of the child. This will include examining factors such as the child’s age, the geographic location of the mother and the individual requesting custody, the prior relationship between the individual seeking custody and the child, the available time the parents and child have and the mental health of all involved.

A father or other individual who is granted visitation time in this manner is not required to be supervised by any agency. Those who apply for visitation rights and are denied are entitled to receive a written account of the court’s reason for refusal. If the mother marries, this does not affect the visitation rights of the father, the father’s family or the mother’s family.

An individual who is seeking visitation rights may wish to work with an attorney who has experience in family law matters. Child custody and visitation issues can be complex, and such an attorney might help ensure that the client is able to take full advantage of all available rights. This may be particularly true if there are factors such as distance, a past struggle with addiction or other issues that might inhibit an individual’s ability to get visitation rights. The attorney might also be able to help in assessing what a reasonable amount of visitation might be under the circumstances. Call us today at 614-764-0423 or email us. 

Source: Ohio Laws and Rules, “3109.12 Mother unmarried – parenting time, companionship or visitation rights.”, November 11, 2014