Local Rules

RULE 6 is directed toward Domestic Relations Court and is represented below. For other rules that may apply, go to Resources, Law Library

RULE 6.01

COMMENCING THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASE

A. FILING THE COMPLAINT IN DIVORCE, LEGAL SEPARATION, AND PETITION IN DISSOLUTION.

1. The caption of all complaints and petitions shall include the full names, prior surnames, aliases, ad­dres­ses, and dates of birth of all parties to the action. Pleadings shall also contain the phone number of any unrepresented party. The social security numbers of parties shall not be included on any filing, unless otherwise directed by statute.

2. As prescribed from time to time, a financial disclosure statement as prescribed by the Court shall be attached to every complaint in divorce, spousal support, legal separation and petition in dissolution. The defendant or respondent shall file a disclosure statement within twenty-eight (28) days of service. The schedules A and B may be found in appendices F and G.

3. Petitions for dissolution of marriage will only be accepted by the Clerk of Courts if at least one of the petitioners has been a resident of Wood County for at least ninety days preceding the filing of the petition.

4. A Waiver of Attorney affidavit for an unrepre­sented peti­tion­er in a dissolution shall be attached to the petition.

5. A waiver of service of process on the parties shall be filed with a petition of dissolution.

6. Any pleading tendered for filing that does not comply with this rule and Local Rule 3.01(A) shall not be accepted for fil­ing by the Clerk and shall be returned immediately to the tendering party, and if accepted for filing shall be dismissed.

7. In a case involving children, a UCCJA affidavit, as set forth in appendix H, must be attached to the pleadings. The parties to the action shall attend the Parenting Seminar within forty-five (45) days of the filing of the complaint and prior to the final hearing. An application for benefits under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act shall be received by the Wood County Child Support Enforcement Agency prior to the issuance of any child support order.

8. Upon the filing of an action for divorce or legal separation, a mutual temporary restraining order shall be issued as set forth in appendix I. The Clerk shall include a copy of the temporary restraining order with the summons and petition served on defendant and shall mail a copy of the temporary restraining order to both spouses by ordinary mail.

9. A case designation form must be provided. (See appendix J)

B. MANDATORY DISCLOSURE

Within forty (40) days of the filing of an answer each party, shall disclose to the other all of the following:

- The identity of all pensions, profit sharing, and retirement benefits

including IRAs and the most recent summary

- All COBRA benefits to which the other party may be entitled

- Copies of all real estate deeds and vehicle titles and any appraisals

- Copies of the last three years income tax returns

- Documentary proof of current income from all sources

- Copies of the most recent statements on all bank accounts, life insurance policies, mortgages, credit card accounts and other debts

- The identity of any safety deposit box

Failure to comply with this rule may result in sanction under Civil Rule 37, including a contempt citation, dismissal of claims, and restrictions upon the submission of evidence.

RULE 6.02

SERVICE BY POSTING IN INDIGENT CASES

Notices posted pursuant to Civ. R. 4.4(A)(2) for Service by publication by indigent Plaintiff will be posted in the Wood County Courthouse, Wood County Office Building, lobby of the United States Post Office in the Federal Building, Bowling Green, Ohio, and in the lobby of the United States Post Office in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Before service by publication can be made, an affidavit shall be filed setting forth the defendant’s last known address and efforts made to contact the defendant.

RULE 6.03

HEARINGS

A. MOTIONS

1. The hearing on the Motion for Temporary Relief shall be sche­duled within fourteen (14) days after the date the motion is filed.

2. One continuance of seven (7) days may be granted to each party for good cause shown. No further continuances shall be granted.

3. If at the time set for hearing the opposing party does not appear and the Court finds that the moving par­ty made a good faith attempt to give notice of the hearing as required by this Rule, then, whether there has been actual notice, the Court may proceed with the hearing, taking evidence under oath, or by affidavit, and may grant
temporary relief as provided by Civ. R. 75(N)(1).

a. The testimony under oath shall have the same effect as the filing of affidavits required by Civ. R. 75(N)(2).

b. The opposing party may then file coun­ter affidavits and a motion requesting an oral hearing to modify such temporary orders as provided by Civ. R. 75(N)(2).

