CHILD CUSTODY/CHILD SUPPORT/VISITATION (LGBTQ)
It is very important that you have an attorney in any legal action involving child custody. Orders for child custody, visitation and child support may be obtained through a civil protection order or an action in juvenile court.
Talk with an attorney about filing a court-approved shared custody agreement. These agreements hold promise for protecting your parental rights later if your relationship ends. Contact BRAVO for a referral to an LGBT-friendly attorney who is familiar with drafting shared parenting agreements for LGBT parents.
In some cases, the court may order supervised visitation if the court finds that the child is not safe with the other parent. Custody/visitation orders may be changed if problems arise, but this must be done by filing a motion with the court. It is important to document issues with the children that have arisen since the last order (medical reports of any injuries, health issues occurring during the other parent’s contact with the child, photographs of injuries to your child, observations of neutral third parties including counselors, teachers, etc.)
If you receive an order for the other parent to pay child support, they still may not pay. If that happens, you may need to get help enforcing your child support order. You can get more information on child custody and child support enforcement at http://jfs.ohio.gov/ocs/ or http://www.ohiolegalservices.org/public/legal_problem/family-law/child-support/qandact_view .