RULE 6 is directed toward Domestic Relations Court and is represented below.
For other rules that may apply, go to Resources,
COMMENCING THE DOMESTIC RELATIONS CASE
A. FILING THE COMPLAINT IN DIVORCE, LEGAL SEPARATION, AND PETITION IN
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
MOTIONS FOR TEMPORARY ALLOCATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
MOTION TO SHOW CAUSE WHY A PARTY SHOULD NOT BE HELD IN CONTEMPT OF A PRIOR COURT
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
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
b. Movant has sent copies of the bills to the ex-spouse and the dates sent and
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).
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
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
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
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.
GUARDIANS AD LITEM
A. The Court in appropriate cases may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem for minor
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.
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.
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
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.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
1. Mediation is encouraged prior to filing a complaint or motion in Court or
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
Mediators may be accredited by the Court upon submission of evidence of:
a. Completion of a minimum of 40 hours of specialized divorce mediation
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
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
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.
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.