Subscribe to the RSS Feed

Father’s Rights Ohio


Q. What are the parental rights of fathers who are married to the mother of their child?

FATHER ATTORNEY, OHIO FATHER'S RIGHTS ATTORNEY LAWYER, FATHER LAWYER, FATHERS LAWYER OHIO FATHER LAWYER COLUMBUS FATHER LAWYEROhio Revised Code 3109.03 states: “When husband and wife are living separate and apart from each other, or are divorced, and the question as to the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of their children and the place of residence and legal custodian of their children is brought before a court of competent jurisdiction, they shall stand upon an equality as to the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of their children and the place of residence and legal custodian of their children, so far as parenthood is involved”. This means that when married parents are living in different households, and a court is asked to assign custody, visitation, or shared parenting, the court cannot give a preference to either parent based solely upon gender.

Paternity of a child born during a marriage is presumed to be the husband, until and unless proof is provided (DNA testing) that establishes that the husband is not the father. So a father of a child born during marriage to the child’s mother does not have to prove paternity, it is already presumed. If either the mother or the father wishes to challenge paternity, he or she would first have to obtain DNA test results establishing that a) the husband is not the father, b) someone else is the father, or c) both.

CALL NOW (614) 225-9316

Father's Rights in Ohio, FATHER LAWYER, COLUMBUS FATHERS LAWYER, COLUMBUS OHIO FATHER LAWYER, COLUMBUS FATHERS ATTORNEYSQ. What are the rights of fathers who were never married to the mother of their child?
When a man fathers a child and is not married to the mother when the child is born, he has no rights until he establishes paternity. Once paternity is established, the father may then be given the obligation to pay child support, but he still has no right to time with the child until he obtains a court order giving him visitation, custody or shared parenting. If the father of the child of an unmarried female wishes to establish or determine paternity, he may:

  1. Acknowledge paternity by affidavit (This is commonly done at the time of the child’s birth, but can be done later at a local registrar, health department or Child Support Enforcement Agency. The mother’s consent is required, and the father is foregoing the option to have DNA testing before paternity is established). For more information about an Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit, click here!
  2. Participate in DNA testing through the child support enforcement agency to determine if he is the father of the child. DNA testing may be ordered by the local child support enforcement agency (CSEA) if the mother of the child files an application for services with the agency, if the mother receives public assistance, or if the father (or other persons entitled by statute) request that the agency establish paternity. If the DNA results are ordered by the CSEA are positive for paternity, paternity will be established by administrative order through the appropriate child support enforce agency, and a child support order will likely be made. It is important to note that while DNA testing can be done through a private company, these test results do not, by themselves, establish LEGAL paternity.
  3. File a complaint in court to establish parentage and/or to allocate parental rights and responsibilities. The Court can order paternity testing, and the mother’s consent is not required. Ohio law provides that one or both of the parties must first request the CSEA establish paternity, before filing a court action, but Child Support Enforcement Agencies in Ohio generally refuse to help fathers in these circumstances. Some courts require a “judicial bypass” affidavit saying that the father tried to get CSEA to help him, but many courts no longer require this affidavit.
  4. To read our article about how paternity can be established in juvenile court when the child is over the age of 18, but has not yet reached his or her 23rd birthday, click HERE.
  5. To reach how an adult child, his father, and (sometimes) the mother can cooperate to establish paternity of an adult child over the age of 18 (no age limit), in probate court, click HERE.

CALL NOW (614) 225-9316

Ohio Father's Rights Attorneys, FATHER LAWYER, FATHER ATTORNEY, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER LAWYER, FATHER LAWYER INEstablishment of paternity does not legally entitle the father of a child to exercise parenting time with the child. Payment of child support does not legally entitle the father of a child to exercise parenting time with the child. These are common misconceptions. A court must make an order allocating parental rights and responsibilities before the father of the child of an unmarried female has the legal right to parenting time with the child. Ohio law provides that once parentage has been established, a court designating the residential parent and legal custodian of a child of an unmarried mother shall treat the mother and father as standing upon an equality when making the designation.

Ohio Fathers and Husbands Attorneys, FATHER LAWYER, FATHER ATTORNEY, OHIO FATHER LAWYER, OHIO FATHER ATTORNEYThe law also provides that when a COURT (not the CSEA) enters a child support order, the court MUST make parenting orders regarding regular, holiday and vacation time. Although this statute does NOT require the child support payor to file a motion with the court, the safe thing to do is file the motion and get it served on the opposing party or their attorney 7 days before the COURT child support hearing. The smart thing to do would be to show up to the court hearing with a copy of the statute that requires this order. That statute is Ohio Revised Code 3119.08, and a copy can found by clicking HERE.

