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Paterchak v. Paterchak

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

July 12, 2013

BRYAN S. PATERCHAK Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
TAMMIE K. PATERCHAK Defendant-Appellee

Civil Appeal from Common Pleas Court - Domestic Relations Trial Court Case No. 2009-DR-1006

CHARLES D. LOWE, Atty. Reg. No. 0033209, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant.

TERRY L. LEWIS, Atty. Reg. No. 0010324, Attorney for Defendant-Appellee.

OPINION

WELBAUM, J.

{¶ 1} Plaintiff-Appellant, Bryan Paterchak, appeals from a judgment and decree of divorce allocating the assets and debts of Bryan and his wife, Tammie Paterchak.[1] Bryan contends that the trial court abused its discretion by requiring him to pay the entire first and second mortgage debts on the marital premises. Bryan further contends that the trial court erred in requiring him to pay the entire Chase credit card debt.

{¶ 2} We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in dividing the assets and liabilities of the parties. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

I. Facts and Course of Proceedings

{¶ 3} Bryan and Tammie began living together around 1983 or 1984, and were married in November 1992. Prior to the marriage, Bryan inherited $195, 664 from his aunt. In June 1990, Bryan purchased a home at 335 Enfield Road in Centerville, Ohio, for $108, 750. The property was titled solely in Bryan's name. Bryan made a down payment of $55, 259, leaving a balance due of $53, 491. Subsequently, in 2002, Bryan inherited $128, 646 from his mother.

{¶ 4} During the marriage, Tammie paid one-half of the house payment and also contributed to household expenses. However, the parties kept their finances and credit card accounts separate. Bryan was employed as a chef, and Tammie worked at bars. By all accounts, they lived somewhat extravagantly, taking expensive vacations twice a year, buying expensive jewelry and automobiles, and so on. At the time of the divorce hearing, Bryan earned about $30, 000 per year, and Tammie earned approximately $16, 000 annually.

{¶ 5} Bryan testified that he refinanced the home mortgage at some point to pay off credit cards. Bryan did not provide the trial court with information about the amount of the credit card debt, the identity of the credit card holders, or even the date of the mortgage to National City Bank. Bryan indicated that he owed $117, 581 on the National City Bank mortgage at the time of the parties' separation in February 2009, and that he owed $112, 000 at the time of the final divorce hearing, which was held on August 31, 2011.

{¶ 6} Bryan further testified that he took out a second mortgage to pay off credit cards. He, again, did not furnish documentation indicating which credit cards were paid, to whom the cards belonged, or what amounts were paid.

{¶ 7} In contrast, Tammie testified that she only became aware of what Bryan did with his credit cards when he financed the second mortgage. She indicated that Bryan was going to bars and strip clubs and was engaging in other similar activities. After Tammie saw a few credit card statements, Bryan became very angry and would not let her see any of the financial documents. The amount due on the second mortgage at the time of separation was $48, 994.

{¶ 8} At the final divorce hearing, Bryan estimated that the value of the house was $137, 000. Thus, the property had a negative equity of $23, 994.

{¶ 9} Bryan did submit his own credit card statements from Chase and Bank of America, at of the time of the separation. The balance on the Chase card was approximately $21, 209. According to Bryan, the card was used to purchase things that he accumulated after a fire at his home, because he did not have enough money for the interior of the house. Bryan testified that the Chase card was used mostly for things that he lost. Both Bryan and Tammie testified that Bryan received insurance checks to replace the furniture. However, Bryan failed to submit any documentation indicating the amount of the insurance proceeds, nor did he provide documentation establishing any specific amounts that were spent.

{¶ 10} The balance on the Bank of America credit card was $19, 613.64. Again, Bryan testified that this card was used to purchase things accumulated after the fire, but he failed to submit any specific documentation to prove what items were purchased.

{¶ 11} A business was also started during the marriage. Tammie testified that "they" decided to go into business and that Bryan said he would fund it. Tammie also said that she agreed to pay him back. Bryan furnished $20, 000, and Tammie paid him $2, 000. According to Tammie, Bryan then received about $6, 000 from income taxes each year that he took solely for himself In contrast, Bryan testified that he never got the money back. He did not have ...


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