This is the 8th installment in a series by Virginia Cornwell, an Ohio Grandparent Rights Attorney and Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist. Virginia is one of approximate 100 attorneys in Ohio to have received this honor.
GET IT RIGHT! IT MATTERS IN OHIO
A. MOTION TO INTERVENE
A Motion to Intervene is NOT the same things as a Motion for Visitation. It is not the name of the pleading that attorneys file when grandparents want custody. It does not matter if an attorney or someone at the court house tells you it is the same thing – the LAW says it is not the same thing, and when a grandparent loses their rights because the wrong thing was filed, it is the LAW that the court will point to when they do it. Sometimes when a grandparent files the wrong court papers, the court will try to help grandparents out by pointing out that the wrong request has been filed, but when the court is not so inclined, or believes it would be inappropriate to do so, that Motion to Intervene, sitting in the file all by itself, is going to be the noose that the grandparents’ rights are hung by.
So what is a Motion to Intervene, and when is it necessary? The are are governed by Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 24. Civil Rule 24 discusses situations when a person has a RIGHT to intervene as well as situations where there is no RIGHT to intervene, but a court may ALLOW intervention. A review of Civil Rule 24 sets forth the legal analysis required to determine if a grandparent has a right to intervene, or may need the court’s permission to intervene.
In cases where the parties were married, and a grandparent seeks visitation, the right to intervene is given as a statutory right, and therefore grandparents do not have to rely on Civil Rule 24. This statutory right is given in Ohio Revised Code 3109.051. A good discussion about when these filings are necessary and when they are and are not necessary, and a court’s discretion (but not requirement) to convert a Motion to Intervene into a Motion for Visitation is found in Liming v. Damos, 2006-Ohio-2518
B. MOTION TO BE ADDED AS A PARTY
One thing that grandparents can count on, is that in divorce, legal separation or annulment actions, Civil Rule 24 does not apply. Civil Rule 75 provides that Civil Rule 24 does not apply in divorce, legal separation or annulment actions, but instead, Civil Rule 75 does provide a method for being added as a party.
C. MOTION FOR CUSTODY
This article has already discussed under what situations a grandparent may obtain custody, but in one of those situations, we can’t say it often enough – Grandparents – if your children are involved in a children’s services case, FILE YOUR COURT PAPERS FOR CUSTODY EARLY IN THE CASE, BEFORE THE DISPOSITION AND SERVE IT ON ALL ATTORNEYS AND/OR PARTIES. If the INITIAL case is dismissed and re-filed because it cannot be resolved in 90 days, then you need to file your court papers in each subsequent case as well, subject to the same time limitations.
D. MOTION FOR VISITATION
A motion to intervene cannot be a substitute for either a motion for custody or a motion for visitation. If grandparents want visitation, they have request visitation in their court papers.
The other articles in the series can be seen here:
DISCLAIMER – read it!
Is the law actually inforced for grandparent visits with the kids when the parents have never been married so they can rip off the system?
My daughter and her 3 children lived with me for 18 months. One day she just moved out. Yes we had a few issues between us. Her 2 older children, age 10 and 11, want nothing to do with me, she has talked to them about me. The baby, 20 months, whom I have been with daily from day is, is the one I am asking about visitation rights for. She is single, the father of the baby is not in the picture, she is seeking child support now. Is there anything I can do, besides watch him go and worry I will never see him again.
My son non consent is not needed due to limited contact with child while with custodial grandmother, her husband is not by blood but did adopt the her daughter at age of 2 the mother of grandchild. Oh my son is incarcerated for 4 years will be out 12 of this January. The appellant court up holding adoption and set best interest hearing on the 15 of January 2015. I’am scared I will loose my visitation with grand daughter who is 5 now. Somethings never got thru in trial court do we introduce this evidence and how can I try to keep my contact with child?
As a grandparent and a parent, I was appalled to learn that if a grandparent agrees to babysit for the evening and the custodial mother does not return for days, weeks, or months…….NOTHING can be done because under the law (according to police, court, and children services) the mother made the necessary arrangements for her children to be cared for by leaving them with a responsible person who agreed to watch them! I call this hairsplitting because when does this become unsuitable parenting…let’s get real people! The advice from the police is that you shouldn’t watch again or stop being suckered???..I know this is a MORAL type issue but come on more and more young mothers are aware of this and are abusing it, which is why I ask you when does it become unsuitable??? As a grandparent the fear I would have is if I do not babysit when asked then where would my grandchild end up for days, weeks, or months! I believe as a nation we need to look at the overall “PARTY GIRL MENTALITY” and figure out when enough is enough. The way I see it is….there is nothing wrong with taking a break from the stress of parenting for the evening or even the weekend as long as both parties are informed and return when they are suppose to which is normal but to OUTRIGHT knowingly walk away and leave your child/children for days, weeks or months over and over again…should hold some consequences but according to children services “there is no law against a mother partying and if that mother made arrangements for her children she has done the responsible thing!” I am saddened that this issue has been labeled a MORAL issue and that the law governing this is so grey because it is been used not only by the parent but the authorities as well to interpret to their own benefit while the children are the ones who pay if not emotionally, physically, and sometimes with life. We need to raise the roof before it collapses.