Child Custody

Establishment of Paternity

In Ohio, paternity between a father and a child can be established by an acknowledgement of paternity filed with the Ohio Department of Health and Human Services at the time of the child's birth, an administrative establishment of paternity through a County Child Support Enforcement Agency, or a court order establishing paternity through a divorce or juvenile paternity case. Sometimes, this involves DNA testing to determine whether paternity exists and sometimes the parties acknowledge paternity without DNA testing.

Child Custody in Ohio

In making a custody determination, there are several statutory factors that the court must consider in allocating parental rights and responsibilities between the parents. For example, the court will look at the child’s relationships. Not only does this include the child’s relationships with his or her parents, but also with extended family members and other “significant individuals” such as step-parents and step-siblings. The court will consider the physical and mental health of the child, his or her parents, and other individuals in the household.

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