Parental Equal Rights
Equal rights have always been a hot-button issue for Americans. Equal protection of the law, enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, is the bedrock for the enforcement of equal rights.
There are misunderstandings about whether separated parents have equal rights to their children in divorce. Fathers who feel that mothers are given preference in custody decisions are balanced by mothers who feel that they are at an economic disadvantage if the father is the greater wage earner.
It is important to know that in Ohio separated parents start at a point of equality when it comes to making decisions on who the children live with.
This policy is found in Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.03 which states: “When husband and wife are living separate and apart from each other, or are divorced, and the question as to the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of their children and the place of residence and legal custodian of their children are brought before a court of competent jurisdiction, they shall stand upon an equality as to the parental rights and responsibilities for the care of their children and the place of residence and legal custodian of their children, so far as parenthood is involved.”
This is an all too often neglected statute in divorce litigation. Good lawyers are aware of this policy and know how to use it to obtain the best results for their clients.