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Does extended family have child custody rights?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Child Custody

Ohio law allows rights to extended family members when it comes to child custody and visitation. However, the rules depend highly on the situation.

Typically, family members at least have the right to request rights to see the children at the center of the case.

Unmarried mother situations

If an unmarried woman has a child, the parents and relatives of the woman have the right to file a complaint in the court of common pleas of the county where the child resides. This complaint can request reasonable companionship or visitation rights with the child.

Unmarried fathers situations

If the child’s father has acknowledged paternity or a court legally determined him to be the father, he also has the right to file a complaint for reasonable parenting time. Additionally, the parents and relatives of the father have the right to file a complaint for visitation rights with the child.

It is important to note that the marriage or remarriage of the mother or father does not affect these rights. The court has the authority to grant parenting time or visitation rights to the parents and relatives of both the father and the mother.

Importance of the laws

These laws are in place to ensure that children have the opportunity to maintain meaningful relationships with their extended family members. This is despite the parents not being in a marriage or other circumstances that may have affected their family structure. The court always considers the best interests of the child when making any decisions regarding custody and visitation rights.

Extended family members have rights to the children in their family. They can seek help from the court when there is something occurring to keep them away from the children. It is important to understand that while these rights exist under the law, the final order must come from the court.