Many people in Ohio choose to get married. However, current statistics suggest that roughly half of those people will decide to divorce sometime down the road. For those that do, making sure the process goes as smoothly as possible will likely be a priority. However, a recent Ohio situation may have given some individuals who were divorced in recent years a brief scare about the validity of their paperwork.
In Delaware, Ohio, an appeal has led to a judge being required to sign paperwork for up to 700 divorce cases that took place over the past five years. The judge had been delegating the signing of the paperwork to magistrates in order to make the process more efficient.
A state appeals court did not express the same desire for speed and efficiency. A case out of the appeals court brought attention to the matter when the court ruled that a judge must be the one to sign the divorce paperwork. Having delegates sign final paperwork, no matter the intention, is not in agreement with Ohio legal processes according to the appeals court. The judge, located in the Delaware County Common Pleas court, is now going back through cases over the past five years with the help of court employees. He will be re-signing the cases in question.
Despite recent ruling, the judge has stated that none of the divorce-related cases that were signed by magistrates are invalid. He says he is simply being thorough in his retrospective clean-up just in case, to make sure that all bases are covered. According to reports, the cases ranged from property settlements to child custody agreements.
Source: Daily Journal, "Judge in Ohio signing name to 700 divorce cases, appeals court said delegating signing no good," 9 June 2011