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A Child's Rights

All children benefit when both parents work together to take care of their child's emotional and financial needs, even when the parents are not married to one another. Under Ohio law children have the right to support from both parents. They do not lose this right if parents divorce or never marry.

Children who don't receive financial and emotional support from both parents are at risk of having a reduced standard of living, may suffer emotionally and physically, and may not support their own children when they become parents. Even though a child's parents may not reside in the same household, cooperation of the parents to provide emotional and financial support is essential for the child's healthy development.

The "recurring and regrettable tragedy" in our society is when children are used as "pawns in a war between divorced and embittered parents." Although the parties may never have married, or divorced, their children are nonetheless being traumatized by their parent's inability to cooperate. "Truly, such a war has no victors and the ultimate casualties are the children, who stand to suffer deeply and permanently unless their parents can learn to control their hostility and anger towards each other. Children have certain rights, including "the right to love each parent, without feeling guilt, pressure, or rejection; the right not to choose sides; the right to have a positive and constructive on-going relationship with each parent; and most important * * * the right to not participate in the painful games parents play to hurt each other or to be put in the middle of their battles." Bell v. Bell (June 5, 1998), Clark App. No. 97-CA-105, 1998 WL 288945.

John O'Grady President
Marilyn Brown
Kevin L. Boyce