Colleen A. Falkowski

Office: For Judge of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division
Term Beginning 1/2/2021

Age: 67

Residence: Mentor



Social Media: 

Occupation: Domestic Relations Judge

Education: J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Work Experience: Asst. Lake County Prosecutor for 15 years;staff atty for the Lake County Child Support Agency for 9 yrs; Domestic Relations Judge since 01/02/03

Family: Divorced with 1 son

Affiliations: Lake County Bar Assoc; Leadership Lake County; Ohio Assoc of Domestic Relations Judges-past president/current treasurer; Ohio Judicial Conference


Bar Association Ratings: No ratings yet from the Lake County Bar Assoc for the 2020 elections

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have been the Lake County Domestic Relations Judge since 01/02/03.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
In my years as an assistant prosecutor, I appeared in both Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts on many family law issues such as establishment of parentage, establishment and enforcement of child support orders. Enforcement of child support orders included civil and criminal actions. I appeared in the United States Federal Court for the Northern District of Ohio in bankruptcy cases to preserve child and spousal support arrearages. I was the Chief Assistant Prosecutor for the Child Support Division of The prosecutor’s office for over 13 years.

As the staff attorney for the Child Support Agency of the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services, I developed the procedures for the Agency to follow after it was created by statute. The procedures and forms designed had to be acceptable to both the Domestic Relations and Juvenile Judge for efficient operation of the Agency. During this time I also handled employee grievances within the Agency.

My employment experience included developing annual budgets for the Child Support Division of the Prosecutor’s Office along with its annual contracts with the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services. The court has to prepare annual budgets as well and operate within the funds allocated by the County Commissioners. I prepare the budgets. Annual contracts between the Court and the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services for the operation of the Court’s Child Support Division are also executed.

In short, I was well prepared to handle the many administrative and employee matters only a judge can address. A judge has many administrative responsibilities which all take place other than in the courtroom for the efficient operation of the court.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I have practiced within the area of family law my entire professional life before becoming Domestic Relations Judge. This is an area of law which has become extremely more complex over the last 25 years and demands extensive experience and knowledge to address family law cases properly.

I have been and am dedicated to the well being of children. Children are an integral part of many cases within the court. I established a mediation Department within the court to help resolve the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities between parents without litigation. Many other issues in a divorce case can also be mediated such as spousal support or the division of property. A party does not have to be represented by an attorney to request mediation.

Our Court was the applicant on behalf of all 7 Lake County Common Pleas Judges to Canine Companions for Independence for a facility dog to work throughout the courts. The application was approved and we received our Facility Dog Atticus almost 4 years ago. He is a yellow lab who works in all our courts. Children at adoptions are thrilled he is there; he visits as a motivator at the Juvenile Detention Center; he sits with children when myself or a Magistrate speaks privately with them; he works with victims of crime in the General Division.

The Court developed a program for children ages 6-12 whose parents are going through a divorce. The program’s purpose is to let a child know he/she is not the only child in this tough situation. The program also provides the children with ways to handle stress and their emotions safely.

I am running for Judge to continue my work with families going through divorce. I will continue to develop innovative programs to assist those who come before the Court to minimize litigation. In particular, Custody Litigation causes emotions to go out of control, opens old wounds, and often makes a bad situation worse. I seek to minimize the stress and turmoil of the court process on families.