B. ATTORNEY FEES

1. How Made

a. A request for attorney fees and expenses to prosecute an action shall be included in the body of the motion or other pleading that gives rise to the request for fees.

b. A request for attorney fees and expenses to defendant shall be by motion filed at least fourteen (14) days prior to the hearing on the motion being defended.

c. No oral motion for fees shall be entertained unless good cause is shown why the provisions of this rule could not be complied with.

2. Evidence Supporting Motion

At the time of the final hearing on the motion that gives rise to the request for
fees, the party seeking such fees shall present:

a. An itemized statement describing the services rendered, the time for such services, and the requested hourly rate for in-court time and out-of-court time;

b. Testimony as to whether the case was complicated by any or all of the following:

i. New or difficult issues of law;

ii. Difficulty in ascertaining or valuing the parties’ assets;

iii. Problems with completing discovery;

iv. Any other factor necessitating extra time being spent on the case

c. Testimony regarding the attorney’s years in practice and experience in domestic relations cases; and

d. Evidence of the parties’ respective income and expenses, if not otherwise disclosed during the proceedings.

e. Evidence of the other party’s attorney fees.

3. Absent evidence as outlined above, $500 shall be considered a reasonable amount, unless otherwise determined by the court.

4. Expert testimony is not required to prove reasonableness of attorney fees.

C. PRETRIAL CONFERENCE

1. The Court, on its own motion or on the request of a party, may order an initial pretrial conference not lat­er than 45 days from service of summons on any case.

2. The purpose of the pretrial conference shall be to achieve an amicable settlement of the controversy and, in the event settlement is not possible, to expedite trial of the action. At the time of the pretrial conference, counsel shall be prepared to:

a. Narrow the legal issues in contro­versy;

b. Admit to facts not in dispute;

c. Stipulate to the authenticity of docu­ments and other exhibits

to be introduced at trial;

d. Exchange medical re­ports, psycho­logi­cal reports and hospital

records;

e. Exchange reports of expert wit­nesses including reports on

asset evaluations ex­pected to be called at trial;

f. Give the names of all wit­nesses whom they intend to call

and state the gener­al nature of their testimony.

3. The parties and counsel shall be pres­ent at the pretrial unless a written Motion to Excuse Attendance has been filed and granted prior to the pretrial confer­ence. Parties may participate fully in the pretrial conference.

4. Failure of the parties or counsel to ap­pear, cooper­ate, or to be prepared to negotiate may result in sanctions as appropriate.

5. Following the pretrial conference the Court may issue a pretrial order requiring the Defendant and Plain­tiff to file certain information with the Court.

6. The Court may require counsel, by written order, to submit a joint pretrial statement to the Court not later than ten days prior to scheduled final hearing.

D. MOTIONS FOR CONTINUANCE

Once a case is assigned for a hearing or trial, it may be continued only by leave granted by the Court for good cause shown and upon written request fourteen (14) days in advance. Consent of counsel and/or the parties does not constitute good cause.

No motion for continuance shall be considered unless the moving party states that opposing counsel consents to the continuance or the reason that no consent has been received. The reason for the continuance and the number of previous continuances must be stated.

E. EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

All hearings will be recorded electronically unless counsel requests a court reporter ten (10) days prior to the hearing date.

F. IN CAMERA INTERVIEWS

All interviews with children shall be conducted in camera in accordance with R.C. 3109.04. The court may permit counsel and the Guardian Ad Litem to be present.

The transcript of the interview shall be sealed and preserved for appellate review and neither party shall be permitted to obtain a copy.

G. PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATIONS

1. If a motion for a psychological evaluation is made, the court will allocate the costs of the evaluation at the time of appointing an evaluator.

