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, ad¬dres¬ses, 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. The Uniform Ohio Domestic Relations adopted by the Supreme Court of Ohio may be used in lieu of schedules A and B.
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 unrepre¬sented peti¬tion¬er 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 fil¬ing 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 the plaintiff 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 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.
1. The hearing on the Motion for Temporary Relief shall be sche¬duled 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 par¬ty 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 coun¬ter 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 lat¬er 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 contro¬versy;
b. Admit to facts not in dispute;
c. Stipulate to the authenticity of docu¬ments and other exhibits to be introduced at trial;
d. Exchange medical re¬ports, psycho¬logi¬cal reports and hospital
e. Exchange reports of expert wit¬nesses including reports on
asset evaluations ex¬pected to be called at trial;
f. Give the names of all wit¬nesses whom they intend to call
and state the gener¬al nature of their testimony.
3. The parties and counsel shall be pres¬ent 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 ap¬pear, cooper¬ate, 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 Plain¬tiff 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.
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.
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.
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 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 3:00 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 modi¬fied;
3. Complete and accurate statement of the reasons or basis for change;
4. The specific modification requested;
5. The name and addresses of the plain¬tiff and defendant;
6. The name, addresses and dates of birth of the children in¬volved;
7. Any pertinent financial information, in¬cluding 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 may 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
B. 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.
C. If the court finds that no emergency exists, the matter will proceed according to the Local Rules.
Motion to Show Cause Whay a Party Should Not be Held in Contempt of a Prior 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.
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
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.
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 and who is qualified under Sup.R. 48. 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.
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
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 shall become an exhibit if the case proceeds to trial.
F. The Guardian Ad Litem's services shall be terminated upon the conclusion of the final hearing of the divorce or upon motion of both parties.
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 14 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 10 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.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
The Court may, at any time, refer any case to mediation in accordance with these rules.
(B) CASE SELECTION
(1) Referral Process - The Court, on its own motion, on a party's request, or by agreement of the parties may refer disputed issues to mediation in whole or in part. Promptly after receiving referral, the Court Mediator shall send all parties a "Mediation Notice" which shall, at a minimum, indicate the date, time, place of the mediation, and the contact information of the Mediator. All parties and counsel shall advise the assigned judge or magistrate of any domestic violence allegations known to them to exist or to have existed in the past, or which become known to them following entry of the order but before conclusion of all mediation proceedings, which allegations involve any two or more persons whose attendance is required by the referral order.
(2) Eligibility of Cases - The Court Mediator will determine the eligibility and appropriateness of each referral prior to the commencement of the mediation process and may decline any referral(s) deemed inappropriate.
(3) Mediator Selection and Assignment - Specific appointments may be made by the Court taking into consideration the qualification, skills, expertise, and caseload of the mediator in addition to the type, complexity and requirements of the case.
In accordance of all applicable provisions of this rule, if a case is deemed appropriate by the Court Mediator, mediation will be scheduled. A mediator may meet with the parties individually prior to bringing the parties together for any reason including, but not limited to further screening. A mediator may schedule multiple mediation sessions, if necessary and mutually acceptable for the resolution of the issues in part or in their entirety.
(1) The Court shall utilize procedures for all cases that will:
• Ensure that parties are allowed to participate in mediation, and if the parties wish, that their attorneys and other individuals they designate are allowed to accompany them and participate in mediation.
• Screen for domestic violence both before and during mediation.
• Encourage appropriate referrals to legal counsel and other support services for all parties, including victims of and suspected victims of domestic violence.
• Prohibit the use of mediation in any of the following:
o As an alternative to the prosecution or adjudication of domestic violence;
o In determining whether to grant, modify or terminate a protection order;
o In determining the terms and conditions of a protection order; and
o In determining the penalty for violation of a protection order.
Nothing in this division of this rule shall prohibit the use of mediation in a subsequent divorce or custody case even though that case may result in the termination of the provisions of a protective order.
(2) Mediation of allocation of parental rights and responsibilities or the care of, or visitation with, minor children or delinquency or status offense cases shall abide by all provisions set forth in (C)(1) of this rule. Mediation may then proceed, when violence or fear of violence is alleged, suspected, or present, only if the mediator has specialized training set forth in "Qualifications" section (D) of this rule and all of the following conditions are satisfied:
• The person who is or may be the victim of domestic violence is fully informed, both orally and in writing, about the mediation process, his or her right to decline participation in the mediation process, and his or her option to have a support person present at mediation sessions.
• The parties have the capacity to mediate without fear of coercion or control.
• Appropriate procedures are in place to provide for the safety of the person who is or may be the victim of domestic violence and all other persons present at the mediation.
