Grandparents Rights in Ohio

grandparents rights in Ohio

Grandparents often feel left behind when a divorce or custody case ensues. Being denied quality time with their grandchildren can be devastating, especially when they have always been an essential part of their lives or have had a significant role in raising them.

The legal team at Slater & Zurz understands the pivotal role grandparents play in the life of a child. Grandparents help teach their grandchildren who they are and where they come from. They tell stories and share their experiences with their grandchildren, teaching them important life lessons. Children receive love, affection, and support from grandparents that facilitate a child’s overall health and well-being.

Our Family law attorneys firmly believe it is in the best interests of a child to spend quality time with their grandparents. When one or both of the child’s parents deny you that time, it can be detrimental to both you and your grandchildren. That is why we are ready and willing to fight diligently to establish your rights as a grandparent, encouraging and enforcing the relationship between you and your grandchild.

Seeking your rights as a grandparent can be challenging. But you can rest assured knowing our skilled family law attorneys will thoughtfully walk you through the process while also pursuing the most effective legal strategies to help you obtain a resolution that is in your best interests and your grandchildren’s.

Call today for a consultation with a qualified grandparents’ rights lawyer. 888.534.4850

Grandparent Visitation Rights

A grandparent’s ability to spend time with their grandchild can be impacted by events, such as the death of one of the child’s parents or their child’s divorce or separation. When one or both parents prevent their child from seeing their grandparents, the grandparents can ask the courts for visitation. If the judge feels it is in the child’s best interests, they will generally award visitation, even if one or both parents object.

Determining What is in the Child’s Best Interests

When seeking visitation or custody rights as a grandparent, you must prove it is in your grandchild’s best interests. This includes the following considerations:

  • Your grandchild’s relationship with you, his or her parents, and other relatives
  • Your grandchild’s wishes
  • Their parents’ wishes
  • Your grandchild’s age
  • The distance between your home and your grandchild’s primary residence
  • The health and needs of your grandchild
  • Your grandchild’s relationship with their siblings
  • Their parents’ schedules and availability
  • Their adjustment to their current residence, school, and community
  • The mental and physical health of everyone involved
  • Whether there is evidence of child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence

Ohio law presumes your grandchild’s parents are capable of making sound decisions when it comes to who their child gets to spend time with. However, if you and your attorney can show it is in your grandchild’s best interest for you to visit or have custody of the child, they may grant you visitation and/or custody, even if the parents object.

Protect your legal rights by contacting Slater & Zurz LLP. Call 888.534.4850 or contact us online today to get started.

Temporary Custodial Rights in Ohio

Often, a grandparent can suddenly find themselves caring for their grandchild. They may also find themselves in a situation where they need to take over the decision-making in matters relating to the child. When there isn’t a court order in place granting them temporary custody or guardianship of the child, it can quickly become a challenging situation. Without custody, their ability to make necessary decisions, such as regarding their grandchild’s education and medical care, is greatly impeded.

In Ohio, there are two ways in which grandparents can gain temporary custody of their grandchild. If the child’s parents agree to give temporary custody to the grandparent, the parents and grandparent can fill out and sign a power of attorney (POA). When the child’s parents can’t be located, the grandparent can fill out and sign a grandparent caretaker authorization affidavit (CAA). A POA or CAA will need to be notarized and filed at the Ohio juvenile court in the county where the grandparent resides.

Seeking Custody of a Grandchild

Under certain circumstances, grandparents may wish to seek full legal and physical custody of their grandchild. However, they can only gain custody of their grandchild if both of the child’s parents willingly agree to give it to them or the courts find the parents are “unfit” to care for the child adequately. The term “unfit” means that the parent is unable or unwilling to provide their child with the proper care, guidance, and support. Typically, courts find a parent unfit when there is evidence of substance abuse, child abuse, or child neglect or when a parent is severely mentally ill. Many custody cases that are unsuccessful fail because the plaintiff was unable to prove the parent was unfit. That is why it is essential to have an experienced Ohio family law attorney on your side. If your grandchild’s parent or parents are truly unfit to care for them, your attorney can prove it to the courts by compiling strong evidence and creating an effective strategy.

When Parents Refuse to Allow Court-Ordered Visitation

If the courts grant you visitation, your grandchild’s parents must comply with the order. When a parent does not obey the court order and refuses to let you see your grandchild as detailed in that order, they can be held in contempt of court. A parent who is found to be in contempt can be ordered to pay fines and/or sentenced to jail. The judge may also require the parent to pay for the associated court costs and attorney’s fees. 

Frequently Asked Questions
In Ohio, grandparents have legal rights to their grandchildren, which include visitation. Unlike many other states, Ohio recognizes grandparent rights through Ohio Revised Code 3109.051. A grandparent can grant visitation rights when the parents’ marriage ends, a parent of the child dies, or when the child is born to an unmarried woman.
Grandparent visitation is visitation between grandparents and a grandchild. It is granted when the courts believe it is in the child’s best interest. In cases where the grandparent is denied visitation by the child’s parents, it may be necessary for the grandparents to seek court intervention to continue having a relationship with their grandchild.
If a grandparent wishes to seek custody of their grandchild, they can file a complaint with the court. Ohio law allows grandparents to seek both visitation rights and custody of their grandchild. To be granted custody, a grandparent will need to prove to the judge that both parents of the child are unfit, and it is in the child’s best interests for the grandparent to be awarded custody.

If you have additional questions about your case, please visit the grandparent’s rights FAQ page or call us.

Qualified and Compassionate Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys in Ohio

At Slater & Zurz, we recognize that grandparents have rights, too, regarding custody and visitation. Ohio laws afford grandparents the right to spend time with their grandchildren as well as the right to seek custody under some circumstances. Our grandparents’ rights lawyers advocate aggressively to ensure your grandchild’s best interests are protected and your rights as a grandparent are established and upheld.

If you have been denied much-needed time with your grandchild or feel it is in your grandchild’s best interests for you to have custody, we welcome you to contact our firm. We offer a confidential consultation to grandparents who require expert legal assistance. Our firm understands fighting for your rights as a grandparent can be stressful and overwhelming. That is why we are committed to thoughtfully guiding you through the entire process and answering any questions or concerns you may have during this time. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to take your call.