2. If either party fails to pay his/her share of the costs, (s)he may be found in contempt and be subject to sanctions, including the dismissal of the motion for allocation of parental rights.

3. The psychologist’s report shall be made available to the attorneys and the Guardian Ad Litem at the Court. It is not to be copied or released to the parties.

RULE 6.04

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS

A. RESTRAINING ORDERS

The person to be restrained must be a party to the action.

B. POST DECREE RESTRAINING ORDERS

Post decree restraining orders may be granted only if a motion is pending and the assets or activities to be restrained are directly related to the pending motion.

C. DISSOLVING ORDER

A party against whom an ex parte restraining order has been granted may file a motion, supported by an affidavit, requesting that such order be dissolved. A motion to dissolve an ex parte restraining order shall be set for hearing, as if it were a motion for temporary relief under the Local Rules, and in compliance with Rule 53 and Rule 75 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure.

RULE 6.05

MOTIONS FOR TEMPORARY ALLOCATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND TEMPORARY SUPPORT

A. COHABITATION OF THE PARTIES

In cases where the parties continue to reside together at the time of a hearing on a motion for temporary allocation of parental rights and responsibilities or temporary support, the matter shall be treated as a motion to determine and fix the payment of specific ongoing expenses, and no temporary allocation of parental rights and responsibilities or support order shall generally issue so long as the parties continue to reside together.

B. TEMPORARY SUPPORT ORDERS

1. All persons seeking child support should apply to the Wood County Child Support Enforcement Agency for Title IV-D case services not later than the date of the hearing. No support order shall issue until the application has been received by the Wood County Child Support Enforcement Agency.

2. A temporary support order shall generally be a Magistrate’s Order pursuant to Civil Rule 53.

3. Either party may file a motion to modify a temporary support order based on a substantial change in circumstances of either party or the child since the date of the prior order.

4. All consent temporary support orders shall be approved by the Magistrate before the hearing is terminated.

RULE 6.06

MOTION FOR EXCLUSIVE USE OF PREMISES


A. CONTENTS OF MOTION

A motion for the exclusive use of the marital premises shall specifically state the factual basis for the motion and shall be supported by an affidavit of the moving party supporting such facts.

B. DISPOSITION

A motion for the exclusive use of the marital premises generally is not granted except in cases involving domestic violence as per Rule 6.07.


RULE 6.07

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND STALKING ACTIONS

An action for a civil protection order under either the civil Domestic Violence statute, R.C. 3113.31, et seq., or the Civil Stalking Protection Order statute, R.C. 2903.214, shall be initiated by filing a Petition with the Clerk of Courts who shall assign such case a separate domestic violence or stalking number. If the Petitioner and Respondent are parties to a pending or prior domestic relations action or other domestic violence stalking action, the case shall be assigned to the Courtroom assigned any such pending or prior matter (See Local Rule 4.02).

Unless otherwise directed by the Judge, ex parte hearings seeking a civil protection order shall be heard by a Magistrate and shall be heard the same day as the petition is filed, so long as the petition is filed by 4:00 p.m.

RULE 6.08

REOPENING THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASE

MOTION FOR MODIFICATION OF PRIOR ORDERS.

A. All motions to modify a prior order, either contested or by consent of all parties, must state:

1. The date of the prior order;

2. The exact language of the prior order sought to be modi­fied;

3. Complete and accurate statement of the reasons or basis for

change;

4. The specific modification requested;

5. The name and addresses of the plain­tiff and defendant;

6. The name, addresses and dates of birth of the children in­volved;

7. Any pertinent financial information, in­cluding court prescribed financial disclosure schedules for modification.

8. If the parties have previously agreed to a shared parenting plan, a statement that they have participated in mediation but were unable to reach an agreement.

B. Any motion tendered for filing that does not comply with this rule shall not be accepted for filing by the Clerk and shall be returned immediately to the tendering party. If accepted for filing, it shall be dismissed.

