Fathers’ Rights in Columbus
Passionate & Competent Legal Representation in Ohio
One of the most important issues involved in divorce, separation, or between unmarried parents is that of establishing, protecting, or enforcing your legal parental rights. Various situations can arise where a father must seek legal help to ensure that he is allowed to establish or continue a meaningful and supportive relationship. Courts understand that children of unmarried parents fare better when they maintain a relationship with their father.
At Boller & Petty, LLC in Columbus, we practice family law exclusively and have an extensive knowledge of the statutes, caselaw, and legal procedures involved as well as how Ohio courts handle matters pertaining to fathers’ rights. Our firm is here to help you establish your paternal rights, so you can maintain a relationship with your children. We offer passionate, caring, and competent legal representation backed by experience.
Need legal help? Contact the Columbus parental rights attorneys at (614) 756-2827 to discuss your situation and learn what can be done to resolve it via legal action.
Protecting Your Rights as a Father
When a child is born to an unmarried woman, the state automatically considers the mother to have sole custody rights to the child. Therefore, she has the right to deny custody or visitation to the father unless paternity has been established and the father has obtained parenting time or shared parenting.
An unmarried father can establish paternity and thus his legal right to pursue custody arrangements by:
- By filing an Acknowledgement of Paternity, commonly done at the time of the child’s birth at the hospital
- Administratively, through the child support enforcement agency
- Through a court proceeding, through testimony or evidence, such as a DNA test, expert opinion, or other relevant facts
When an unmarried father proves his paternity, he can legally pursue custody, shared parenting, or parenting time through a court order. His right to these privileges does not automatically follow once paternity is declared.
Once paternity is legally established, a father is technically on equal footing with the mother in court. He can file a motion to request the role he wishes to play in his child’s life and future. Courts do not operate on prejudice towards one gender or the other when it comes to parental rights. Depending on the custody status, parenting time, and income factors, the father may also be responsible for child support payments towards the child’s upbringing as the established legal parent.
Fathers’ Rights for Married Parents
A father who is married to the mother at the time of a child’s birth is presumed to be the legal father and thus has a right to pursue custody, shared parenting, or partial parenting time without going through the step of establishing paternity. Only in complicated cases involving same-sex partners, may parental rights need to be legally established. Once again, courts cannot favor mothers over fathers in terms of custody or visitation. Courts must pursue what is in the child’s best interests.
Helping Fathers Pursue Legal Rights
Boller & Petty, LLC has the experience, determination, and knowledge needed to help you fight for your parental rights. Our firm offers affordable rates and a passion to serve your legal needs at the highest level of quality and care.
Talk to a Columbus fathers’ rights lawyer at (614) 756-2827, or contact us online.