Not a Lawyer? – You plan on representing yourself in Court.

If you don’t have an attorney and plan on representing yourself that is referred to as “proceeding in Pro Se“.

Depending on your desired course of action the information below may be helpful. The Court provides this information for your reference, however, this information is not a substitute for legal advice. For legal guidance specific to your case, you should seek appropriate legal counsel.

Civil Protection Orders

 A Domestic Violence Civil Protection Order protects family and household members from abuse. Family or household members include: Parents, children, spouses, ex-spouses, someone you have cohabitated with, someone you have kids with and foster parents and foster children.

If a dating partner who does not live with you is abusing you, you may qualify for a new type of order called a Dating Violence Civil Protection Order. These orders are for  dating relationships (like with a boyfriend or girlfriend). Casual friends or business contacts are not considered dating partners. To qualify, the dating relationship must be within the last year.

*Ohio Legal Help, 2023

If you would like to have an advocate help you with your CPO or if you have questions or concerns Victim Assistance Program agency serves victims of all crime types, those answering the hotline are trained to offer compassionate and nonjudgmental crisis intervention, emotional support, safety plans, information on victims’ legal rights, community referrals as well as education on common reactions crime victims may encounter.

Victim Assistance Program is a free and confidential community resource at 330-376-0040 or visit their website here.

To view all the mandatory videos or find out more about CPOs click below

Divorce & Dissolution

There are 2 main ways to legally end a marriage in Ohio: dissolution and divorce. Both will end up with the same result: You are no longer married. The difference is in the process. A dissolution requires you and your spouse to agree on everything before you file. With a divorce, a judge will make decisions for you if you cannot agree with your spouse.

Legal separation does not legally end your marriage. It just allows you and your spouse to put legal agreements in place about how you will handle no longer living together. Some people choose legal separation because they don’t want to divorce for religious or other reasons. You do not have to be legally separated before you file for divorce.

*Ohio Legal Help, 2023

Parenting Time / Parenting Schedules

After a court makes an order for parenting time, it’s possible for your situation to change. You might get a new job with hours that overlap with your parenting time. Or your child could start a new after-school activity that happens during your parenting time. If there is a change like this that creates a problem with your old parenting time schedule, you can ask the court to change it. This process can take anywhere between a few months to a years.

*Ohio Legal Help, 2023

Parentage & Third-Party Custody

In Ohio, “allocation of parental rights,” commonly called custody, is the legal right and responsibility to care for and make decisions for a child. If you have an existing custody order, you have to go through the court to change it. This process can take between 3 months and 1 years to complete, depending on your situation.

Service – Providing Notice

In legal terms, giving someone notice of any court action is referred to as serving or service.  Failure to obtain service may result in the case being continued or dismissed.

Scheduling Your Day in Court


You must obtain and file paperwork with the Summit County Clerk of Courts before you can receive a hearing date.  Most paperwork can be filed online (E-Filing) and all paperwork may be filed in person.

View filing fees. 

After you file paperwork, the Court’s office may instruct you to call the court to set your hearing date.  Call (330) 643-2365 to schedule your hearing.

Legal Assistance

Legal Representation

The Akron Bar Association’s (ABA) Lawyer Referral Service can match you with an attorney specialized in your case type.  You will receive up to a 30-minute consultation with an attorney for a non-refundable $30 fee.  Read more about ABA’s Lawyer Referral Service.

“Ask an Attorney” is a community outreach program offered by the Akron Bar Association.  Members of the community may call to receive free answers to brief legal questions.  The program is held 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. every month on the second and forth Friday.   Call (330) 253-5038 or (330) 253-5007

If your case involves domestic violence, you may be eligible to receive legal assistance from Community Legal Aid

Transcription and Audio



Transcripts are a typed record of court proceedings.  Transcripts may be requested by filing a Praecipe, signed by the Court Reporter, with the Clerk of Courts.  Pracipes can be emailed to the Court Reporters and for signature.  The cost of a transcript depends on the length of the hearing. 

Audio Recordings

Audio recordings of court hearings are public records and will be provided upon request of any person.  Only recordings of hearings which were called “on the record” by the court will provided.  There is no charge for production of an audio recording.

You should make two copies of your audio recording request.  The original copy should be filed with the Summit County Clerk of Courts.  The second copy must be submitted to our court for processing. You can either deliver the form to the court administration office on the second floor of the Domestic Relations Court or email it to

Please allow at least 3 business days for the production of an recording.


Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance

Filing Fees

If you cannot afford to pay your filing fee, you may file a Motion to proceed in forma pauperis.  If granted, this Motion allows you to file your case and delays payment of filing fees until your case is resolved.  Filing this form does not completely remove one’s obligation to pay filing fees.  Your assigned Judge or Magistrate may order a payment plan or other payment arrangement once your case is finalized.

Court-Appointed Attorney (Contempt)

If you are in court for Contempt you may request a Court-appointed attorney.  This court does not offer court-appointed representation for other case types.  

Commonly Used Forms