Protecting your rights & safeguarding your children’s future
In general, parents have a fundamental right, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, to parent their children free from governmental interference or interference from third parties. However, in 1990, Ohio passed several laws that allow grandparents of divorced or deceased parents to obtain visitation orders so that they may maintain relationships with their grandchildren. Grandparents may also obtain court-ordered visitation with child of unmarried parents. In certain situations, grandparents may intervene in the parents’ divorce case, even after the divorce has been granted, to request their own visitation schedule with their grandchildren.
In addition, grandparents may file a complaint for companionship in juvenile court in cases where the parents of the grandchild were not married, or where their own child is deceased and they are finding it difficult to visit his or her children. Ohio law provides that a court may order visitation if it determines it to be in the best interest of the children. In making such a determination the court must consider a number of factors, including, but not limited to:
- The wishes of the child’s parents;
- The wishes of the child;
- The child’s interaction and interrelationship with the child’s parents, siblings, relatives and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
- The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
- The mental and physical health of all persons involved in the situation;
- The child’s age and the distance between the grandparents’ home and the child’s home;
- The health and safety of the child;
- The amount of time the child has to spend time with siblings and parent(s);
We have been successful in achieving not only visitation for grandparents, but in obtaining sole custody of grandchildren in cases where one or both parents are incapable of caring for their children due to drug addiction or mental health issues.
We have also successfully represented parents to prevent grandparents from obtaining visitation orders where the parents of the child object to their contact with the child.