Thank you for that follow up.
First, the mother of the child may be entitled to legal representation- that information is here: Assigned Counsel Office, Juvenile Court: 216/698-4772 - they can give you the local number for your specific jurisdiction in the state.
Per case law, a parent can challenge a guardianship proceeding provided that the court finds they are fit parents (ie no abuse or neglect): https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/summaries/2006/0329/042031.asp
Pursuant to statute, a grandparent can seek visitation rights over a grandchild. (http://www.lsc.ohio.gov/membersonly/127grandparents.pdf). The courts generally don't award co-guardianship because they feel it is better to have one individual (or a married couple) in charge of the child's legal status, so as to avoid conflict.
The court with jurisdiction is the juvenile court (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2151.23) and the juvenile court may terminate a guardianship when it is no longer needed or when the guardian is not acting in the child's best interest- if the guardian unreasonably allows parents or grandparents to visit with the child, the court looks disfavorably upon this, and this can result in the termination of the guardianship.
In an Ohio case, the Hockstock case, the court discussed previous case, Masitto v. Masitto (1986),*****3d 63. In Masitto, the natural father, prior to divorcing mother, consented to guardianship by grandparents. The parents later divorced, and making no provision for parental rights in the divorce, incorporating the guardianship order, so that The Supreme Court noted the father had contractually agreed to the appointment of the grandparents as legal guardians, and that Ohio Revised Code 2111.06 requires unsuitability as a prerequisite for guardianship. This means that any parent who gives guardianship of their children to grandparents or other third parties in probate court has, by their own consent, established their unsuitability and has opened the door for custody to the person who received guardianship.
However the guardianship, especially if temporary, can later be challenged by the parent if there is a changed circumstance and the parent is deemed to be suitable.
Basis for terminating guardianships:
- The child dies
- The child reaches the age of 18
- A judge decides that the guardianship is no longer needed (ie parents are suitable)
- The necessity of having a guardian no longer exists
- The guardian asks the court to be relieved of their guardianship
Often times, the court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem, to ensure that the child's best interests are being actively promoted.