Child Custody Issues Pertaining To Unmarried Parents
Not everyone that has a child together is married. When unmarried parents have a child, they should establish paternity as soon as possible. This can be done voluntarily soon after the birth, but sometimes parents have to go to court to fight for their rights.
When two unmarried people have a child together, the mother is automatically assumed to be the biological parent and so, also has custody of the child. While divorce cases are heard in domestic relations court, child custody issues involving unmarried parents are heard in juvenile court. Just like with a divorce though, the unwed parents can still reach an agreement about child custody and other issues outside of the court. This can save a great amount of time, stress, and money. However, when a case involves abuse or neglect, this is not always possible.
Parental kidnapping is not uncommon in Ohio divorce cases. When a parent kidnaps their child, they take them without informing the other parent about the child’s whereabouts, and they typically deny visitation, as well. Parental kidnapping is taken extremely seriously in West Columbus. It is essential to work with a child custody lawyer if you believe your child has been abducted, particularly if you suspect your child might be taken out of the country.
Once a child custody order is issued by a judge, it will remain in effect until the child’s 18th birthday, or until they reach another milestone, such as graduating from high school. Still, there are times when modifications have to be made to a child custody order. The three most common reasons for this are as follows:
- One parent refuses to abide by the custody order: Child custody orders are final and they are legally binding. Parents that refuse to abide by a court order may face consequences such as being found in contempt of court. Parents that refuse to abide by child custody orders are also at risk for facing penalties associated with parental kidnapping.
- One parent wants to relocate: People do not always live close to each other just because they share a child together. If one parent wants to relocate, particularly out of state, they must petition the court to do so.
- Another life change: Other life changes that can arise that require the modification of a child custody order include when one parent starts working more hours, has another child, or becomes ill and cannot care for the child for extended periods of time.
Regardless of the reason for a child custody modification, it is always best to work with a West Columbus Ohio child custody lawyer to increase your chances of a positive outcome.