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Franklin County Ohio Father’s Rights

Franklin County Father Lawyer, Franklin County Father Attorney, Franklin county Father's Attorney Virginia Cornwell is a Franklin County Ohio Father’s Rights Lawyer and an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

In Franklin County, as in the rest of Ohio, Fathers need to know their rights, especially if they are not married to the mother of their child. Although the law regarding father’s rights is the same in Franklin County as it is in the rest of Ohio, the procedures in Franklin County may be a little different than other some other counties.

First, the basics.

Readers need to get caught up on their rights under state law before we focus on county procedure:

http://www.cornwell-law.com/answers/fathers-rights-learn-about-fathers-rights-to-visitation-in-ohio/

http://www.cornwell-law.com/07/ohio-parents-who-are-not-married

http://www.cornwell-law.com/08/unmarried-fathers-rights/

http://www.cornwell-law.com/07/can-i-just-sign-away-my-rights-to-my-child/

http://www.cornwell-law.com/09/ohio-child-custody/

http://www.cornwell-law.com/08/ohio-fathers-rights-news/

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Next, Franklin County Procedure.

Franklin County Father LawyerIt would be impossible to describe everything about Franklin County, Ohio Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court procedures in one article, or even a series of articles, that effects fathers (and mothers, for that matter, as it takes two to make a child), but I will start with a number of pointers:

 

  1. File the right Complaint/Motion. If Paternity is not established, the complaint needs to say so, and ask that paternity be established. If the parties are married, and the person wants to file for divorce and have paternity tests, then you need to file the proper pleadings to do that. If the filer wants parental rights (not just paternity established, then your complaint or motion must ASK FOR IT. Everything that you want the court to do should be asked for in your pleadings.
  2. Temporary Orders are decided by the submission of affidavits in Franklin County. Ideally, these affidavits are form affidavits, not just narrative affidavits. Missing the deadline for submission of affidavits usually means the other party gets whatever they asked for in their affidavits – and the person who missed their affidavit deadline is usually unhappy with these orders.
  3. Getting a Guardian ad Litem involved in the case early is a good idea. It takes a few months between hearings in Franklin County. Having a GAL appointed early allows the case to continue to move toward resolution in between hearings (hopefully, depending on the GAL on the case).
  4. Generally, in Franklin County, the court starts with the idea that shared parenting is in the best interest of the child.    Regardless of which parent is going to end up being the school placement parent, at a minimum, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, as a trend Franklin County courts favor shared parenting. For the most part, the days of one parent simply refusing to talk to the other in order to avoid shared parenting has all but disappeared, as parents now have so many other communication options, most notably cell phone and text message.
  5. Although each case is decided on its own merit, Franklin County Judges, Magistrates and Guardian ad Litems tend to favor shared parenting for fathers, absent a compelling reason against it.   Generally, in Franklin County, the court starts with the idea that shared parenting is in the best interest of the child.    Regardless of which parent is going to end up being the school placement parent, at a minimum, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, as a trend Franklin County courts favor shared parenting. For the most part, the days of one parent simply refusing to talk to the other in order to avoid shared parenting has all but disappeared, as parents now have so many other communication options, most notably cell phone and text message.
  6. Cases tend a move a little slower than some smaller counties.  Franklin County is a large county, with a crowded docket, and although the docket is moving faster than it used to, people who are in a big hurry for their case to be resolved might be surprised to learn that court expects them to wait their turn in a long line of people who also want their case resolved.  An experienced Franklin County Ohio Father’s Rights Attorney will help you understand what you can reasonably expect from the court.

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FRANKLIN COUNTY OHIO FATHER LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER ATTORNEY, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER'S RIGHTS LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER'S RIGHTS ATTORNEYSNeed some help? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Franklin County Ohio Father’s Rights Attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case.

FRANKLIN COUNTY OHIO FATHER LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER ATTORNEY, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER'S RIGHTS LAWYER, FRANKLIN COUNTY FATHER'S RIGHTS ATTORNEYS

 

Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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When a single mother passes away in Ohio, paternity, custody and visitation issues may need to be resolved.

Lawyers Child Custody, Columbus Lawyers Child Custody, Ohio Lawyers Child Custody, Child Custody Lawyers, Child Custody Attorneys, Child Custody Attorney, Child Custody LawyerVirginia Cornwell is a OSBA Certified Family Relations Specialist, and practices exclusively Family Law.

In Ohio, if a single mother dies, issues will arise regarding who is going to raise her children and who may have visitation with the children.

