Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are general answers to questions. You should seek the advice of an attorney of your choice for specific, more detailed answers.

GENERAL INFORMATION

What types of cases are handled by the Domestic Relations Court?

The Domestic Relations Court hears complaints for divorce, petitions for dissolution of marriage, complaints for legal separations, complaints for annulments, petitions for civil domestic violence protection orders and petitions for dating violence civil protection orders.

The Domestic Relations Court also hears motions from divorced parties to modify a child support order, modify a parenting time order, modify a child custody order, modify a spousal support order, motions for contempt and motions from married parties on child support.

Where is the court?

The court is located on the second floor of the Dayton-Montgomery County Courts Building, 301 W. Third Street, Dayton, Ohio 45422 in downtown Dayton. For directions to the court, click here Directions.

How can I find out my hearing date?

All Court notices are sent out by regular mail from the Clerk of Court’s Office. If you are unsure of your hearing date, you may contact the Court’s Assignment Office at (937) 225-4087. The Court will be able to look up the case using the case number. The Court may also be able to locate a case by using the parties’ last names at the time of final divorce or civil protection order, and the dates of birth of the parties.

How much does it cost to file for a divorce?

The Clerk of Courts collects all fees and costs for Domestic Relations Cases. The specific cost are outlined in the following link.

https://www.mcclerkofcourts.org/legal-division/domestic-relations-court/filing-costs-and-fees/

How do I check on paperwork that I have submitted?

For questions for the Compliance Office please call: (937)225-4782 and follow the prompts. Please leave a message for your particular officer.

Due to current COVID-19 protocols: The Compliance Officers are unavailable to provide face-to-face assistance at this time. For more information, please visit our website: mcohio.org/dr.

FIND A LAWYER

Who do I contact for help in choosing an attorney?

The Dayton Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service may be able to assist you in obtaining an attorney. For additional information, call their office at (937) 222-6102.

I do not have money for a lawyer. Can the Court appoint a lawyer for me?

You may call the Legal Aid Society of Dayton at (888) 534-1432, to see if you qualify for free legal representation.

You may call the Volunteers Lawyers Project at (937) 461-3857, to see if you qualify for free legal representation.

You may call the University of Dayton Law Clinic at (937) 229-3817, to see if you qualify for free legal representation.

If you are ordered to appear in court on a motion to show cause (contempt) filed by your spouse/ex-spouse, for which you could be sentenced to jail:

  • You may qualify for the services of the Public Defender. You may contact the Public Defenders Office at (937) 225-4652.
  • You may qualify for a court appointed attorney. You may contact the Assignment Office, CS Compliance Officer at (937) 225-6055.

REPRESENTING YOURSELF

May I represent myself?

Most people are more satisfied with their court experience and results if they get an attorney. You may represent yourself. The term "pro-se" means that a person is self-represented. However, if you choose to represent yourself, you are required to follow court procedures and the law.

If you choose to represent yourself, all documents may be submitted to the Compliance Office for review. There are drop-off bins located on the 2nd floor lobby of Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court. The Compliance Office will review your documents and contact you regarding your next step.

How do I get a divorce? Where do I come to file a divorce?

Most people find that the best way to get a divorce is to hire an attorney. A divorce is started when a legal pleading called "complaint for divorce" is filed with the Clerk of Courts, along with instructions for service and payment of the filing fee. A party must attend all the hearings required by the court and prepare all the necessary paperwork to complete the case.

For information regarding the Eleven Grounds for filing a divorce,click hereto view the Citizen's Guide. To determine what documents need to be filed with your divorce complaint,click hereto see what Forms Are Required.

If you do not have an attorney, you may submit your documents to the Compliance Office for review.

How to check on the status of paperwork filed?

  • You may access the Clerk of Courts public records by clicking this link. Public Records Online
  • You may contact the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts office in person at 41 N. Perry Street, LL, Room 9.
  • You may contact Montgomery County Clerk of Courts by phone by calling (937) 225-4562.

How can I file an annulment?

Most people feel the best way to get an annulment is to get an attorney. A religious annulment and a legal annulment are not the same. A legal annulment is a very limited statutory proceeding and has specific time limits. The procedure is similar to a divorce. You have to file a complaint for an annulment and there has to be a hearing. For information regarding the grounds for filing an annulment, and to see the Six Statutory Grounds For Annulment, view theCitizen's Guide. To determine what documents need to be filed with your annulment complaint, please visitWhat Forms Are Required.

I can't come to court on this date. Can I get a new date?

