In Ohio, family law disputes are resolved in a gender neutral manner. As a general rule, mothers and fathers have equal rights under the law. This has been true since the late 1970s, when the Supreme Court of the United States struck down many state laws that explicitly discriminated against fathers.
While times have changed, it can still be difficult for Columbus fathers to assert their family law rights. Unfortunately, old biases still remain in the minds of the people who are tasked with applying the broad principles of our legal system to individual cases.
At the Lawrence Law Office, our compassionate Columbus family law attorneys understand the unique challenges facing Ohio fathers. In this article, we offer a basic guide to fathers’ rights under Ohio law. Of course, as every case is unique, you should always consult with a lawyer for help with your specific issue.
Understanding Fathers’ Rights in Ohio
- Establishing Paternity is Critical
Paternity is the basis of a father’s parental rights in Ohio. If a man does not have paternity in the eyes of the law, he will not be able to access any family law rights. Without paternity, nothing else matters. In cases of divorce, paternity is generally not an issue. This is because paternity is automatically bestowed on the husband.
However, for unmarried fathers, proactive measures must be taken to establish paternity. If you are an unmarried father in Central Ohio, and you are in a dispute regarding paternity, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Columbus paternity lawyer as soon as possible. You need to take action to establish your parental rights.
- Fathers Should Have Fair Custody & Visitation Rights
Under Ohio’s child custody statute, fathers are entitled to the custody and visitation rights to the same degree as are mothers. Ohio presumes that some form of shared custody and shared parenting is in the best interests of children. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Sole custody is sometimes awarded. Indeed, there are cases in which fathers are granted complete custody of their children. If you are involved in a dispute of child/visitation, our Ohio child custody attorneys can help.
- Fathers May Be Eligible to Receive Child Support
If you are a father who has primary custody of his child, you may be entitled to child support payments for your former partner. Fathers have just as much right to receive child support payments as do mothers. How much you can receive in child support will depend on several different factors. More information pertaining to this issue can be found by referencing the official child support guidelines for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Columbus, OH Dads Deserve The Best Family Law Representation
Family law cases involving children are highly sensitive. Every child custody/visitation case requires fully individualized attention from an experienced legal professional. While Ohio law is clear that a father’s parental rights are equal to that of the child’s mother, it can sometimes be difficult to put this into practice. Columbus-area fathers need to be ready to take action to protect their parental rights and the best interests of their children. You should always work with an Ohio fathers’ rights lawyer who can provide you with careful attention and who can get you the very best results in your case.
Contact Our Fathers’ Rights Lawyers Today
At the Lawrence Law Office, our top-rated Ohio family law attorneys have extensive experience representing dads. If you are an Ohio father who is currently involved in any type of family law dispute, we can help. For a fully confidential initial consultation, please do not hesitate to call our Columbus office today at (614) 333-9961.