Conneaut, OH asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Ohio

Q: How can i file for full custody for my child if her father and i were never married but she has both our last names?

I'd like to file for full custody and do a name change for my child. He lives in Puerto Rico. Her father and i were never married but she has both of our last names. She has always lived with me in Ohio.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: If you were never married to the father, and no court has granted him parental rights or custody, then you as the mother have sole legal custody by law here in Ohio. There is nothing to file for you to get full custody. You have it already. Father would have to prove paternity and file with the court to get any parental rights or visitation, and it is unlikely a court might not allow him to take the child to PR if you objected. He would have to consent to the name change. If he is not paying child custody, you can file for that, and he would have to pay. Contact your local children's services about child support.

Denise Rini Esq
Denise Rini Esq
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: Although you are the Legal Custodian pursuant to ORC 3109.042, if the Father has signed the birth certificate, then paternity has been established. If you wish to change the child's name, file in Probate Court and present evidence (reasons) why changing the name is in the child's best interest. The reasons can be simple, as in you are remarried, or there are siblings...the Court is reasonable, especially if the Father has not been involved.

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