CALL NOW (614) 225-9316

Q. What is a Putative Father Registry?

A man who believes he may be the father of the child of an unmarried mother may preserve his right to receive notice of a child’s adoption by registering with the Ohio Putative Father Registry (1-888-313-3100). Even fathers under the age of 18 may register with the Putative Father Registry.

A putative father is a man who may be the father of a child, but is not married to the child’s mother when she becomes pregnant or when the child is born, AND he has not adopted the child, AND a court or child support enforcement agency has not decided he is the child’s legal father. Registration can occur at any time during pregnancy, but no later than 30 days after the birth of the child. Registration with the Ohio Putative Father Registry does not make a man the legal father of a child and does not establish paternity, but it preserves the right to be notified if the child’s mother places the child for adoption. For more information, call the Ohio Putative Father Registry at 1-888-313-3100, or click the link

For additional important information about establishing paternity, please visit the web page for Ohio Paternity Enhancement by clicking here.

Columbus Ohio Fathers Attorney, FATHER LAWYER, FATHER ATTORNEY, FATHER LAWYERS, FATHER ATTORNEYS, COLUMBUS FATHER LAWYERQ. How can I stop the adoption of my child in Ohio?

It is important to note that registering with the Putative Father Registry and doing nothing more is not guaranteed to stop an adoption. The safest way for a father to preserve his rights is to file an action to establish paternity and parental rights at the earliest possible date, preferably BEFORE any adoption case is filed. A paternity case CAN be filed before the child is even born.

CALL NOW (614) 225-9316

For more information about MOTHER’S RIGHTS, see our page regarding MOTHER’S RIGHTS IN OHIO.

For more information about GRANDPARENT RIGHTS see our page regarding GRANDPARENTS RIGHTS IN OHIO.

For more information about obtaining CUSTODY, SHARED PARENTING, OR VISITATION in Ohio, see our post about OHIO CUSTODY.

For more information about DNA testing, see our post regarding DNA TESTING.

For more information about SHARED PARENTING, see our post regarding SHARED PARENTING IN OHIO.

For more information about the rights of UNMARRIED PARENTS OR NEVER MARRIED PARENTS, click the link.


Leave a Comment


1 n

I need to know how I would go about getting a court ordered DNA test due to the fact that another man signed the birth certificate., knowing there’s a strong chance its mine and not his. Any information would be greatly helpful ! I wanna know if the little tike is mine.

2 C

To whom it may concern, I am a father of a almost 8 month yr old girl. I am still with the mother, but her lease was full so I had to get my own place, Ohio state law demands child support, because we arnt married or in same place and does not recognize I took care of them or that we are a couple. Are my parental right still in effect. Or do I not have say so on what happens in regards to displine learning ect, ect, ect…

3 T

I have a 3 1/2 yr. old son and never married his mother. We lived together for a year and a half and raised him together. We then split up and immediately began to follow an informal agreement in which I had our son 2 days during the week and every other Friday-Sunday. We have practiced this 50/50 parenting method his entire life to this point without interruption. We had discussed writing this plan up in a shared parenting plan but per her request to wait until she was able to afford to pay a lawyer to review our plan we postponed this step. In August of 2013 she filed for support with the Child Services in the county that we both lived in for his entire life. In September I then asked her to review the shared parenting plan acknowledging our consistent parenting agreement for our son. She continued to follow the plan as normal through September and when asked about the plan being done she tricked me to believe that it was being worked on and she she was going to meeting with her lawyer very soon every time I asked. When the month of October came around she informed that she had moved along with my son to Dayton(1.75 hrs away) and I would not be getting my son per our regular agreement and I would now only be able to see him every other weekend. I have continued to ask her for visitation throughout the week and she continually denies me and additional visitation. I have now been made aware that she has been considered the sole custodial parent and I have no parenting rights to my son (Who I have been involved in raising at a minimum 50% of the time previously). My son had been under a regular schedule every week at my home and had also became very close with my mother, father and sister as well as her(the mom) own sisters. Through this change he no longer gets to see myself or his close relation on a regular basis. The law has given me the impression that I may have made a huge mistake in trusting his mother to continue following that plan we had used that worked so well. She is claiming that she moved for a job opportunity and lives in a home owned by her BF of 8 months in Dayton. Is there any chance that I can come out of this situation with a judge ruling in my favor when determing the best interest of my son based on the information I have given you?
Thank You

4 G

is there a law or something against a woman who you are not married to, if shes pregnant with your child, can she leave country? and what are my rights if she does?

