How to Absolve Parental Rights in Ohio When Parents Are Divorced

By Heather Frances J.D.

Ohio courts typically split custody between divorcing parents in a manner they feel is best for the children. Though courts can award sole custody, thereby giving legal rights to one parent over the other, parents without custody do not automatically lose parental rights. Instead, Ohio requires a separate process to take away a parent’s rights completely.

Nature of Parental Rights

The Supreme Court of Ohio — and other courts nationwide — recognize that parents have an interest in the care, custody and management of their children. This right is constitutionally protected, meaning a parent’s rights are basic and essential. This gives these rights higher protection than many other types of privileges. However, a parent’s rights are not absolute, and they can be modified if the child’s welfare is at risk or if a parent voluntarily gives up his rights.

Absolving Rights

When a biological parent permits his child to be adopted by a stepparent, he is voluntarily giving up his own parental rights. If a biological parent does not wish to give up his rights voluntarily, he can be absolved of his rights involuntarily through a contested proceeding if evidence shows he is an unfit parent. Even if a parent is absolved of his parental rights — voluntarily or involuntarily — he is still responsible for providing financial support for the child. If the child is adopted by a stepparent, the biological parent’s legal obligation to pay child support ends when the stepparent adoption becomes final.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Involuntary Removal of Rights

If the custodial parent wants to terminate the noncustodial parent’s parental rights, she must file a motion in the Ohio court serving the area where the child lives and describe the reasons she feels the noncustodial biological parent’s rights should end. The custodial parent must serve the noncustodial parent with a copy of the motion. If he does not agree to a termination of his rights, he can contest the case. Typically, this means the judge will hold a hearing where both parents can testify about whether the noncustodial parent’s rights should be removed. Both sides can bring evidence and witnesses to the hearing.

Stepparent Adoption

If the noncustodial parent is willing to relinquish his parental rights so the spouse of the custodial parent can adopt the child, the stepparent can begin the process by filing a Petition for Adoption. This requires basic information about the child and stepparent along with their circumstances. Like a motion to terminate parental rights, the adoption petition must be served on the noncustodial biological parent. Typically, both biological parents must also consent to the adoption because it is in the best interests of the child. However, the noncustodial biological parent’s consent may not be required under certain circumstances, such as when the parent failed to communicate with the child or financially support the child for at least a year.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Terminating Father's Rights in Michigan

References

Related articles

Terminating Visitation Due to Incarceration

If your ex-spouse ends up in jail, he can’t have normal visitation with your children, but he doesn’t necessarily lose visitation rights. Whether an incarcerated parent retains visitation rights with his children depends on state laws and the crime he committed. Also, his visitation rights probably won’t change at all unless you or another guardian of the child contests his visitation rights.

How to File for Visitation Rights in Nevada

Nevada, like all other states, uses the "best interests of the child" standard in determining child custody and visitation. Nevada state law is explicit in protecting both parents' rights to their children and judges almost always grant visitation to the non-custodial parent. When parents divorce, state law requires that each parent file a parenting plan with their divorce pleadings. However, when parents were never married, the mother may retain custody of the children until the father seeks visitation.

Got Married & Want to Change Stepchild's Name in Illinois

Blended families that unite stepparents and stepchildren are fairly common. In most cases, stepchildren and their stepparents do not share a last name. A biological parent has the right to petition the court to change the child's surname to match that of his parent and stepparent. Illinois law requires parents petitioning for a name change to demonstrate proof that the name change benefits the child rather than just the parents.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Voluntarily Relinquish Parental Rights in Maryland

The relinquishment of parental rights is the giving up of parental rights to one's child or children. Relinquishing ...

How to Change a Child's Last Name to My Married Name

The ease with which you can change your child’s surname to match your married name depends a great deal on whether her ...

How to Get Child Custody Rights Revoked in Arkansas

Revoking custody rights -- often a part of terminating parental rights altogether -- is a serious legal move that ...

The Surrendering of Parental Rights in Colorado

Before adoptive parents can adopt a baby or child, Colorado state laws generally require a surrender of parental rights ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED