3117.06 Hearings and conferences in conciliation proceedings.

(A) The conciliation judge shall fix a reasonable time and place for hearing on the petition within thirty days after the date it is filed, and shall cause such manner of notice of the filing of the petition and the time and place for hearing as he finds necessary to be given to the parties and respondents. The court may issue a citation to any party or respondent requiring him to appear at the time and place stated in the citation, and may require the attendance of witnesses as in other civil cases.

(B) The court may be convened and hearings held pursuant to this chapter at any time and place within the county, and the hearing may be had in chambers or otherwise, except that if any party, prior to hearing, objects to a different time or place, the time and place for hearing shall be that provided by law for the trial of civil actions.

(C) Hearings and conferences in conciliation proceedings shall be held in private. The court shall exclude all persons except officers and employees of the court, the parties and respondents and their counsel, witnesses, and persons called to the aid of the court in the controversy. Conferences may be held with each party separately, and counsel for one party may be excluded from a hearing or conference when the other party is present without counsel.

(D) Hearings and conferences shall be conducted as informally as possible, and a series of hearings or conferences may be held if it appears necessary to effect a reconciliation or amicable settlement of the controversy between the spouses. The court may, with the consent of the parties, recommend or invoke the aid of physicians, psychologists, clergymen, or other specialists, or persons with expertise in the matter in controversy. Such aid shall be at the expense of the parties, unless the board of county commissioners authorizes and provides for payment for such aid.

(E) Upon hearing, the conciliation judge may make such orders in respect to the conduct of the spouses and the subject matter of the controversy as the court finds necessary to preserve the marriage or implement the reconciliation of the spouses. Such orders shall not be effective for more than thirty days, unless the parties consent to a longer time or to a continuation. Any reconciliation agreement between the parties may be reduced to writing and, with the consent of the parties, a court order may be made pursuant to this section requiring the parties to comply therewith.

Effective Date: 11-19-1969