This is the next post in our series on the rights of unmarried parents in Dayton, Ohio. Our last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to contact an attorney if you or a loved one are involved in a legal dispute. It is important that you contact counsel sooner, rather than later. The longer you allow the current situation to go on, then the more likely the Court is to leave the “status quo” in place and find that the current situation is not problematic. In this article we will address a topic which sometimes leads to confusion or misunderstanding – the rights of unmarried Ohio fathers. If you require assistance then call our office to speak with a child custody lawyer.
Ohio views the rights of Dayton fathers as being equal to those of a mother
Many parents still operate under an assumption that the mother automatically has “all the rights” in a child custody case. Ohio, however, is like many other states in that no preference is given to a parent on the basis of gender. When deciding whether one parent should primarily care for the child, or whether the mother and father should split time through a shared parenting arrangement, the Court’s sole concern will be for the best interests of the child. When determining what is in the child’s best interests, the Court will consider factors such as the wishes of the child (depending on the child’s age and maturity), the child’s needs, the ability of each parent to meet those needs, and several other factors.
As in many other states, Ohio Courts have become increasingly more likely to award the parents joint custody unless such an arrangement would not be in the child’s best interests. This means that a Dayton father will often be awarded an amount of time with the child that is roughly equal to that of the mother. How the Court will rule in any given situation, however, will always depend on the specific facts of the case. It is strongly suggested that you discuss your situation with an attorney as soon as possible.
Dayton fathers should understand that a variety of facts can impact child custody
The Court will consider the totality of a family’s situation when deciding what is in a child’s best interests. It is seldom that the Court will award custody based solely on a single fact or circumstance. While there are instances where such an award would be appropriate, such as when a parent is using drugs, a Judge will typically consider everything ranging from where the parents live, to their work schedule, to the extent to which each will foster a relationship between their counterpart and the child, and more.
When unmarried parents are in a child custody dispute, the Court will view the rights of a father as being equal to those of a mother. Retaining an experienced Dayton child custody lawyer is crucial to ensuring that those rights remain protected. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience in serving the community and we are ready to assist you. Contact us today.
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