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Marinella v. Marinella

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

July 3, 2013

REBECCA J. MARINELLA Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
MARK A. MARINELLA Defendant-Appellee.

(Civil Appeal from Common Pleas (Court, Domestic Relations) Trial Court Case No. 2011-DR-197

DALMA C. GRANDJEAN, Atty. Reg. #0024841, One South Main Street, and DAVID M. McNAMEE, Atty. Reg. #0068582, Attorneys for Plaintiff-Appellant.

KEITH R. KEARNEY, Atty. Reg. #0003191, Rogers & Greenberg, LLP, Attorney for Defendant-Appellee.

OPINION

HALL, J.

{¶ 1} The domestic relations court ordered that Father's parenting time with the parties' two minor children be unsupervised, but Mother thinks that it should be supervised. No evidence was presented, other than Mother's own testimony, that supervision is necessary. Both the psychologist who evaluated Father and the children's court-appointed guardian ad litem recommended that parenting time be unsupervised. We affirm.

I.

{¶ 2} Rebecca Marinella (Mother) and Mark Marinella (Father) married in 1993 and later had two children, both girls, one born in 2000, the other in 2003. The parties separated in 2008, and in 2011, Mother filed for divorce. At the final hearing the only contested issue was whether Father's parenting time should be supervised. Mother and Father each testified, and two written reports that had been submitted to the court were admitted into evidence. One report is from a psychologist who evaluated Father (Court Exhibit II), and the other report is from the children's guardian ad litem (GAL) (Court Exhibit I).

{¶ 3} The evaluating psychologist is John Matthew Fabian, Psy.D., J.D., ABPP, a board-certified forensic and clinical psychologist and fellowship-trained clinical neuropsychologist. It was Mother who first contacted him and asked him to evaluate Father. Dr. Fabian conducted a psychological and psychiatric evaluation, a parental-fitness evaluation, and a risk assessment of Father. He diagnosed Father with some psychological disorders and recommended that Father participate weekly in long-term individual therapy with a therapist who has knowledge, training, and expertise in those disorders. Dr. Fabian determined that Father's disorders are not connected to his or any other children. And it is Dr. Fabian's opinion that Father "does not pose a significant threat to his daughters." (Court Exhibit II, 25). Dr. Fabian recommended that Father's parenting time be unsupervised.

{¶ 4} The GAL endorses Dr. Fabian's recommendation that Father participate in weekly therapy sessions with a therapist trained to handle his disorders. The GAL recognized that the children's safety is of "paramount concern." (Court Exhibit I, 5). He stated in his report that he "d[id] not believe father would intentionally harm the children." (Id). The GAL too recommended that Father's parenting time be unsupervised.

{¶ 5} In September 2012, the trial court entered its parenting-time decision and orders. The court found that Father was receiving psychotherapy from a psychiatrist and had been in psychotherapy since February 2009. The court also found that Father participates in an "accountability group" and in emotional counseling sessions. The court further found that when the parties separated in 2008, Father's visits with the children were unsupervised, [1] though around 18 months before the final hearing, at Mother's insistence, his visits moved to a public place and were supervised by a retired FBI agent. The court found that no incidents of concern between Father and the children had ever been reported. The court ordered that Father have parenting time during the week and on certain weekend days-all unsupervised. The court also ordered that Father continue psychotherapy and follow the psychiatrist's recommendations.

{¶ 6} In October 2012, the trial court entered its final judgment and decree of divorce, in which the court reiterated its parenting-time and related orders.

{¶ 7} Mother appealed.

II.

{¶ 8} The sole assignment of error alleges that the trial court erred by ordering that parenting time be unsupervised. Mother says that credibility of the evidence is not at issue in this case and that the parties do not disagree about the material facts. Rather, she says, the issue here is whether a parent should have unsupervised time with his children when the parent has disorders like those that Father has and when the parent is not ...


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