Columbus Custody Lawyer | Trolingen Law Firms Ltd (2023)

Custody proceedings are among the most stressful and emotional family law matters.

Hiring an experienced Ohio child custody attorney who can maintain objectivity and guide you through the court process is one of the best things you can do to protect your rights as a parent.


maternity and visitation leaves

Changing Child Custody Orders




Custody of non-parents


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Custody refers to the parent or person responsible for making important decisions about the children. In Ohio, there are two options for determining custody: sole custody or joint custody. Joint custody is commonly known as "joint parenting." Any agreement or decision that grants joint custody to parents is called a “shared parenting plan” and contains all the conditions related to the attribution of parental rights and responsibilities (eg). When parents are awarded joint custody/parenting, they must work together to agree on all important decisions for their children (for example, health care and education).

In the case of sole custody, the custodial parent can make all major decisions for the children without consulting the other parent. The non-custodial parent, commonly known as a "non-custodial" or "non-resident" parent, may not have important decisions about his or her children, but he or she has the right to receive copies of child care, school, and medical records. Additionally, a parent who does not live at home may attend any school event to which parents are invited.

Check out our co-parenting blogfor practical advice on how to communicate effectively once custody and parental leave are established.

Parental leave versus visiting or accompaniment time

“Parental leave,” as it sounds, refers to court-granted time that a father spends with his children. “Visiting time” or “accompaniment time” refers to the time granted by the court that a non-parent spends with the children.

In determining the parental leave program to be awarded, the court must refer to the best interest factors listed in Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.04(F)(1), which include factors such as the parents' wishes for the children, the mental and physical health of all parties involved, and whether the alimony debtor is current with his or her payments.

supervised maternity leave

In some cases, there are significant concerns about parenting skills that require supervised parenting time. In such cases, the court may order parental leave to take place in a supervised visiting center or allow a family member to supervise parental leave. In a supervised visiting center, a supervisor is assigned to oversee the maternity leave session and take detailed notes. The caregiver also makes sure that all topics of conversation between parent and child remain appropriate.

change paternity leave

After a parental leave order goes into effect, even if the parents agree to change the schedule, nothing is binding unless it is included in a subsequent court order. Therefore, it is important that any change in parental leave, especially if it is significant, is confirmed by the court.

In cases where the parents do not agree to a change in paternity leave, the parent who wants the change must apply to the court for the change. A motion to amend reopens the case and allows the court to review the current circumstances of the parents and children to determine if an amendment is warranted. In making such a determination, the court must again consider the best interest factors described in Section 3109.04(F)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code.

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The legal factors to consider when deciding whether a change in custody is warranted will vary depending on the current custody designation. Simply put, when a parent is appointed as sole legal guardian, the court must determine whether there has been a change in the circumstances of the custodial parent or the children and, if so, whether a change in custody is the best interests of the father. children.

In joint parenting cases, the court need only consider the best interests of the children when deciding whether to terminate the joint parenting arrangement and appoint one parent as sole legal guardian.

Guard at the suit

In some cases, whether during a divorce, first aid procedures, or alater change, the guardian ad litem can be appointed by the court itself or at the request of a party. A guardian ad litem is usually a licensed attorney, but some counties allow non-attorneys to serve as guardians. The purpose of the guardian is to conduct a thorough investigation and submit a written recommendation to the court regarding custody and parental leave.

Although a Guardian Ad Litem may incur additional costs, they can also be an invaluable resource to both parties, as they can help resolve disputes, regardless of their size, throughout the course of the case, thereby reducing the number of court cases.


presumption of paternity

If a mother is married at the time of her child's birth, the mother's husband is considered the biological father. If the child is born within three hundred days after the completion of the husband's divorce, dissolution, annulment, or death, the ex-husband is still considered the biological father of the child.

determine paternity

In cases where paternity is not suspected or the alleged father is not the biological father, paternity must be established. This can be done through various methods. First, the mother and biological father can sign an acknowledgment of paternity, which is ultimately filed with the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics. If this confirmation is signed at the time of the child's birth, the biological father will be listed on the child's birth certificate.

