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How can parents establish visitation rights in Ohio?

On Behalf of Kubyn Law | Apr 8, 2024 | Family Law

A divorce or a breakup when adults share children can be a very frightening prospect. People worry that the end of a romantic relationship could prevent them from maintaining a relationship with their children. Many people have heard horror stories where someone who loves their children suddenly loses access to them due to a bitter former romantic partner.

Thankfully, Ohio has rules in place that help protect the rights of parents so long as their access is in the best interests of their children. Most adults in Ohio can feel confident about their ability to obtain visitation or parenting time thanks to the family law statutes on record in Ohio.

What does an adult need to do to secure visitation?

Establish paternity

Some parents have already established a legal relationship with their children. Women who have given birth, legal adoptive parents and married men typically have their names on the birth certificates of their children. They therefore have a simple process ahead when they want parenting time or visitation. Unmarried fathers might need to officially establish paternity. That process typically requires either filling out paperwork with the mother or undergoing testing. Once a man has his name on the birth certificate of his child, he is then in a position to request visitation.

File a request in family court

While informal visitation arrangements are sometimes possible, they leave one parent at the mercy of the whims of the other. It is only by establishing a formal visitation or custody order that someone guarantees their access to their child. Going to court to request custody or visitation typically leads to a court order granting someone a specific amount of time with their child. In some cases, the courts may order supervised visitation if there have been issues with substance abuse, neglect or domestic violence.

Typically, the courts make determinations about custody and visitation based on what is best for the children involved. Therefore, a parent seeking visitation or parenting time needs to focus their court case on establishing how their presence in the life of the children could prove beneficial. Having a stable living environment is typically necessary when someone wants overnight parenting time. However, there are a host of arrangements possible for those still transitioning to new living circumstances. Judges do their best to focus on the needs of the children and typically seek to keep both parents actively involved if possible.

Someone’s marital status and their formal relationship with the children can influence what steps they’ll need to take to officially secure visitation access. Learning more about the family court system, and seeking legal guidance as proactively as possible, may benefit parents who want to seek visitation to maintain a bond with their children.