You can file a Motion for Continuance if you have good cause that prevents you from attending court. Please refer to Local Rule 4.20. Filing a Motion for Continuance does not mean that it will be granted. Continuances may be denied. The court will issue an order either granting your countinuance and setting a new date (OR) denying your continuance request. If the motion is denied the hearing will go forward as scheduled, even if you are not there. You will need to submit your motion and proposed entry of continuance to the court at least 3 business days prior to your hearing.

In compelling circ*mstances and with appropriate safeguards, the Court may permit “remote testimony” instead of personal appearance. A motion must be filed with the reasons preventing personal appearance. This motion must be filed at least 5 days prior to the scheduled hearing.

What can I do if I do not agree with the Judge's or Magistrate's Decision?

If you do not agree with the final decision of a Judge; you or the attorney of your choice can file a written notice of appeal with the Second District Court of Appeals within 30 days of the time-stamped date of the decision. If you file an appeal to a Judge's decision you will need a transcript to support your claim about the decision. These procedures have technical, procedural, and time requirements. It is important that you consult with an attorney concerning your legal rights.

If you do not agree with a Magistrate's Decision, you or the attorney of your choice may file objections to said decision within 14 days of the time-stamped date of the decision. If you file objections to a Magistrate’s decision you may need a transcript to support your claim about the decision.

How to establish a child support order? How to modify a child support order?

Motions to Modify Child or Spousal Support

(1) Any motion requesting a change of a child or spousal support order must state the reason for the change. The motion must state whether it is for an increase or decrease of support. All motions requesting modification shall be accompanied by an updated Affidavit of Financial Disclosure. The party seeking a modification shall provide, at hearing, documentation verifying his/her current earnings and his/her most recent federal tax return with W-2's, 1099's, and supporting schedules.

(2) The opposing party shall file a completed Affidavit of Financial Disclosure prior to the hearing.

(3) The moving party shall file an Application for Child Support Services pursuant to Mont. D.R. Rule 4.14(D) unless one is already on file.

For information on establishing a support order, please see https://www.mcohio.org/departments/child_support_enforcement_agency/services/establishing_a_child_support_order.php

OTHER SERVICES

How can I get a transcript of a hearing?

Contact the Court Reporter at (937) 225-4875 to request a transcript. Fee for preparation of transcript is $5.00 per page to be paid to the court reporter before the transcript is prepared.

What is the mandatory parenting class, and how do I sign up for it?

All parents who file for divorce or dissolution of marriage and have children under the age of 18 must complete the court's class entitled "Helping Children Succeed After Divorce" before their Final Decree of Divorce will be granted. Judges and Magistrates have the option of sending parties to this class on post-decree parenting issues.

For additional information or to sign up for the class, you may register on-line atwww.mcohio.org/dr. You may also call Parent Education Department at (937) 225-4092.

Can I settle my case without going to court?

Yes. The Court provides both settlement hearings and mediation services. For additional information , please call the Mediation Specialist at (937) 225-4539

CHILD SUPPORT

When one party does not follow the court order, how can I enforce my child support and health care order?

The way to bring any of these problems to the attention of the Court is to file a motion to show cause. You have three means to file a motion to show cause:

  • Seek the services of the attorney of your choice.
  • Contact the Montgomery County Support Enforcement Agency (SEA) at (937) 225-4600, to request their agency service pursuant to the terms of Application for Child Support Services that you signed.
  • File a motion to show cause on your own. The motion must refer to the specific court order that is being violated, and comply with Local Rule 4.42 in all aspects. An affidavit must be attached to the motion stating how and when the order was violated. After your motion is served on your former spouse, the motion will be set for hearing. You will be given a chance at the hearing to present your evidence to support your motion.

What do I have to do if I change employment?

If you are the obligor (the person who is ordered to pay support) you are required by law to notify the Montgomery County Support Enforcement Agency (937-225-4600) if you change employment. Also, if you are unemployed and have been placed under a seek work order, you must report any new employment immediately. Call the court's Compliance Office at (937) 225-4782.

If you are the Obligor or Obligee and are required to carry the health insurance, you need to contact the court's Compliance Office at (937) 225-4782.

I am not receiving my child support support check. Who do I call to find out the status of these payments?

All child support checks are issued through the Ohio Child Support Payment Central, P.O. Box 182372, Columbus, Ohio 43218-2372. You may call 1-800-860-2555 24-hours a day to see if a payment has been posted to your account. You will need to enter your social security number.

My spouse and/or ex-spouse and I are still getting along. We have agreed that we do not want the Child Support Enforcement Agency to handle our child support. Can we agree that the payments be made directly between the two of us?

No. Ohio law requires that all child support must be made through the child support system and that neither the court nor the parties can waive this requirement.

My ex-spouse is not letting me see the children. Do I have to continue to pay child support?

Yes. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 3109.05 (D), the court shall not authorize or permit the escrowing, impoundment, or withholding of any child support payment order under this section or any other section of the Revised Code because of a denial of or interference with a right of parenting time granted to a parent, or as a method of enforcing the specific provisions of any such order dealing with parenting time or visitation.

How can I receive temporary child support and/or spousal support?

Upon the filing of a divorce or legal separation action, the court may issue a temporary order pursuant to Civ. R. 75(N) which may contain orders of temporary custody, child support, parenting time, and spousal support or such other orders as the court deems appropriate.

CIVIL PROTECTION ORDER

How can I get a Civil Protection Order? Does it cost anything?

You may seek the services of an attorney.

You may also apply for a Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order (DVCPO) or a Dating Violence Civil Protection Order. You must come in person to the court and speak with the Domestic Violence Public Coordinator. The office is located in the lobby of 301 W. Third Street, Second Floor, Dayton, Ohio. Filing hours are: Monday-Friday from 8:30 - 11:30 a.m. or 1:15 - 3:30 p.m. The filing process is generally two hours long and you must attend a hearing the day you file. You must have the name, address and DOB (at minimum) of the party you wish to file against.

There is no cost to file for a protection order in the state of Ohio.

The other parent is withholding the child?

Contact the police department or sheriff’s department where you reside. You will need to show law enforcement a certified copy of your divorce or dissolution decree, which states you are the residential parent and legal custodian of the child(ren). They can go with you to the other parent's home while you secure the return of your child. If this does not work, you will need to get legal assistance immediately.

PARENTING TIME

How to modify a parenting time schedule?

Motions to Modify Parenting Time

Any motion requesting a modification of the parenting time schedule shall set forth requested changes, and the reasons for the changes. The motion shall be accompanied by an Information for Parenting Proceeding Affidavit. Failure to file an Information for Parenting Proceeding Affidavit may result in dismissal of the motion.

How do I change custody?

Motions To Reallocate Parental Rights And Responsibilities (Change Of Custody)

Any motion requesting a reallocation of parental rights and responsibilities shall set forth the name and date of birth of the child(ren) for whom the motion is being made. The motion shall further state the reason(s) for the modification. All motions seeking to reallocate parental rights and responsibilities shall be accompanied by an Affidavit of Financial Disclosure, an Information for Parenting Proceeding Affidavit and Application for Child Support Services (unless already on file).

Failure to file an Information for Parenting Proceeding Affidavit may result in dismissal of the motion. The motion to reallocate parental rights and responsibilities shall be set for prehearing. The pre-hearing will be conducted for the same purposes as outlined in Mont. D.R. Rule 4.19 and require the same preparation by counsel or self-represented party, e.g., disputed issues, discovery issues, appointment of guardian ad litem/psychologist, expected time needed for hearing.

PLEADINGS AND MOTIONS

How do I get a divorce? Where do I come to file a divorce?

Most people find that the best way to get a divorce is to hire an attorney. A divorce is started when a legal pleading called "complaint for divorce" is filed with the Clerk of Courts, along with instructions for service and payment of the filing fee. A divorce is not granted until the plaintiff (the person who files the complaint) has attended all of the hearings required by the court, and prepared all the necessary papers. At a minimum the person asking for the divorce will have to appear at a hearing and give testimony under oath or affirmation, bring a witness who will also testify, and prepare and bring all the necessary paperwork to complete the case.

For information regarding the Eleven Grounds for filing a divorce,click hereto view the Citizen's Guide. To determine what documents need to be filed with your divorce complaint,click hereto see what Forms Are Required.

If you are not using an attorney, you must submit your documents to the Compliance Office for review.

How do I get a legal separation? Where do I come to file a legal separation?

Most people find that the best way to get a legal separation is to hire an attorney. However, you may file a legal separation as a self-represented party. A legal separation is started when a legal pleading called "complaint for legal separation" is filed with the Clerk of Courts Office, along with “instructions for service” and payment of the filing fee. A hearing date is scheduled after the defendant has been served properly with all the legal pleadings filed. A Final Decree of Legal Separation is not granted until the plaintiff (the person who files the complaint) has attended all of the hearings required by the court, and prepared all the necessary papers. At a minimum the person asking for the legal separation will have to appear at a hearing and give testimony under oath or affirmation, bring a witness who will also testify, and prepare and bring all the necessary paperwork to complete the case.

For information regarding the Eleven Grounds for filing a legal separation,click hereto view the Citizen's Guide. To determine what documents need to be filed with your legal separation complaint,click hereto see what Forms Are Required.

