My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Ohio
My ex ran off with my daughter almost two months ago, taking almost all of my earthly possessions and every dime of money I had. While I wasn't ok with this, I didn't do anything about it because I didn't think there was anything I could do since fathers have zero rights in this country (big mistake, I know). Now I find out that she and my daughter are living in an old run down farm house with no running water and no electricity. The house belongs to an acquaintance who lives elsewhere. She got a "job" working some sort of internship where she only gets $50 a week which pays for a cell phone and cigarettes. She's also filed for cash assistance from the county which automatically put me in for child support. I don't know how it is that my daughter is getting food, etc.
Currently, I'm living with family while I save up enough money to start over. I have recently started an extremely well paying job that should help expedite that process.
I do NOT want my daughter living in those kinds of conditions so I want to try to get custody of her so she can live like a human being and not an animal.
The questions I have are:
1) What is my legal custody right now? I never signed any papers and there have not been any court hearings, so don't I still have 50/50 custody in the eyes of the law?
2) Do I have a chance to have the courts order that my daughter is to live with me or would I just be wasting money and time on a lawyer? I know that not having my own home is a big strike against me, but it's a thousand times better than where my daughter is right now. I'm afraid that if I wait too long to do anything (like waiting to save up and get my own home, etc) it may be too late but I'm afraid that if I do something now in my current situation it could ruin any future chances I may have.
I tried to be as brief as possible. Thanks for any help.