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In this situation, if the father wanted to obtain custody of his children, he would need to establish paternity, if it was not already done.  He would need to file his complaint to establish a parent-child relationship (establish paternity), as well as his complaint to allocate parental rights and responsibilities (get custody).  Once paternity is established (see our other articles), the court can make orders regarding custody.  Given that the mother has passed away, a court may be willing to hear an emergency custody motion.

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grandparents rights attorney in, grandparents lawyer, grandparents attorney, grandparents visitation lawyer, grandparents visitation lawyers, grandparent visitation lawyerSometimes, in the situation of a single mother, grandparents may have been very active in the child’s life, perhaps more so (in their opinion) than the father.  In this situation the grandparents sometimes feel entitled to custody of the child, especially if the mother made her wishes clear on the matter before she passed away.  However, Ohio law is clear.  The rights of the father in this situation supersede those of the grandparents, unless the grandparents can demonstrate that the father is unfit.  For more information about the legal standards for a court to find a parent unfit, click HERE.

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grandparents custody lawyer, grandparents custody lawyers, grandparents custody attorney, grandparents custody attorneysIn the case of terminal illness, the mother may know in advance that she is going to pass away.  She may have executed a will that says who she wants to be the custodian of her child.  This statement in her will is only a statement of her preference, it does not transfer custody of the child upon her death.  Despite the mother’s statement in her will, the father’s rights trump those of the grandparents.  Unless the father is an unfit parent, if he seeks custody of his children, he will get it.

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ohio grandparents rights attorney, ohio grandparents rights attorneys, ohio grandparent rights lawyer, ohio grandparents rights lawyersThis does not mean that grandparents cannot seek visitation.  For more information on grandparent visitation, read one or more of our many articles about grandparent rights by clicking the category in the left black column, and then select an article.  You may also select the topic in the right hand black column.

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Ohio Father's Rights Lawyer, Ohio Father's Rights Attorney, Columbus Father's Rights Attorney, Columbus Father's Rights Lawyer, Columbus Father's Rights LawyersNeed some help? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Ohio Child Custody Lawyers will meet with you to discuss your case.

Columbus Father's Rights Attorney, Columbus Father's Rights Lawyer, Columbus Father's Rights Lawyers, Columbus Father's Rights Lawyers

 

 

Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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Unmarried Fathers Beware: Seek Out Your Rights or the Mother May LEGALLY Move Without Telling You

FATHERS LAWYERSometimes unmarried fathers are hesitant to go to court to seek their rights for a variety of reasons:

  • They do not want to antagonize the mother.
  • They are afraid of how much child support they will have to pay if they begin legal proceedings.
  • They do not want to begin their co-parenting relationship with the mother by taking her to court.
  • They are not sure if they have spent enough time trying to work out an agreement with the mother yet.

These are all valid concerns.  However, the risk that the Father who waits takes is that they mother will move.  Until an unmarried father has established his parental rights of parenting time, the mother has no duty to tell him when she is going to move and where she is going.  Even when he does have parenting time, unless the court orders it (father needs to ask for it), mother might simply have a duty to let the COURT know where she is going, not the father.

FATHER ATTORNEYIf a father goes to court to seek his parental rights, he can ask for a restraining order while the case is pending, keeping the mother from removing the child from the jurisdiction of the court.  If he does not do this, and the mother moves, the father may have a tough time serving her with his complaint, and if he cannot serve her, he cannot get relief from the court.

Therefore, every father has to balance the concerns above with the concern that the mother might move and take the child out of his reach forever.  This is something that has to be decided on a case by case basis, there is no hard and fast rule that a father has to rush to court, but he should be aware of the risk.

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FAMILY LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

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Can My Ex Claim Our Child on Taxes?

DUBLIN FAMILY LAWYER

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In one version or another, we hear this question often. Other forms of this question, which ultimately mean the same thing are:

 

  • Can I claim the tax exemption for my kids?
  • I pay child support, so can I claim my kids as dependents on my tax return?
  • Is the Mother of my children allowed to claim my kids on taxes if I pay her child support?
  • Do I have to be paying child support through the county in order to claim my kids for taxes?
  • I am on the birth certificate for my daughter (or son), so can I claim them as dependents on taxes?
  • Who does the IRS allow to claim the child as a dependent on tax returns (or tax forms)?

The answers to this question (FOR OHIO PARENTS ONLY) can be complicated, but I will try to make it as simple as possible.

