Family Law

Child custody

Experienced Child Custody Representation in Portage County

If you are Married:

There's a presumption that a man is the father of a child if:

He and the mother are married.
He and the mother were married and the child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage was terminated.
He and the mother attempted to marry each other before the child's birth and either (1) the marriage can only be declared invalid by a court and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days of the end of the marriage; or (2) the attempted marriage is invalid without a court order and the child is born within 300 days after the couple stopped living together.
An acknowledgment of paternity has been filed.
If you are Unmarried:

In Ohio, the legal relationship between a parent and child extends equally to all parents and all children, regardless of the parents' marital status.

An unmarried mother establishes her parent-child relationship by proving that she gave birth.
An unmarried father may establish his parent-child relationship through an acknowledgement of paternity.
An unmarried woman who gives birth to a child is automatically the sole "residential parent and legal custodian" of the child, unless and until a court orders otherwise. When parents are unmarried, a father doesn't have child custody rights until a court order establishes his rights.
In order to establish paternity, and thereby his rights as a parent, a man can present any of the following evidence:
Evidence of sexual intercourse with the mother around the time of the child's conception;
An expert opinion relating to the probability of the man's paternity (based on the duration of the pregnancy);
Genetic test results showing the probability of the man's paternity;
Medical evidence relating to the man's paternity based on tests performed by experts; and/or
Any other evidence that's related to the issue of paternity.
Private mediation

Private Mediation is an alternative to the adversarial court process (litigation) when ending their marriage or relationship.

A collaborative process is one in which the couple and their respective lawyers meet together to resolve issues using interest-based negotiation techniques, with the goal of, ultimately, ending the marriage through a dissolution, rather than a divorce.

Other couples use mediation. In mediation, a single neutral lawyer helps the couple have constructive conversations to see if there is enough common ground to reach an agreement as to all the issues that need to be decided.

These non-court processes can be used to resolve financial issues including the allocation of assets and debts, spousal support and child support, and can be used to resolve issues relating to children as well. Couples often find that these processes offer them more control over their own futures and more creativity in the options they explore.