Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

56 County Teams Participate in Domestic Relations Summit Regional Meeting

Image of four men engaged in a discussion

Representatives from Marion County participate in a Caseflow Management exercise at the Nov. 6 regional meeting held in Columbus.

Image of four men engaged in a discussion

Representatives from Marion County participate in a Caseflow Management exercise at the Nov. 6 regional meeting held in Columbus.

With a goal of minimizing conflict for Ohio children and families, 56 county teams of domestic relations court judges and their justice system partners participated in four regional conferences this week and last in preparation for a statewide summit.

Teams from around Ohio have been meeting throughout the year to assess their case management systems, examine resources, and share promising practices leading up to the statewide Domestic Relations Summit next year.

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor asked domestic relations judges to lead a delegation of four additional key leaders from their communities who have the vision and ability to affect real change in the lives of children and families in transition. Community justice system partners may include: a member of the bar, guardian ad litem or custody evaluator, child support enforcement agency representative, victim service provider, and court and/or clerk staff.

To assess the current state of their court, using a facilitator provided by the Supreme Court, teams will complete an assessment of their local case management practices by identifying tasks that each party performs to advance a case through the entire caseflow process, according to Stephanie Graubner Nelson, policy and research counsel in the Supreme Court’s Children, Families, and the Courts Section. Teams will analyze the case management system for steps that can be streamlined, combined, or reorganized. Then, teams will assess their resources to ensure their optimal use. Finally, Nelson said, teams will identify challenges and solutions.

The summit – April 24-25, 2014 in Columbus – will shine a light on Ohio’s domestic relations courts, which have jurisdiction over all proceedings involving divorce or dissolution of marriages, annulment, legal separation, spousal support, and allocation of parental rights and responsibilities for the care of children.

Modeled after the National Summit on Children held in 2009, the idea for the summit came about after the success of the Supreme Court’s Beyond the Numbers project, which primarily focused on improving court processes for the benefit of children and families.

Following the Cincinnati workshop Judge Steve L. Hurley said: “As the Domestic Relations Court Judge for Greene County I welcome the opportunity to examine not only the practices we use in our court, but, even more importantly, I look forward to learning new practices and procedures that have been implemented in other parts of the state that will help us. The goal I have is to improve the quality and delivery of the services we provide to the citizens of Greene County.”

Regional meetings were also held in Akron, Columbus, and Toledo.

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