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FIRST: Were the parents of the child ever married?  For Ohio never married parents, unless a father has gone to COURT to get his parental rights the mother has the right to claim the child as a dependent.  Period.  End of Story.  It is important to note that COURT means COURT.  These things are NOT ENOUGH to allow a never married father to claim the child as a tax dependent:

Dublin Family Law Attorney

  • Living with the mother
  • Paying the mother’s bills
  • Paying the baby’s bills
  • Paying child support by helping the mom out financially
  • Paying child support through the child support enforcement agency
  • Having your name listed on the birth certificate
  • Having paternity established
  • Exercising parenting time by agreement, but not by court order
  • Having court ordered parenting time (visitation or shared parenting), but not having a court order that allows you to claim the child as a dependent

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The question is, what IS enough for a never married father to be able to claim his child as a dependent on his taxes?

Dublin Family Lawyer

  • The father has custody of the child; OR
  • The father has a court order requiring the mother to sign forms giving him the right to claim the child as a dependent on taxes.

What about parents who are divorced?  Who has the right to claim the child on taxes then?  Generally, in Ohio, the issue of the tax exemption is dealt with in the decree of divorce.  Unfortunately, sometimes, due to mistake, the issue is left out of the decree of divorce or dissolution.  In those circumstances, the person who is allowed to claim the child as a tax dependent is governed by the Internal Revenue Code.

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Forms!

The form to release a child as a dependent is IRS Form 8832.  A copy of the most recent version of this form, as of April 15, 2014, can be found by clicking the link below:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8332.pdf

If you have family law questions, about taxes or other family law matters, please feel free to call our office to schedule a consultation.

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Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio Family Lawyer and one of approximately 100 Ohio  State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialists.  

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Five Things You Need to Know About Visitation in Ohio by an Ohio Visitation Lawyer

Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio Visitation Lawyer and a OSBA Certified Family Relations Specialist.  

OHIO VISITATION LAWYER1.  In Ohio, visitation is a privilege, not an obligation.  What that means is when a person has a visitation order (now called parenting time), there is no penalty for failing to exercise parenting time.  To break it down even more, unless there are specific provisions in the parenting time order mandating that all parenting time be exercised (rare), then a person cannot be in contempt for failing to exercise his or her visitation (parenting time or companionship time).  Unfortunately, a person can just skip his or her visitation and not get in trouble from the court.

However, if a person has a pattern of acting in this way, courts are often willing to put a provision in the parenting time order that he or she must call a designated period of time in advance to confirm the he/she will be exercising the visitation (parenting time).  Some courts will go so far as to say that if three visitations in a row are missed visitation is terminated until further order of the court.  These provisions are rarely included in the initial order.  Instead they are usually inserted after the party who is being inconvenienced by the missed visitation brings the issue in front of the court by filing a post-decree motion.

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OHIO VISITATION LAWYER2.  Visitation, it’s not just for parents anymore.  The Ohio revised code provides for visitation for persons who are related to a child by “affinity or consanguinity”.  In other words, people who are close to a child by nature of their relationship with the child or by their blood ties to the child may petition a court for visitation.  See ORC 3109.11, ORC 3109.12 and ORC 3109.051.

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OHIO VISITATION LAWYER3.  Unmarried fathers need to establish paternity before they can even ask for visitation.  If a father is already paying court ordered or CSEA ordered child support then paternity has been established.  For more information on establishing paternity in Ohio, take a look at this article by an Ohio Paternity Lawyer.

4.  Almost every county in Ohio has a suggested visitation schedule for parents.  The visitation schedule is for the parent who is NOT the primary caregiver for the child.  The visitation is not something the court MUST order, and is not what the court ALWAYS orders, it is just a guideline.   Most important, the local rule visitation schedule does not apply until a Judge or Magistrate has ordered it in your case.  If you have a visitation order and it is not exactly the same as the local rule, then you have to abide by the terms of the order.  The schedule is usually found in the local court rules (possibly in separate courts for married and unmarried parents.  Copies of many of Ohio’s local rule visitation schedules can be found on our website, however, it is up to the reader to make sure that they are looking at the MOST CURRENT SCHEDULE before relying on the schedule.

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OHIO VISITATION LAWYER5.  Visitation is modifiable until the child turns 18 years old.  Even better, unlike custody, which is difficult (but not impossible) to change, the legal standard for changing visitation is “best interest of the child”.  That means that if you can show the court that the schedule you are proposing is best for the child, and the court agrees, the court can change your visitation schedule.  To learn more about how the court decides whether a certain schedule is in the best interest of the child, see Ohio Revised Code 3109.051.  After January 1, 2014, use this version of 3109.051.

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