The Highland County Domestic Relations Division handles cases involving divorce, dissolution, legal separation, annulment, the custody and support of children, visitation disputes and civil protection orders for victims of domestic violence.
The Domestic Relations Division is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. It is closed for lunch from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
You can contact the Domestic Relations Division at (937) 393-3676 during our business hours. If Court is in session, and no one is available to answer your call, please leave a message and your call will be returned.
Standard Parenting Schedule:
The Court encourages liberal parenting time between both parents and their children. Parents should always attempt to share time with their children by agreement. When parents are unable to agree on parenting time, the Court usually orders parents to follow the Court’s standard parenting time schedule. A copy of that schedule is available to be viewed under the Court’s Local Rules, Appendix G.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits the Judge, Magistrate and court employees from answering questions about specific cases or discussing the merits of a case with any party or other person and from communicating privately with any party on a matter that may come before the Court. Further, the Judge, Magistrate, court staff and Clerk of Courts cannot give legal advice. For these reasons, the Court cannot accept phone calls or engage in conversations regarding these matters. E-mails, cards and letters regarding a case will not be read. Court staff may be able to answer procedural questions only, but these answers are not legal advice. Some frequently asked questions are listed below.
Q. What are the filing fees that must be paid to the Highland County Clerk of Courts for filing various actions with the court?
A. The Court's filing fees schedule is available by calling the Clerk of Courts Office at (937) 393-9957 or viewing Appendix A to the Court’s Local Rules on this website.
Q. Do I need a lawyer to come to court?
A. You may choose to come to court without a lawyer and represent yourself (pro se). You must, however, follow the same rules as the lawyers do and prepare the proper forms and documents.
Q. How long does a dissolution take?
A. A dissolution hearing must be conducted no sooner than thirty, nor later than ninety days after the petition is filed with the Court. A dissolution is not final until the Judge signs and files a final decree of dissolution. The attorneys for the parties or the parties if acting pro se must prepare the decree and submit it to the Court at the final hearing.
Q. What is the age when my children can decide who they want to live with?
A. There is no specific age at which a child can decide which parent he/she wants to live with. In determining custody for the first time or in modifying an existing order, the Court must consider the best interests of the child. In deciding what the child’s best interests are, Ohio law requires the Court to consider all relevant factors, including factors specifically listed in the Ohio Revised Code. The child’s wishes and concerns are just one of those listed factors.
Q. Are there forms that can be used by parties who do not have lawyers?
A. There are forms available on the internet. You may use these forms at your own risk. The Court evaluates the use of these filings on a case by case basis. If the forms or the information provided do not substantially comply with the requirements of the Ohio Revised Code, the pleadings may be dismissed.
The Ohio Supreme Court has adopted standard forms for use in all Ohio domestic relations courts. They are available on the Ohio Supreme Court website. You may also use these forms at your own risk. The Court evaluates whether the forms contain the information necessary to the proceeding is sufficient. If it is not, the Court may dismiss the pleading. Neither the Court staff nor the Clerk of Courts staff are permitted to assist you in completing any forms.
Q. What if I cannot afford an attorney?
A. You may call the Cincinnati Area Legal Aid Office (800) 582-2682. They will represent clients in Highland County if they qualify. If you are summoned to appear in Court on a charge for which you could be sent to jail (for example, Contempt of Court), the Court may appoint an attorney for you if you qualify.
Q. How can I find out my hearing date?
A. Click on the courtview records search button and find your case. Click on the "events" button. If it is not posted, contact the Domestic Relations office at (937)393-3676. If you already know the date and want to confirm the time, there is a one week calendar on this website. Click on the calendars button and then click on domestic relations calendar then scroll down the calendar to your case.
Q. What should I wear to my court hearing?
A. Wear comfortable clothing that is appropriate for appearing in court. Shorts, tank tiops, string tops, hats, culottes, sweat pants, flip flops and clothing with printing, pictures or symbols that are inappropriate or any other type of clothing that is disruptive to the court's proceedings are not permitted. If you appear wearing any of these items, you will be sent home to change or your hearing will be continued. Your assignment notice sets forth clothing that is not appropriate for the courtroom. This rule applies not only to parties, but also to witnesses and spectators.
Q. Where can I get copies of my Court papers?
A. From the Highland County Clerk of Courts Office, located on the first floor of the Highland County Courthouse at 105 N. High Street, Hillsboro, OH 45133. For more information, contact the Clerk’s office (937) 393-9957.
Q. Where can I find the current balance owed on a support obligation or the date of the last payment made?
A. You can visit the Job and Family Services web site at www.jfs.ohio.gov/ocs and click on payment status on the left side. You will need a pin number that is available through the Highland County CSEA (937) 393-4278. You may also call the State of Ohio’s Support Enforcement Tracking System (SETS) voice response unit toll free at (800) 860-2555. You must have your social security number and your pin number. You may also contact the Highland County Child Support Enforcement Agency at (937) 393-4278.