Parental Rights is a general term denoting the rights that a parent has not only to make major decisions affecting the child but also the amount of time the parent will have with the child. Parental rights are established by law to parties having a child during a marriage. However, should parties have a child outside of a marriage, Ohio grants the mother legal status as the child’s sole legal custodian until such time as father establishes his rights at court.
In order for an unmarried father to establish his parental rights, he must first establish paternity of the child. This can be accomplished voluntarily by the parties or genetic testing can be ordered. Once the unmarried father has established paternity he will then have standing to file a complaint at court to establish his parental rights.