C. All such contested motions shall be served according to Civil Rule 4 and Civil Rule 75.

D. The court may require the parties attend the parenting seminar in Motions regarding minor children

RULE 6.09

MOTION FOR EMERGENCY ORDER

A. All emergency orders shall comply with Local Rule 6.08, and shall be accompanied by an affidavit

C. Upon initial screening, if the court finds that immediate intervention is necessary, the Court may issue an emergency order and will set the matter for a hearing as expeditiously as possible, with notice to go to the parties.

D. If the court finds that no emergency exists, the matter will proceed according to the Local Rules.

RULE 6.10

MOTION TO SHOW CAUSE WHY A PARTY SHOULD NOT BE HELD IN CONTEMPT OF A PRIOR COURT ORDER

A. CONTENT OF MOTION

Any motion to show cause shall:

1. Comply with Local Rule 6.08; and

2. State the facts constituting non-compliance; and

3. Be supported by affidavit.

B. Motions to show cause pertaining to non-payment of child or spousal support shall also state:

1. The date of the last order of support;

2. The amount of said order;

3. The total elapsed time from the date of the order to the date of filing of the motion;

4. The amount which should have been paid and the amount which was actually paid during the period; and

5. The amount of arrearage supported by an attached CSEA record.

6. For support orders after July 1, 1992 the amount of interest being requested and the calculations relied upon to support the claim.

C. For purposes of computing arrearage, the effective date of any order for support shall be the date the order was journalized unless the order specifically designates some other effective date. At the hearing, the movant shall be prepared to update the arrearage computation to the date of hearing.

D. A show cause motion for unpaid medical bills shall contain:

1. An “Explanation of Medical Bills” completed and attached to the motion;

2. An Affidavit alleging as applicable:

a. Movant has sent copies of the medical bills to the ex-spouse and the dates sent.

b. Movant has sent copies of the bills to the ex-spouse and the dates sent and dates returned;

c. Movant has sent bills to ex-spouse and ex-spouse has not paid or acknowledged receipt of the bills

d. Movant has sent copies of the bills to the ex-spouse and the ex-spouse has refused payment; or

e. Any other pertinent information

3. Do not file copies of the medical bills with the motion. File the affidavit and completed “Explanation of Medical Bills.” See appendix K for proper form.

4. Attorneys or moving parties shall have a copy of all bills, proof of insurance paid and proof of the movant’s payment for opposing party and the Court at a hearing or mail a copy to opposing counsel in advance.

5. The moving party must be able to identify bills, dates of service, purpose for treatment, total bill, amounts paid by insurance, amount paid by movant, and amount sought from the opposing party.

6. All motions to compel the payment of medical bills shall be filed within twenty-four (24) months of the initial billing to the moving party.

E. Actions for contempt shall be considered actions requiring immediate attention. See Local Rule 4.02(E).

RULE 6.11

FINAL JUDGMENT ENTRIES AND OTHER ENTRIES INVOLVING SUPPORT

A. When the final judgment entry is submitted to the Court, there shall be an original plus six copies.

B. The party required to draft a final judgment entry involving a final divorce, dissolution of marriage, legal separation, child support, spousal support, domestic violence, or modification of support shall include the following information in the entry/decree:

1. A specific date on which support shall commence.

2. The amount of support including administrative fee, which is to be calculated on a monthly basis, with a copy of the child support worksheet attached (any deviations from the statutory child support schedules must be supported by written findings of fact supporting the conclusion that the amount arrived at from the work sheets would be unjust or inappropriate and would not be in the best interest of the child as required by statute. Any order which provides for future automatic adjustments shall be effected by the submission of an appropriate order at the time of change.

3. The name, current residence address, mailing address, if different, and birth date of the Obligor and Obligee, and any children. The social security numbers of parties shall not be included on any filing, unless otherwise directed by statute.

