There are several parties who may have an interest in visitation rights with a child. Visitation is not an issue that is confined to divorce proceedings, but one that can affect many Ohio families, especially those in which a mother is not married. Biological fathers, grandparents and other family members of the mother may petition the court for visitation with the child.
Even if the father and mother are not married at the time of the birth of the child, the father may pursue visitation or custody if the child is his biological child. If there is a dispute over paternity, additional tests may have to be completed before a family court can decide on a reasonable parenting time schedule. Any decisions regarding companionship or visitation rights will be based on what is considered to be the welfare of the child.
If the mother remarries, moves or has additional children, the father or relative may still maintain rightful access to the child. Any changes to the custody or visitation arrangement must go through the proper channels and be approved by the family court. When there is a concern about the physical well-being of a child, the parent or adult should seek legal assistance regarding possible solutions to the issue.
Visitation can be a complicated factor, even for Ohio parents who are not married. For this reason, it is useful to secure experienced legal representation when facing complex family law issues. Parents and relatives have the right to protect their parental rights and fight for what they believe is the just outcome for their family.
Source: ohio.gov, “Mother unmarried – parenting time, companionship or visitation rights.“, Accessed on Feb. 11, 2015