• Procedures are in place for the Court Mediator to terminate mediation if he or she believes there is continued threat of domestic violence or coercion between the parties.
• Procedures are in place for issuing written findings of fact, as required by R.C. 3109.052, to refer certain cases involving domestic violence to mediation.
(3) Party/Non-Party Participation
• Parties who are ordered into mediation shall attend scheduled mediation sessions. The Court may order parties to return to mediation at any time.
• A judge, magistrate and/or court mediator may require the attendance of the parties' attorneys at the mediation sessions if the court mediator deems it necessary and appropriate.
• If counsel of any party to the mediation becomes aware of the identity of a person or entity whose consent is required to resolve the dispute, but has not yet been joined as a party in the pleadings, they shall promptly inform the court mediator as well as the assigned judge or magistrate.
• If the opposing parties to any case are 1) related by blood, adoption, or marriage: 2) have resided in a common residence, or 3) have known or alleged domestic violence at any time prior to or during the mediation, then the parties and their counsel have a duty to disclose such information to the Court Mediator and have duty to participate in any screening required by the Court.
• By participating in mediation a nonparty participant, as defined by R.C. 2710.01(D), agrees to be bound by this rule and submits to the court's jurisdiction to the extent necessary for enforcement of this rule. Any nonparty participant shall have the rights and duties under this rule attributed to parties except as provided by R.C. 2710.03(B)(3) and 2710.04(A)(2).
(4) Confidentiality/Privilege - All mediation communications related to or made during the mediation process are subject to and governed by the "Uniform Mediation Act" (UMA) R.C. 2710.01 to 2710.10, R.C. 3109.052, the Rules of Evidence and any other pertinent judicial rules.
(5) Mediator Conflicts of Interest - In accordance with R.C. 2710.08(A) and (B), the Court Mediator assigned by the Court to conduct a mediation shall disclose to the mediation parties, counsel, if applicable, and any nonparty participants any known possible conflicts that may affect the Court Mediator's impartiality as soon as such conflict(s) become known to the Court Mediator. If counsel or a mediation party requests that the Court Mediator withdraw because of the facts so disclosed, the assigned Court Mediator should withdraw and request that the assigned Judge or Magistrate appoint another Court Mediator.
(6) Termination - If the Court Mediator determines that further mediation efforts would be of no benefit to the parties, he or she shall inform all interested parties and the Court that the mediation is terminated.
(7) Stay of Proceedings - All remaining court orders shall continue in effect. No order is stayed or suspended during the mediation process except by written court order. Mediation shall not stay discovery or the Court's consideration of pending motions, which may continue through the mediation process in accordance with applicable rules, unless agreed upon by the parties and approved by the judge or magistrate assigned to the case.
(8) Continuances - It is the policy of this Court to determine matters in a timely manner. Continuances of scheduled mediations shall be granted only for good cause shown.
(9) Mediator Report - At the conclusion of the mediation and in compliance with R.C. 2710.06, the Court Mediator shall prepare and file a mediation report.
To be a court approved mediator the following qualifications apply:
(1) General Qualifications and Training - A mediator employed by the court or to whom the court makes referrals for mediation of allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, the care of, or visitation with, minor children, abuse, neglect and dependency, or juvenile perpetrated violence cases shall satisfy all of the following:
a. Possess a bachelor's degree, or equivalent education or experience as is satisfactory to the division, and at least two years of professional experience with families. "Professional experience with families" includes mediation, counseling, casework, legal representation in family law matters, or such other equivalent experience satisfactory to the division.
b. Complete at least twelve hours of basic mediation training or equivalent experience as a mediator that is satisfactory to the division.
c. After completing the above training, complete at least forty hours of specialized family training or divorce mediation training which has been approved by the Dispute Resolution Section of the Supreme Court.
(2) Specific Qualifications and Training: Domestic Abuse - A mediator employed by the court or to whom the court makes referrals for mediation of any case shall complete at least fourteen hours of specialized training in domestic abuse and mediation through a training program approved by the Ohio Supreme Court Dispute Resolution Section. A mediator who has not completed this specialized training may mediate these cases only if he/she co-mediates with a mediator who has completed the specialized training.
(E) Fees and Costs - All costs shall be determined by the Court, if applicable. The Court may require appropriate deposits to cover the costs prior to mediation.
(F) Sanctions - If any individual ordered by the Court to attend mediation fails to attend mediation without good cause, the Court may impose sanctions which may include, but are not limited to, the award of attorney's fees and other costs, contempt or other appropriate sanctions at the discretion of the assigned Judge or Magistrate.
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.
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.