I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas. This time of year can be magical and filled with wonderful holiday memories of time spent with family and friends. At the Delaware County Domestic Relations Court, we understand the holidays can also be challenging for people going through separation or divorce.
Celebrating the holidays may look and feel different than in the past, and change can be difficult and stressful. This is the reality we deal with every day at the Domestic Relations Court. We try to understand the happiness and the pain felt by people going through our court during the holiday season and throughout the year. Our goal is to do the best we can for the families going through our court. These are not easy decisions, and we take each decision very seriously.
I encourage everyone, even during difficult times, to remember the joys of the past. My childhood memories of Christmas include family and presents. As I was the youngest in my family, I was usually the first one awake on Christmas morning. I would try and wake up my brother, sister and parents. Some years, despite valiant efforts by the annoying younger brother, I was not able to wake anyone up. So what was I to do?
I would sneak to the Christmas tree to look at the presents. It did not matter how early it was, every time I turned the corner to look at the presents under the tree, my grandma and grandpa (Ken and Helen Freeman) were always sitting there waiting for me. I felt such joy and excitement to see the presents Santa left us. Looking back, I realize I also felt incredible love and security knowing grandma and grandpa were always there waiting for me.
At the end of the year I reflect, as I am sure many of you do, on the past and think about the future. This week I have been reflecting and reviewing information about the court, which celebrates its fifth year as the unified Domestic Relations Division in Delaware County. Time has gone by so quickly. It is hard for me to believe that it has already been five years.
It has been a very difficult, yet amazing five years. We have created a unified Domestic Relations Court, moved into the new Delaware County Courthouse; and worked through a pandemic transitioning to a virtual court where we can conduct all court operations remotely. We then transitioned to a hybrid court where some hearings are conducted virtually and some are in person.
I am thankful for my staff at the court for how they have been able to not only survive but thrive at every challenge we have faced. I am also grateful for all that we have been able to achieve in our first five years working together as a team. As we enter a New Year, I am excited about the future success of the court and our further improvements to help families resolve disputes for the best interest of the children. I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!
Randall D. Fuller is judge of the Domestic Relations Division of the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. Judge Fuller is a life-long resident of Delaware County.