If one parent refuses to acknowledge the paternity of the biological father, another option is to take action through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (“CSEA”). When services are requested through CSEA, the alleged father will be required to submit to a DNA test. If it is proven that the alleged father is in fact the biological father, paternity is considered "administratively" established.

Alternatively, paternity can also be determined by a court. In such cases, the alleged father will be asked to submit to a DNA test. If at any time the parents wish to acknowledge paternity, they may do so as long as they also acknowledge the waiver of their right to DNA testing.

birth certificate change

If the biological father is not listed on the child's birth certificate, the court may order that a new birth certificate be issued when paternity is determined by the court. In cases where paternity is administratively determined through the Child Support Enforcement Agency or by confirmation filed with the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, a new birth certificate is automatically issued.

abolition of paternity

In the event that the presumed father is not the biological father, or in cases where paternity has been acknowledged by a man other than the biological father, a lawsuit may be filed to have the acknowledgment rescinded. Such claims may be based on errors of fact, duress, or fraud. The time period within which a man can revoke an acknowledgment varies, so it is important that you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible if he believes that he has wrongly acknowledged paternity to a child.

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Once parental leave is ordered, the role of the court as a supervisory authority ends. So what happens if the other parent does not comply with the court order? In order to enforce the court order, the parent alleging that the other party did not comply with their part of the agreement must file a motion to show cause. The other parent must be served with the contempt motion and the matter is ultimately brought to court for a hearing. If the court finds that a parent violated a court order and there is no defense to that violation, that parent will be presumed to be in contempt.

Failure to comply can result in a fine or even imprisonment for one of the parents, among other penalties that may be imposed. If a parent is fined or sentenced to prison, the fine/sentence may be suspended to allow the offending parent to "clean up" the contempt. If the offending parent does not clean up within the required time frame, the fine/penalty may be applied. In addition to a fine or penalty, the offending parent will also be ordered to pay the attorney's fees of the parent who filed the contempt petition.


There are different types of adoptions: Learn more about which one is right for your situationContact the Trolinger Law FirmHoy.

stepmother adoption

Stepparents may adopt their stepchildren if their spouse consents to the adoption and the other biological parent consents or consent is not required. Consent is not required if the other parent has had minimal contact with the child or provided no financial support to the child for one year prior to filing the adoption application.


Custodial adoption occurs when one person has custody of the child and requests to adopt the child. Again, the adoption can take place if the parents consent or if it can be shown that consent is not required as described above.

Placement is not required for stepparent and custodial adoptions. Placement occurs when the probate court authorizes the placement of the minor with an individual or family. After the child has been placed with the person or family for 6 months, the person adopting the child can apply for adoption.


In a private adoption, the birth mother and the adopter or parties agree to the adoption between them. After the birth of the child, the adoptive parents, with the consent of the biological parents, petition the probate court for the placement of the child. Once the placement has been established and the child has lived with the adoptive parents for 6 months, the adoption can be filed and processed in probate court.

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In an adoption agency, adoptive parents work with an adoption agency or child services to connect with a child who is available for adoption or with a birth parent who is trying to place their child for adoption. Another option for individuals or couples seeking adoption is to become a foster parent and work with children's services to adopt the children you care for. This is often due to abuse, neglect and dependency cases brought to the juvenile courts by youth welfare offices.

In any case, the person who adopts a child becomes the legal parent of the child for all purposes, including the obligation to care for and care for the child and the child's right to inherit from the adoptive parents. The adopted child is legally treated as a biological child.

Custody of Non-Parents/Grandparents

Ohio has been affected by the opioid crisis as much, if not more, than the rest of the country. This has resulted in the need for non-parents and/or grandparents to obtain custody of an addict's children. If the parents are unable or unwilling to adequately care for their children, non-parents can file a custody suit to obtain custody of the children. Grandparents, relatives, or others who know the affected children can file for custody without involving CPS. It is best to initiate private custody lawsuits between non-parents/grandparents and the child's parents before CPS is involved. In this case, Child Protection Services will seek custody of the children and work to reunite the family. Third-party custody actions are solely intended to protect the best interests of the child, making this the preferred method of family intervention in child custody matters.

These are urgent and important issues for any family or individual facing legal problems. If you think any of these issues may apply to you, contact us today to schedule a consultation so that we can provide you, your family and/or your business with the support you need.


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