Paternity Lawyer Columbus and Cleveland

There are many benefits to having paternity of a child settled including ensuring both parents have a relationship with a child. Under Ohio law, anyone married in Cleveland or Columbus is presumed to be the parent of a child. Additionally, children born 300 days or less following the date a divorced couple was cohabiting will be considered children of the couple. However, when parents have never been married, it is crucial to establish paternity in Ohio.

When to Work With a Paternity Lawyer

Single parents may elect to have paternity established at birth. This is done by filling out an Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit which may be done in a birthing center or hospital. Typically, the hospital will have a witness and the affidavit will be filed with the birth certificate. However, should the parents not do this, then a Cleveland paternity lawyer can help you file the proper paperwork.

There are other instances when you may need to work with a paternity attorney. For example, if you are the mother and the birth father is denying paternity, you may need to work with a Columbus paternity lawyer to compel a DNA test to establish paternity. Fathers who are being denied their rights under the law may also need to work with a Cleveland paternity attorney to ensure they have access to their child.

Columbus Paternity and Public Benefits

Either parent or a representative of the child is entitled to bring a paternity lawsuit in Cleveland. In some cases, if the mother is collecting public benefits, a suit may be brought by the Child Support Enforcement Agency, or CSEA. These types of cases may be instituted to ensure the father is taking financial responsibility for their children and CSEA may order DNA testing or take other means to establish paternity. This type of action is to ensure the father is paying his share of child support for their minor children.

Father’s Rights After Determining Paternity

Fathers who have accepted paternity in Cleveland have the right to be involved in all types of decisions for their children. This includes matters pertaining to their education, health care and religious upbringing. Additionally, a father in Cleveland who has established paternity also has the right to work with the child’s mother to establish a visitation schedule to allow them to establish a relationship with their child. This type of relationship is good for the child as it allows them to bond with both parents and gives the father input into how the child is raised.

A Paternity Lawyer Can Help With Custody Matters

Under Ohio law, if a couple is unmarried and has a child, the custody of the child is automatically granted to the mother. This remains in effect until a Cleveland judge issues an order changing the status of a child. Before a father can insist on visitation and other parental rights, they must have established paternity. When the mother is denying the father his rights, a Cleveland paternity lawyer can help.

Cleveland Paternity Lawyer and Child’s Rights

A child has the right to enjoy the emotional and financial support of both parents. In cases where parents are not married, the only way to ensure the parents are equally involved in the child’s life and upbringing is to establish paternity. When paternity is not established, the father could lose many rights including having a say in where the child is moved or whether the child may be adopted by a spouse of the mother. A paternity attorney can help protect the rights of mothers, fathers and their children born out of wedlock.


RaslanPla and Company, LLC, is staffed by divorce attorneys in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. We also offer our services to those in the following areas:

  • Akron, OH
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Youngstown, OH
  • Toledo, OH
  • Dayton, OH
  • Indianapolis, IN

Email a paternity lawyer from Raslan Pla and Company, LLC at, or contact our offices by calling (216) 928-1500 or toll free at (877) 928-1501.