C
ommunity Services

When families fight only the lawyers win.

In 2001 Judge Mary R. Kovack established a Community Services Office to refer families to agencies and resources in the community that do not require additional expenditures of taxpayers’ dollars.  This service was created to help families cope with the changes in their lives during a divorce, dissolution or in any post divorce disputes. Through the Community Services Office, parents can obtain information about counselors, classes, support groups and the like.  Over the years, the Community Services Office has expanded to include a number of court services that are available at no or low cost to families.

 

September 18, 2006

 

Medina, Ohio—Judge Mary Kovack is pleased to announce that the Medina County Domestic Relations Court is approved to receive a federal grant of $340,448 to expand the services of the Court’s Supervised Parenting Time and Exchange Center.  The grant came through the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women’s “Safe Havens: Supervised Visitation and Safe Exchange Grant Program,” Number 2006-CW-AX-0024.

 

The new funds will be used to expand services of the Medina County Domestic Relations Court’s Supervised Exchange and Parenting Time Center, known as the Gift Exchange, located at the Medina YMCA. Judge Kovack has contracted with the Medina YMCA and the Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties to assist in the expansion of services.  The new program staff will provide in-depth assessments and orientations, visitation and exchange monitoring, additional security, volunteer advocate training, and case management services to people involved in family violence.   “It is important to me that children have the chance to spend time with both parents, no matter what.  This grant will give me the chance to make that happen for so many more families and will give families the tools they need to break the cycle of violence and strife, while bringing more than $340,000 to the County’s general fund,” said Judge Kovack.

 

Judge Kovack implemented the visitation program in 2004 through initial grant funding by the Justice Assistance Grant Fund and the Byrne Memorial Grant Fund, Office of Justice Programs through the State of Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services. Through the collaborative efforts of the Medina YMCA, the Board of County Commissioners, and the Medina County Domestic Court, the program has created a safe environment for parents to peacefully transfer children from one home to the other. Also, when the court requires a parent to be monitored while having parenting time, program personnel supervise the visits to ensure that appropriate interactions and activities are occurring. By limiting children’s exposure to high conflict parents or inappropriate parental behavior, the Court provides a place where the children can develop healthy relationships with both parents, and parents can learn better ways to interact with each other and their children.