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Jan. 19, 2010
Supreme Court Seeks Public Comment on Uniform Domestic Relations Forms

The Supreme Court of Ohio will accept public comment until Feb. 16 on new proposed uniform domestic relations forms.

The forms were developed by a subcommittee of the Advisory Committee on Children, Families, and the Courts, composed of five domestic relations judges, a magistrate, and five family law attorneys. There currently are no standard forms for Ohio domestic relations courts.

“There are 88 counties in Ohio, and approximately 88 different sets of court forms to be filed in divorce and dissolution cases,” said Columbus attorney Heather G. Sowald, subcommittee co-chair.

“Attorneys frequently practice in more than one county; more people are handling their own legal matters; and more attorneys are performing pro bono work,” she said. “All of these factors support the need for domestic relations forms to be consistent from county-to-county.”

Licking County Domestic Relations Court Judge Craig R. Baldwin, who serves as the other subcommittee co-chair, said the goals in this process “were to improve accessibility to the courts and to assist local courts in providing forms online.” The subcommittee will continue working on developing additional forms.

The forms will be available on the Supreme Court’s Web site. All domestic relations courts in Ohio would accept the forms, as well as their own local forms, Judge Baldwin said.

Judge Baldwin also noted that the forms provide the courts with information such as income and expenses, assets and debts, and health insurance coverage, which domestic relations judges often need to make decisions in these types of cases.

View the complete language of the proposed forms. Comments on the proposed forms should be submitted in writing to: John VanNorman, Policy and Research Counsel, Supreme Court of Ohio, 65 S. Front St., Seventh Floor, Columbus, OH 43215, or john.vannorman@sc.ohio.gov.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.