The Portsmouth/Scioto County League of Women Voters kicked off their 2015-2016 year with a program given by Scioto County Domestic Relations Court Judge Jerry L. Buckler, held on September 15 at Hill View Retirement Center. Judge Buckler spoke about the need for a Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center for Scioto County, which he has lovingly dubbed “The K.I.D.S. (Kids in Domestic Situations) Center,” as well as improvements made to the Scioto County Domestic Relations Court.
“I see families going through difficult times every day,” said Buckler. “For many couples, divorce is a relatively civil transition, but for some families, it can be hostile.” And in cases where there is an abusive parent, Buckler said, “I believe one of the most important things we should be concerned about is the safety and wellbeing of those children. Daddy might hit the child, but the child still wants to see their father. The child doesn’t understand why they are being hit, and they still love their dad.” In these cases, supervised visitation can be ordered, but, currently, there is no place in Scioto County to oversee supervised visits. “For this reason,” said Buckler, “I would like to establish a Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center here in Scioto County, a ‘K.I.D.S. Center.’” The proposed center would also offer parenting skills classes and could be utilized by surrounding counties, which could bring in revenue, and would alleviate the awkward need to have a family member oversee supervised visits, as currently takes place.
Since taking office on January 2, 2013, Judge Buckler has looked for ways to improve the Court. “The Domestic Relations Court sees many people experiencing very difficult times in their lives,” Buckler said. “I continually strive to make the Court and its processes less intimidating and more understandable for the citizens we serve.”
One of those ways is that the Court now offers information packets for pro se litigants filing for divorce, dissolution, or parentage, with a checklist of all required documents, so that proceedings are more efficient. “We’ve also modernized our office security monitoring system,” stated Buckler, “so that all activities in the courtrooms and hallways are recorded.”
Another addition to the DR Court is a new employee, Daniel Whitaker, who is served by the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Daniel works two hours per week, under the guidance of a job coach. “Everyone loves Daniel,” said Buckler, “and when he gets paid, he’s the richest man on Earth.”
“I’d like to thank the League of Women Voters,” Buckler stated, “for helping me get my message out. I think everyone should be involved in our government.”
For more information about Scioto County Domestic Relations Court, visit: www.sciotodrcourt.com