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Ohio's Opioid Crisis & Your Family: Ohio Child Custody Attorney

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

Ohio Custody Attorney

Although the opioid problem in Ohio is no stranger to news headlines, the children most affected by the epidemic are often not mentioned in the coverage surrounding the state and national crisis. In 2016, 4,149 people died from overdoses in Ohio alone, a 36% increase from 2015. From 2000 to 2015, the number of fatal drug overdoses in Ohio increased by 642%.

As a result of increased opioid addictions and fatal overdoses, 70% of infants placed in Ohio’s foster care system are children of parents with opioid addictions. This does not take into account the number is displaced children above infancy age.

When a parent can no longer care for a child, other family members can intervene through the courts. The right Ohio child custody attorney will help you decide the best route for your circumstances.

Seeking Legal Custody of a Child

Depending on the facts of your case, you can seek legal custody of a child through the domestic or juvenile court in your county. If you are married and your spouse can no longer care for the child, action can be taken through the domestic court. In cases where one parent wishes to seek custody of a child and parties are unmarried, a complaint or motion must be filed with the juvenile court. A change of legal custody will not terminate parental rights.

Filing a Complaint for Custody or Motion for Emergency Custody

If you are not the parent of the child, a complaint for custody can be filed through the juvenile court system. Should the child be in immediate danger, an emergency motion for custody can be filed with the court.

Transfer of Custody by Agreement

In cases where parents agree that they can no longer care for the child, custody can be transferred to the willing caretaker by agreement.


Additionally, a child’s parents can consent to give an able third party guardianship of a minor child. This can be accomplished through the probate court and does not terminate parental rights. A guardian simply has decision making authority regarding most matters relating to the child including education and medical care for the child.


Adoption terminates all parental rights and responsibilities of the natural parents. More details about adoption can be found in our Ohio adoption blog.

Caretaker Authorization Affidavit

If a grandparent is unable to contact the child’s parents or guardian despite reasonable attempts, a Caretaker Authorization Affidavit can be filed with the court. This document will allow the grandparent to make school and medical decisions for the child until one or both parents act to negate or reverse an action or decision of the grandparent who signed the affidavit. This action also does not terminate parental rights and responsibilities

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