4. The total amount of arrearage, if any, determined by the Court and the payment thereon as determined by the Court.

5. The standard additional order language that the Court may specify from time to time;

6. A separate order addressing health care insurance coverage for any minor children of the parties in compliance with statute in a form as may from time to time be prescribed by the Court.

7. A provision assigning the tax dependency exemption.

C. All paragraphs dealing with child and/or spousal support shall be underlined or carry a descriptive heading.

D. If the parties have not entered into a shared parenting agreement, then the reason that the shared parenting agreement is not in the best interest of the child(ren).

E. The current parenting time schedule, if referenced on the final decree, shall be attached to the final entry.

F. The separation agreement approved by the Court and incorporated into the decree of dissolution shall be attached to the final decree of dissolution.

G. If there is to be a separate QDRO/DOPO, language shall be included in the separation agreement or the judgment entry outlining the recipient’s rights in the retirement benefits and stating who is responsible to prepare and pay the cost of the QDRO/DPO.

H. The manner of payment of spousal support shall be set forth.

I.. All entries shall conform to Local Rule 4.05.

RULE 6.12

GUARDIANS AD LITEM

A. The Court in appropriate cases may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem for minor children.

A Guardian Ad Litem shall be a person particularly experienced or trained in dealing with children, their interests and concerns. The Court may choose a Court Appointed Special Advocate to act as Guardian Ad Litem in appropriate circumstances. Any attorney who is appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem, shall also serve as attorney for the child(ren).

B. If a Guardian Ad Litem is requested by either party in a contested matter before the Court, the Court will order either party or both to deposit funds with the Clerk for the Guardian Ad Litem as specified in the entry prior to the commencement of the Guardian Ad Litem’s investigation. The Court may require additional deposits as needed. If payment is not made as ordered, the non-paying party may be subject to sanctions, including dismissal of his/her motion for allocation of parental rights.

C. If a Guardian Ad Litem is requested by an indigent party who has filed a proper poverty affidavit, the Guardian Ad Litem fee may be assessed as court costs. In such case, if both parties are indigent and have filed proper poverty affidavits, the Guardian Ad Litem position shall be filled if possible by an attorney on a pro bono basis or by a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

D. In order to ensure the compensation for the services of the Guardian Ad Litem, the Court shall have the discretion to issue a lump sum judgment as child support non-dischargeable in bankruptcy against the party or parties in the action for the fees due at the time of the final adjudication.

E. The Guardian appointed shall render a written report by the date designated by the Court. Failure to timely file the written report may result in the disqualification of the guardian or the withholding of all or partial payment for services. The written report shall be confidential and the attorneys shall have the opportunity to review it. It generally shall not be made a part of the public record and generally shall not be shared with the parties. It shall be sealed and only available by order of the court.

RULE 6.13

MAGISTRATES IN DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASES

A. A magistrate may be assigned to hear all divorce, dissolution, legal separation, annulment, domestic violence, stalking and CPO cases.

B. The magistrate may require counsel to prepare the judgment entry. The judgment entry shall reflect any decision of the magistrate. The counsel who was directed to prepare the judgment entry shall submit the entry to opposing counsel within ten (10) days after the filing of any decision. Within seven (7) days after receiving the entry, opposing counsel shall

1. Approve it and submit it signed to the court or

2. Reject it and send it to the court unsigned with an explanation as to why it was rejected with a copy sent to preparing counsel.

Failure to provide a judgment entry in a timely fashion may result in dismissal.

C. At the time of hearing with the magistrate, the parties may waive the time period to file objections to the decision or order of the magistrate and consent to its immediate adoption by the Court. This shall be in writing and signed as an acknowledgment by the parties.

D. Parties may object to the magistrate’s decision or order pursuant to Civ. R. 53(E)(3) or 53(C)(3)(b). Said objections shall be filed within the time limits established in Cv. R. 53, and may be supplemented within fourteen (14) days of the filing of a transcript.

