Court Affirms Juvenile Court’s Ability to Award Temporary Visitation Rights to Non-Relatives

The Ohio Supreme Court recently held that a juvenile court can grant a non-relative temporary visitation rights that are in the best interest of the child.  Temporary visitation rights are visitation rights while a custody case is pending.

Rowell v. Smith involved a same sex couple that dissolved their relationship after raising a child together for six years.  After the relationship ended, the non-genetic parent filed in juvenile court for shared parenting and temporary visitation.  The juvenile court issued an order granting the non-genetic parent temporary
visitation while the custody case was pending.  However, the genetic parent refused to abide by the juvenile court’s order, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to make such an order.  If the genetic parent’s argument had prevailed then even individuals with shared parenting agreements that are unrelated to the child at issue would not have access to temporary visitation orders.