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If I Give Up Custody, Do I Lose My Rights?

Short answer, do not sign anything before review by your attorney. There is a vast difference between custodial rights and parental rights. 

The parent with custody (or joint custodian as is often the case) makes the decisions with respect to the child(ren).  Often the decisions are (1) where the child attends school or daycare; (2) where the child attends church or faith in which the child will be raised; and (3) medical/dental decisions, including physicians and checkups.  Decision making often also extends to which activities teams in which they participate.

This does not terminate the parental rights of a non-custodial parent.  The non-custodial parent is generally entitled to the followign:  (1) Reasonable visitation; (2) medical information; and (3) education information.  The non-custodial parent shoudl also be kept informed of the child's activities and may attend those activities.

If a parent is not granted custody, by agreement or by court Order, this does not terminate their rights as stated above.  The exception to this is when parental rights are terminated or the child is adopted by another family or step-parent.  Rights can be terminated by agreement or by court Order if certain.  This is an extreme remedy and much rarer than granting primary custody.

Both Ohio and Kentucky have laws relating to joint/shared custody, parenting time and visitation.  Ohio is much more likely to grant primary custody in a non-marital relationship, whereas Kentucky is more likely to grant joint custody in all custody cases, espeically in light of recent statutory changes.

If you have a custody concern, you should contact an experienced family law attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Ohio, please contact Michael Bouldin at Bouldin Law Firm by calling 859-581-6453 or email [email protected].

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