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Ohio Child Custody, Support and Visitation Law: Parentage


There are three ways to establish paternity of your child, if you are not married to the mother:

  1. Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit: By signing this affidavit, both parents agree that a man is the biological father of a child and choose to make him the legal father of the child. The affidavit is then mailed to the Central Paternity Registry.

  2. Administrative Order of Paternity: For unmarried parents that have not established paternity through another method and wish to get genetic testing, the Child Support Enforcement Agency can conduct the testing and issue an order of paternity if the man is indeed the biological father of the child. If the mother lives in Ohio, please contact the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) in the mother's county of residence. If the mother lives outside of Ohio, you may contact the CSEA in the father's county of residence. 

  3. Court Order of Paternity: Paternity may be established through Juvenile Court and sometimes through Domestic Relations Court (as part of a divorce.)



Official Forms for filing for Parentage, Custody and Parenting Time in Juvenile Court

Below are two extra forms that you need to submit if filing a complaint for custody in Franklin County.

Ohio Parentage Laws


Law Review Article