5 Anonymous

My husband’s ex-wife is literally making us miserable. She recently quit her job to go back to school and is now taking him to court for child support. I don’t see why we should have to pay when she was the one who decided to go back to school and quit her job. They have joint parenting, week on and week off, and my husband is the residential parent. She has recently filed to be the residential parent and is seeking child support. In addition, they split expenses 60/40 (we pay more) and she is putting things on there her mother is giving the kids as gifts. Please advise..thanks!

6 MB

Can a man request a dna test for a child that he thought was his at the time of his birth but later has reason to believe that he may have been misled by the mother? He is paying child support for two different children and he is not with either of the mothers. His child support was not based on his regular pay but on the bonuses he was paid from time to time because performance. He can’t seem to get that modified because he no longer works for that particular place. He is living from paycheck to paycheck without any hope of making a stable life for his family. Can you give him any directions to get him moving in the right directiion?

7 T

A man is the father of a child and has multible DUI’s to the point where he is now a felon. He still til this day drink and will not stay sober. Does this man has any legal rights to be around my child if I don’t want him to?

8 Anonymous

A woman is claiming that a certain man is the father of her child. He recognizes the possibility of that being true but has his doubts because she was not only sleeping with him at the time she concieved. She lists him on the birth certificate and demands child support. He requests DNA testing through CSEA– he knows that if he IS the father, he has child support obligations and he is ok with that. He does NOT want to be responsible for someone else’s kid.
The questions:
1) Can the courts deny the request for any reason?
2) Who pays for the testing?
3) If the request is denied, can he still be forced to pay child support even without proof he is the father?

9 JD

My unwed brother has two children, their mother took them across the county with another man without informing my brother. After hostile contact she now refuses to speak to him and he does not know where they are. We can’t afford a private investigator to track her down and would really appreciate advise on how to get the children back.

10 MS

Ohio makes it so hard for men that want to be in their kids life! I have my kid 95% of the time but yet she has all the rights & lives off of the welfare system & I cant afford a lawyer so now im stuck between a rock & a hard place & have no clue where to start! Just doesnt seem fair @ all!!

11 P

where do I find information re parental/child custody rights for co-habiting adults that are splitting up?

12 BB

My children have been moved to a school district that I don’t approve of, do I have any rights. (I.E..

13 RK

I was wondering and have been for the past year how a man can be denied a DNA test from the courts, be served with child support and then be put in prison with a felony because he cannot pay that child support. It aggravates me to no end. The courts think they are GOD when it comes to slapping the wrists of father’s who they say cant pay the support. They arent even going to have a chance once they go to prison and get that felony. Most jobs wont hire you if you have a felony regardless of what its for. I will one of these days change this law and get justice for all men who were convicted of nonpayment of support and denied a DNA test.

14 SJ

@ Anonymous #1: I believe that even if he has signed the birth certificate that he would need to submit to DNA testing, especially if he goes into court and states that he does not believe that he is the father of the child… take it from me I have two children from a previous relationship…long non info giving story short he stated he wasn’t sure if he was the father but did not submit to the DNA testing he requested…. he still pays child support but refuses to see the children he put himself through a lot of trouble for nothing I guess.

@ Anonymous #2: In my opinion no the father should not be able to take away your girlfriends children… no let me say that I am not a legal professional at all I have just had a number of altercations with my eldest children’s father… I would seek out legal council either on this site (they seem to be very knowledgeable) or with legal aid if that option is more affordable for you and your family. Don’t walk into anything blindly and never talk with the other party without some legal council either present or at least talk with them BEFORE meeting with the other party.

Again these are just MY opinions and they have NO legal precedence at all.

15 Anonymous

If the parents of a child are not married but the father sighned the birth certificate does he still have to get DNA testing to prove paternety?

16 Anonymous

My girlfriend’s son was diagnosed with brain cancer in august 2010. Since, she had to give up her job as an RN in westlake and her house to take care of her son at rainbow babies childrens hospital and is residing at the ronald mcdonald house of cleveland. Her other two children live at her parents home and gave permission to her ex to pick up the children 2 days out of the week. 6 months have gone by now and he called her yesterday and said she has to grant him share parenting or he would fight her for full custody for all three children. Him and his girlfriend continues to work and visit his sick child when he is at the hospital once a week and when he is outpatient he takes his son for 3 days when he has his two other girls. MY QUESTION IS CAN HE GET FULL CUSTODY OF THREE KIDS DESPITE THE FACT OF THE MOTHER STOPPED WORKING AND GAVE UP HER HOUSE TO TAKE CARE OF HER SON WITH BRAIN CANCER? She has given up everything to help her son get better including time, money, her home. And he has been sitting on the backburner saving money, getting a new apt, holding fundraisers and giving her nothing to help his son but hanging out with him a couple days. NOTE: She has been at her son’s side everyday at the hospital and 4-5 days a week when when he is doing outpatient treatment. What can she do to fight this?