Juvenile Court: Custody of a Child by Two non-married People

My spouse had a baby with someone else during our marriage. I am not legally the parent of that child, right?

Sometimes spouses separate before they are divorced and begin relationships with other people. If one of the spouses has a child or gives birth to a child whose paternity is biologically not part of both spouses, this can cause confusion during the legal process.

A Married person has a child with a Non-Spouse

Ohio law states an unmarried mother is automatically the custodian of the child, unless a court order says otherwise. For paternity to be established formally, the non-married parent that didn’t give birth to the child must petition the court to establish paternity through DNA testing. If married person has a baby with a person that is not their spouse, then that child will not be subject to any divorce proceedings of the married parent, because the person that gave birth to the child is the custodian.  In this scenario, the Spouse of the married parent is NOT considered a parent of the child

A Married Person has a child with Someone other than their Spouse

The situation is completely different if a woman gives birth to a child during the marriage. If a woman gives birth to a child while married, the spouse is automatically presumed to be the other parent under Ohio law and the spouse’s name must be put on the birth certificate. Even if both parties know that a different person is the other biological parent, the hospital will likely still put the spouse’s name on the birth certificate. This presumption that the spouse is the parent, complicates the divorce process. When getting a divorce, the non-biological parent must then ask the court to de-establish paternity on the child to avoid including that child in the divorce process.