Are there grandparent rights in Ohio?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Lorain, OH

I've made it to Ohio : ) . But my move has upset alot of people including the grandmother of my unborn child ( unsurprisingly ) . She claims a lawyer told her I can't deny her grandparent rights because she's supposedly taken care of me ( by letting me live with her ) & . The baby ( buying the crib , car seat, stroller, throwing a baby shower & . Taking me to my appointments ) ! I don't know how true this is but I've heard that material things are considered gifts especially since she's Grandma & . The baby isn't born ! I just want to know how true this is & . Is there anything she can do to go against my decision of not letting her see the baby.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Jeffrey Kyle Milbauer

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You do not state your marital status. If you are unmarried then Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.12 (A) states in part that "If a child is born to an unmarried woman, the parents of the woman and any relative of the woman may file a complaint requesting the court of common pleas of the county in which the child resides to grant them reasonable companionship or visitation rights with the child." The statute goes on to state that if paternity has been established then this right extends to the father's relatives. In other words, if you are unmarried then the grandmother may be able to petition the court for visitation rights. If this happens then the court must consider sixteen (16) statutory factors in determining whether or not those rights should be granted. One of the factors is the wishes and desires of the child's parents. This is a very important factor. Parental rights are highly protected under Ohio law. However, having said that, if the grandmother does file a Motion with the court seeking visitation with your child, you should seek the services of a qualified family law attorney in orde to protect your rights. Good luck. Jeff Milbauer, The Milbauer Law Firm, Middletown, Ohio

  2. Daryle Catherine Tibbs

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The items that grandma purchased for you are gifts. If you are unmarried and grandma wants visitation rights, she will have to file a petition to establish paternity first. Once that is complete, there may be a trial regarding visitation rights. From my experience, the court does not like forcing a decision upon the parties and the Court often prefers that the parties work out some sort of visitation schedule.

    If you moved to Ohio from a different state, any schedule that is created is going to have to take into consideration the distance. The greater the distance, the more difficult the visitation will be. It sounds to me like the grandmother generally likes you and wants to help you but she also really wants to see her grandchild and she is afraid that the distance you have put between her and her grandchild will be an insurmountable obstacle. My suggestion is to talk to her and try to come to some sort of agreement regarding visitation. This type of communication will let her know that you have not forgotten about her and hopefully, it will make her feel good enough about the situation that she will not file a complaint in court.

    However, if she does file a complaint, I agree with the other attorneys here, you should hire a local attorney that has dealt with this issue before. But I must point out that if this does happen, I think you will end up with a similar result as you would if you just worked out a schedule with her.

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