The Ohio Supreme Court has adopted 23 standardized forms designed to increase access to justice in family-law related proceedings in domestic relations and juvenile courts.
Ohio State Bar Association member Henry County Family Court Judge Denise Herman McColley, who chaired the workgroup to the Advisory Committee on Children, Families, and the Courts, said local courts are looking forward to using the forms that concern divorces, dissolutions, motions for change in the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (custody and visitation) and child support, and parenting plans.
According to Stephanie Nelson, policy and research counsel in the Children, Families, and the Courts Section, the standardized forms will assist by promoting efficiencies and fostering uniformity in domestic relations and juvenile courts because some proceedings are similar in both courts. Additionally, attorneys practicing in multiple jurisdictions will benefit from consistent standards.
Based on a public comment period, the Supreme Court adopted a Counterclaim Form and divided a proposed Parenting Plan Form into two forms: one for Parenting Plans and one for Shared Parenting Plans.
Key information, relevant instructions, and guidance have been embedded in the forms using plain English as much as possible.
Effective July 1, the forms will be posted on the Supreme Court’s website in a format to be completed online or printed out for completion by hand.
The 23 forms adopted by the Supreme Court follow five other domestic relations forms adopted in 2010. They too must be accepted by clerk’s offices, but courts can still use their own forms.