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Huynh v. Le

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District

July 1, 2013

LONG NGOC HUYNH, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
LOAN KIM LE, Defendant-Appellee.

APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION Case No. DR11-03-0282

Phillips Law Firm, Inc., Alfred Wm. Schneble III, for plaintiff-appellant.

Meredith Schnug, Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC, and Margaret L. Fibbe, Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC, for defendant-appellee.

OPINION

PIPER, J.

{¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Long Ngoc Huynh (Husband), appeals a decision of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, ordering him to pay defendant-appellee, Loan Kim Le (Wife), spousal support.

{¶ 2} The parties were married on December 16, 2009, after Wife agreed to come to the United States from Vietnam for the sole purpose of marrying Husband. The two had met only once in Vietnam before their marriage. The parties later separated on November 1, 2010, at which time, Wife was eight months pregnant with the couple's child. Husband filed for divorce on March 10, 2011.

{¶ 3} The couple stipulated some issues in the divorce proceedings, including that Wife would be the legal custodian of the child, but submitted several other issues for judicial decision, including child and spousal support and visitation issues. The matters proceeded to a hearing, during which Wife, who does not speak English proficiently, was aided with the help of an interpreter. Both parties testified and submitted evidence.

{¶ 4} The court also took into consideration a sworn affidavit that Husband signed when he brought Wife to the United States. In that document, Husband contracted with the United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) agreeing to support Wife in an amount equal to, at minimum, 125 percent of the poverty level until she became a United States citizen. The purpose of the contract was to "insure that the sponsor, not the government, would be responsible for the immigrant's support."

{¶ 5} The trial court ordered Husband to pay Wife $1607.60 per month in spousal support for five years, and ordered Husband to pay $506.68 a month in child support. Husband now appeals the trial court's decision ordering spousal support as it did, raising the following assignments of error. For ease of discussion, and because Husband's arguments are interrelated, we will discuss both assignments of error together.

{¶ 6} Assignment of Error No. 1:

{¶ 7} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY AWARDIND [sic] EXCESSIVE SPOUSAL SUPPORT TO BE PAID FROM THE APPELLANT TO THE APPELLEE.

{¶ 8} Assignment of Error No. 2:

{¶ 9} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY NOT IMPUTING INCOME TO THE DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

{¶ 10} Husband argues in his assignments of error that the trial court's order of spousal ...


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