Legal Question in Family Law in Ohio

state of ohio, child custody

My daughter was arrested on drug charges in Ohio, and court ordered into a treatment program for 1 year. If she successfully completes the program she will be eligible for expungement. She has a daughter with a man, she was never married to, who understandably filed for emergency custody at the time of the arrest. Yesterday, was the custody hearing, and it was the first time my daughter saw the paperwork (no attorney). The visitation offered etc..seemed fair under the circumstances, and my daughter went there with the mindset that she messed up and was willing to sign. My daughter said during the hearing her daughters advocate, and the magistrate kept stressing the ''sole custody'' term, and she became very confused and didn't sign the papers. My question is; what does sole custody in Ohio mean? Is she giving up her rights as her childs mother? If something happens to the childs father in the future, and she has her life back in order, can she regain custody if approved? If he should marry someday, would the woman be able to adopt her? Can he move out of state? Is there another term besides ''sole'' that would give him peace of mind, but also give my daughter some rights in the future if circumstances changed. Thanks for your help.

Asked on 3/20/09, 1:20 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Nancy Fioritto Patete Nancy Fioritto Patete, Esq.
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Re: state of ohio, child custody

Assuming this is sole physical custody, it means that the child's father does not share custody with the mother because the mother has been found unfit. This does not mean that the mother has relinquished her parental rights. She should be able to, at some point in the future, ask the court for joint custody and therefore greater involvement in the child's life when her behavior is shown to have improved.

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3/20/09, 9:15 pm

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