Are you an unmarried father who is trying to start a relationship or build a relationship with your children? If so, you have probably come to the realization that the laws can be very frustrating to men in your position.
What it comes down to is that having a biological link to your children is not enough if you were not married to their mother when they were born or you did not sign their birth certificate or a recognition of parentage.
In order to gain equal rights to your children in Ohio and West Virginia, it is necessary to ask a court to grant an order establishing parentage. Without one, the children’s mother doesn’t have to consult you on any decisions involving the children, and she doesn’t even have to let you see them.
While fathers who were married to their children’s mother when the children were born have automatic equal parental rights, the same is not true for unmarried fathers. That means the mother could choose to move away with their children and there is nothing the father can do to stop it.
However, taking action to establish paternity can give you the rights you deserve. It can give you an equal say in how your children are raised, and can allow you to challenge your ex's desire to move away with them.
Because we know how important father-child relationships are to society as a whole, we offer payment plans to make legal representation more affordable as well as free initial consultations for new clients. We even offer pro bono representation to men in Ohio and West Virginia who cannot afford legal services.
Find out more on our Fathers' Rights page.