If you are not using an attorney you must submit your documents to the Compliance Office for review.

How can I file an annulment?

Most people do not qualify for an annulment. Even if you have been married for a few weeks, you will probably have to file a divorce complaint or dissolution to end your marriage. A religious annulment and a legal annulment are not the same. A legal annulment is a very limited statutory proceeding and has specific time limits. The procedure is similar to a divorce. You have to file a complaint for an annulment and there has to be a hearing. For information regarding the grounds for filing an annulment, and to see the Six Statutory Grounds For Annulment, view theCitizen's Guide. To determine what documents need to be filed with your divorce complaint, please visitWhat Forms Are Required.

I can't come to court on this date, how do I get a new date?

You can file a Motion for continuance if you have good cause that prevents you from attending court. Please refer to Local Rule 4.20. Filing a Motion for Continuance does not mean that it will be granted. Continuances may be denied. You must follow-up with the court to see if the motion is granted. If the motion is denied the hearing will go forward as scheduled, even if you are not there. You will need to submit your motion and proposed entry of continuance to the court at least 3 business days prior to your hearing.

In compelling circ*mstances and with appropriate safeguards, the Court may permit “remote testimony” instead of personal appearance. A motion must be filed with the reasons preventing personal appearance. This motion must be filed well in advance of the hearing.

What can I do if I do not agree with the Magistrate's Decision?

If you do not agree with a Magistrate's Decision, you or the attorney of your choice may file objections to said decision within 14 days of the time-stamped date of the decision. If you file objections to a Magistrate's decision you may need a transcript to support your claim about the decision. For information regarding Objections,click here to view the Local Rules. To determine what documents need to be filed with your Objection, click here to see what Forms Are Required.

How do I establish a child support order?

There are several options in establishing a child support order in Montgomery County:

If the parties are divorced in Montgomery County; then either party, through the attorney of their choice or self-represented can file a Motion to Establish Child Support. Refer to Local Rules 4.09 (F), and 4.41 (A)(B). The motion must be served on the opposing party and scheduled for a hearing with a Magistrate.

If filing self-represented, refer to the Forms section of the Local Rules. If you are not using an attorney; then your document must be submitted to the DR Compliance Office for review.

You may also contact the Montgomery County Support Enforcement Agency at www.mchio.org/departments/child_support_enforcement_agency, on establishing a support order. If the parties were not divorced in Montgomery County then you must file in the Court that granted the original divorce.

How do I modify an existing child support order in Montgomery County:

If the parties are divorced in Montgomery County; then either party, through the attorney of their choice or self-represented can file a Motion to Modify Child Support. Refer to Local Rules 4.09 (F), and 4.41 (A)(B) for the proper procedure and forms required. The motion must be served on the opposing party and scheduled for a hearing with a Magistrate.

If filing self-represented; refer to the Forms section of the Local Rules. If you are not using an attorney; then your document must be submitted to the DR Compliance Office for review.

How can I receive temporary child support/spousal support?

Either party in a pending divorce or legal separation case can indicate on their Affidavit of Financial Disclosure that he or she is requesting an order of temporary child and/or spousal support.

Or, either party can file a motion requesting the issuance of a temporary child and/or spousal support order. Please refer to Local Rule 4.14.

How can I receive an interim order for attorney fees?

Either party in a pending divorce or legal separation action may file a motion requesting Interim Attorney fees. Please refer to Local Rule 4.14.

How to modify a parenting time schedule?

The parties must be divorced in Montgomery County in order to modify a parenting time schedule. In order to modify a parenting time schedule; there must be a motion filed with the Court. The motion must be set for hearing and served on the opposing party.

You may hire the attorney or your choice to file said motion or file self-represented. Refer to Local Rules 4.09 (H) and 4.41 (D) for the required forms and content of said motion.

If filing self-represented; refer to the Forms section of the Local Rules. If you are not using an attorney; then your document must be submitted to the DR Compliance Office for review.

How to change custody?

The parties must be divorced in Montgomery County in order to modify parental rights and responsibilities of a child or children. In order to reallocate parental rights and responsibilities of a child or children in Montgomery County; there must be a motion filed with the Court. The motion must be set for hearing and served on the opposing party.

You may hire the attorney or your choice to file said motion or file self-represented. Refer to Local Rules 4.09 (G) and 4.41 (C) for the required forms and content of said motion.

If filing self-represented; refer to the Forms section of the Local Rules. If you are not using an attorney; then your document must be submitted to the DR Compliance Office for review.

Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court (2024)
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