In the state of Ohio, a parent and child relationship is not defined by the marital status of the biological parents. It is instead defined as the existing legal relationship between the parent and child, regardless of marital status. This means that there is both a mother and child relationship as well as a father and child relationship.
A parent and child relationship with a mother is simply stated as her having given birth to the child. However, a parent and child relationship with a father is determined by the father’s acknowledgment of paternity. Otherwise, paternity is assumed if the mother and father are married when the child is born or if the child is born within 300 days of after the marriage is terminated. It is also assumed if the man and woman have attempted to get married in this state or any other and the marriage was declared invalid. A paternity assumption can be disputed with genetic testing or other convincing evidence that the child was fathered by another man.
If the father of a child refuses to acknowledge paternity, a case may be brought by the child or a representative for the child, the mother or her representative, or a child enforcement agent for the purpose of gaining support. If a child was conceived as the result of rape or sexual battery, the father is ineligible to file an action claiming parental rights. Further, the statute of limitations for the determination of a father and child relationship runs out five years after the child turns 18-years-old.
Contact an experienced family law attorney if you need help in proving paternity and obtaining a child support order.