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You are here: Home > Child Support Services > Enforcement > Child Custody

Child Custody


Physical possession of a child is not considered “legal custody”. Legal custody must be obtained through the courts, in order for the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) to recognize and process any action regarding child support.

OCSS may be able to assist with re-directing child support payments to the legal custodian. The legal custodian can be the mother, father, grandparent, any other relative or an agency. The OCSS may be able to help with the establishment of a new support order.

**If custody changes to the payor/obligor, current support will terminate but if any arrears are due and owing, the OCSS will continue to collect the arrears until paid.

To apply for legal custody, the requestor must file an application with Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court.


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:
  • Birth Certificate - for correct spelling of child’s name and date of birth and also parent’s information.
  • Social Security Card - for court records
  • Proof of Paternity - father’s legal rights have been established and also the rights’ of extended paternal family.
  • Application – case initiation
  • Intake sheet – case tracking purposes
  • Filing fee - as determined by the court

**IF CURRENT LEGAL CUSTODIAN IS DECEASED, A COPY OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE OR OBITUARY MUST BEPROVIDED AT THE TIME OF YOUR FILING.

Application and additional information can be obtained from the Juvenile Court website at:
www.juvenile.cuyahogacounty.us

You may also contact:
Juvenile Court Custody Department 216-443-3149

You may also visit:
Juvenile Court
9300 Quincy Ave
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Special Note: Custody changes for Domestic Relations Orders should be addressed in Domestic Court.