In upholding the President Obama's health reform law, the Supreme Court ensured the preservation and continued roll-out of im...Read more
Ohio Supreme Court Grants Visitation to Grandparents
- October 12th, 2005
Ohio's highest court has granted visitation rights to two grandparents over the objections of the child's father, bucking a recent trend of allowing parents greater say in determining visitation rights.
Renee Harrold and Brian Collier had a daughter, Brittany, but were not married. Ms. Harrold and Brittany lived with Ms. Harrold's parents, and Mr. Collier had visitation rights. When Brittany was two, her mother died, and her grandparents were given temporary custody of the child. Mr. Collier was eventually granted custody. When he refused to allow the grandparents to visit Brittany, they asked the court for visitation rights.
Under Ohio law, a court can grant visitation rights to grandparents of a child born to an unwed mother if it is in the "best interest of the child." Mr. Collier claimed that this law was unconstitutional in light of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2000 that had struck down a Washington State law that permitted a judge to grant grandparents visitation with a grandchild over a parent's objections. Troxel v. Granville (530 U.S. 57, 120 S.Ct. 2054, 147 L.Ed.2d 49 (2000)). Since the decision in Troxel, courts in Alabama, Michigan, and Connecticut, among others, have found their state statutes unconstitutional or have given parents more discretion in visitation decisions.
But on October 10 the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against Mr. Collier and found that its state law was constitutional. The Ohio court distinguished between the Washington statute in Troxel, which allowed any person to petition for visitation, and the Ohio statute, which only applied when a child was born to an unwed mother and that limited visitation to grandparents and relatives. The court held that, as the U.S. Supreme Court outlined in Troxel, the wishes of the child's parents should be given preference in such disputes, but that the Ohio statute takes that preference into account while focusing on the child's best interest.
For more on grandparent visitation, click here.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.
In practice since 1987, Fairfax Attorney Evan Farr is widely recognized as one of the leading Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Specials Needs attorneys in Virginia and one of foremost experts in the Country in the field of Medicaid Asset Protection and related Trusts. Evan Farr has been quoted or cited as an expert by n...
Felinton Elder Law & Estate Planning Centers
Mindy Felinton concentrates in the areas of Medicaid planning, Veterans' Benefits, asset protection, nursing home planning, elder law, wills, estate planning, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, probate administration and trust administration and began her legal career 30 years ago as an Assistant State Attorney...
Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Margaret A. O’Reilly is an estate planning and elder law attorney with over thirty-five years of legal experience. Attorney O’Reilly graduated from Duke University with a degree in psychology, and received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 15 y...