RULE 6.14

TRANSCRIPTS FOR DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASES

A. If objections to the Magistrate's Decision are based in whole or in part on the factual findings of the Magistrate, then the objections must be supported by a transcript or parts thereof.

B. A request for an extension of time to supplement the objections must be filed within the original 14 day period for filing objections to the Magistrate's Decision. Such motion shall include the name of the court reporter responsible for preparing the transcript, a request for a transcript, and an approximate date by which the transcript will be available.

C. Since preparation of a transcript may cause delay in the final disposition of a case, the Judge, in granting an extension of time, may make such temporary orders as are deemed necessary and just. This includes requiring the party requesting the extension to post bond to cover any damages the opposing party may suffer because of the delay or ordering compliance with the Magistrate's Decision pending disposition of the objections.

D. A deposit by the objecting party shall be submitted to the Court Reporter within three (3) days of the filing of the request for transcript. The deposit amount will be an estimate of charges determined by the Court Reporter and upon completion of the transcript, if the estimate is not correct, a refund or additional charge will be made. If there is an additional charge, the party requesting the transcript will be notified by the Court Reporter, and shall submit the balance of the transcript charges within three (3) days of notification. A transcript of the proceedings will not be prepared or filed by the Court Reporter in the absence of the advance deposit fee, and any balance due. Failure to comply with these rules is a basis for dismissal of the objection.

E. If an objection by a party is to a factual finding of the Magistrate, the objection must make specific reference to any pages in the transcript which support the objection.

RULE 6.15

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION

A. MEDIATION

1. Mediation is encouraged prior to filing a complaint or motion in Court or shortly thereafter.

2. Mediation shall be conducted under the general provisions of R.C. 3109.052.

a. If the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities is an issue, the Court may order both parties to participate in mediation for a period of time not to exceed forty-five (45) days after referral unless extended by the Court.

b. If the Court directs the parties to mediation, then all parties are required to participate in mediation on a good faith basis and they shall contact the mediator within five (5) days.

c. The parties may agree to mediate issues other than the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities and child-related matters.

d. The costs of mediation shall be the initial subject of mediation, and shall be paid by the parties pursuant to their fee agreement with the mediator unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

3. Mediators shall be accredited by the Court. Parties ordered to attempt mediation will be provided with a list of mediators who have been accredited by the Court, setting forth the qualifications and experience of each accredited mediator. If the parties cannot agree on a mediator one will be selected by the Court.

Mediators may be accredited by the Court upon submission of evidence of:

a. Completion of a mini­mum of 40 hours of specialized divorce mediation training;
b. Adherence to appropri­ate ethical stan­dards;
c. Adequate education and expe­ri­ence, including licensure if appropriate;

d. Eligibility for member­ship in profes­sional asso­cia­tio­ns;

e. Maintenance of appropriate liability insurance;

f. A commitment to continuing education; and

g. An awar­eness of fac­tors af­fecting the pro­priety of mediation in particular cases.

B. CONCILIATION

Upon motion by either party, the court will refer the matter to the Judge for conciliation proceedings. All matters shall be stayed during the conciliation process.

RULE 6.16

SHARED PARENTING

If the parties are filing for shared parenting pursuant to R.C. 3109.04(G) then the shared parenting plan submitted shall be filed as directed by the statute and shall include all relevant provisions per R.C. 3109.04(G).

While recognizing that it may not always be appropriate or in the best interest of children, in order to support parental rights and responsibilities, the Court generally favors shared parenting. All parties with minor children shall be advised of their right to request shared parenting. If shared parenting is not submitted, recommended or incorporated in the Court’s order, a statement shall be submitted to the Court setting forth the specific facts and circumstances relating to the absence of shared parenting.

RULE 6.17

STANDARD PARENTING TIME SCHEDULE

The Court from time to time will publish its local parenting time schedule and long distance parenting time schedule. If the schedule is referenced in an Order, it must be attached to the order. See appendices M and N.