Parentage

  • A parentage action is a custody case involving never-married parents.
  • Pursuant to R.C. 3109.042(A), if a child is born to never-married parents, the mother is the sole legal custodian and residential parent of the child.
  • The biological father does not have any legal rights to the child, until such time as the Court issues an order that allocates parental rights and responsibilities between the parents.

NOTE: Pursuant to R.C. 2301.03(U), all parentage actions and child custody cases must be filed in the Medina County Domestic Relations Court.

Generally speaking, when the Court allocates parental rights and responsibilities, the Court is making a child custody determination.  An allocation of parental rights and responsibilities includes, but is not limited to:

  • Naming a residential parent for school purposes;
  • Adopting a Shared Parenting Plan;
  • Naming a legal custodian for the children;
  • Setting forth an order for parenting time or visitation for the non-custodial parent;
  • Setting an order for child support;
  • Setting forth who is responsible to maintain health insurance for the children; and,
  • Allocating the dependency tax exemptions for the children.
The Court allocates parental rights and responsibilities based upon a variety of factors, including, but not limited to:

  • The best interests of the children;
  • The in camera interview with the children;
  • The report of and the recommendations from the Court Investigator/Case Services Assessment;
  • The report of and the recommendations from the court-appointed guardian ad litem;
  • Parental unsuitability, if applicable; and,
  • Any other relevant evidence presented.
In camera” is a Latin term meaning “in private” or “in chambers”.  If a party requests, the Court will interview your children to ascertain their wishes and concerns with respect to a custody arrangement.
A guardian ad litem (GAL) is someone who is appointed to assist the Court in its determination of the children’s best interests.  Guardians ad litem are typically attorneys who maintain an active practice in the area of domestic relations or family law.

For more information on guardians ad litem, please click here.

NOTE: The Court is prohibited by law from offering legal advice.  The information and forms on this website are not intended to be a substitute for good legal advice.


Domestic Relations Court
99 Public Square, 2nd Floor
Medina, Ohio 44256

Phone (330) 725-9740

Medina Domestic Relations Court Hours are:
8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.