In a divorce or break-up, the primary concern for most parents is what will happen to their children. While mothers traditionally were given preference in custody cases, that is no longer the case. Mothers seeking custody stand on equal footing with fathers, with the ultimate determination based on the best interests of the child.

Paul Panico has advocated for mothers and families in Ohio since 1990. He offers highly-skilled legal representation, focused on finding innovative solutions to complicated family law matters. He understands the stress and emotion involved in child custody issues and offers compassionate counsel and an honest assessment of your case to help you make the best possible decision about how to move forward. Paul represents mothers throughout central Ohio and offers free initial consultations to all of his prospective clients.

Ohio Custody Law

Ohio law focuses on the best interests of the child in determining who will be awarded either sole or shared custody of a child. While in the past, women were often the primary caretakers and were often awarded custody of their children, the modern law recognizes that both parents may contribute equally to raising the kids. As such, neither the father nor the mother is to be given preference in custody determinations.

Instead, a number of factors are considered to determine what is in the best interests of the child. This could include both parents’ wishes, the preference of the child (assuming that the child is old enough to express a preference), the health and well-being of all of the parties, and the child’s relationship with both parents, siblings and extended families.  Paul Panico can help you determine the likely outcome of a court’s custody decision, and will suggest ways that will achieve your preferred outcome without the expense and stress of a trial. However, in certain situations — such as when there is physical, emotional or sexual abuse — litigation may be necessary to protect both you and your children. Whatever your situation may be, Paul will put together a comprehensive strategy to protect your rights and ensure that the best possible outcome for you and your family is achieved.

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Law On Unmarried Mothers

If a woman is not married when she gives birth to a child, she automatically has sole physical and legal custody of the baby unless and until there is a formal court order to establish paternity. She is not required to file anything with the court or the government to establish this fact; instead, it is up to the father to prove paternity through the courts and gain rights such as custody and visitation. However, this means that unless the mother obtains an order for child support, acknowledging the paternity of the child, she is not entitled to child support.  

Paul Panico has nearly thirty years of experience representing mothers in family law issues.  He works to defend the rights of mothers to parent their children and will advise his clients of their options in maintaining or pursuing custody, or in seeking to establish paternity or gain child support.


Mothers’ Rights Attorney in Columbus, Ohio

Paul Panico is a seasoned Ohio family law attorney who excels at advocating for mothers in custody disputes. Combined with his skill in the courtroom, his empathetic manner makes him an ideal choice for any mother who seeks to gain or keep custody of her children. Contact our office today to learn more about how Paul can help you with your divorce or child custody matter.