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Gray v. King

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District

July 15, 2013

WILLIAM K. GRAY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
KELSEY KING, Defendant-Appellee.

APPEAL FROM CLERMONT COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS JUVENILE DIVISION Case No. 2012 JG 19450

Jacqueline M. Handorf-Rugani, for plaintiff-appellant

Faris & Faris, LLC, Jessica D. Faris, for defendant-appellee

OPINION

M. POWELL, J.

{¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, William Gray (Father), appeals a decision of the Clermont County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division, granting him parenting time with his daughter and denying his motion to change his daughter's surname.

{¶ 2} The child was born on January 7, 2012, as a result of a brief affair between defendant-appellee, Kelsey King (Mother), and Father. The parties did not have a relationship during the pregnancy and seldom communicated. Mother did not inform Father she was at the hospital delivering; Father found out on his own. Father was able to visit the child at the hospital for an hour or two. Father is listed as the child's father on the birth certificate but the child bears Mother's surname. The parties' communication has not improved since their daughter's birth.

{¶ 3} Mother lives with her mother and stepfather in their home. She has been the child's primary caregiver. Shortly after the child's birth, Mother allowed Father to visit the child twice a week and every other Saturday, two hours per visit. Father visited the child two or three times. By decision filed on March 8, 2012, the magistrate ordered Father to pay child support and granted him parenting time as follows: "every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM and every weekend alternating between Saturday and Sunday. The first two weekend visits will be from noon until 2:00 PM and then noon until 4:00 PM thereafter." The magistrate noted that the parenting time and child support orders were temporary in nature.

{¶ 4} In August 2012, Father filed his proposed shared parenting plan. Father sought to have the child from Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. until Thursday at 6:00 p.m. one week, and from Sunday at 6:00 p.m. until Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. and then again from Thursday at 6:00 p.m. until Sunday at 6:00 p.m. the following week, to be implemented on a weekly rotating basis. Father also sought to change the child's surname to his surname.

{¶ 5} A hearing was held before the magistrate on September 17, 2012. Both parties testified. On September 25, 2012, the magistrate designated Mother as the child's residential parent, denied Father's request to change his daughter's surname, found that shared parenting was neither practical nor in the best interest of the child, and granted parenting time to Father under a transitional schedule that gradually increases over two years.

{¶ 6} Specifically, from September 2012 to January 7, 2015, Father was granted parenting time every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. With regard to weekend visitation, Father was granted parenting time on Saturday one week and on Sunday the following week, from noon until 4:00 p.m. until January 7, 2013, and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. between January 8, 2013, and January 7, 2014. Thereafter, between January 8, 2014, and January 7, 2015, Father was granted parenting time from 10:00 a.m. on Saturday until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, every weekend. Finally, beginning January 8, 2015, Father was granted standard parenting time pursuant to the Clermont County Parenting Guidelines. At that time, the child will be three years old.

{¶ 7} Father filed objections to the magistrate's decision. Following a hearing on the objections in December 2012, the juvenile court overruled the objections and affirmed the magistrate's decision on December 24, 2012.

{¶ 8} Father appeals, raising three assignments of error.

{¶ 9} Assignment of Error No. 1:

{¶ 10} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT ORDERED A LONG-TERM STEP-UP PLAN OF PARENTING TIME TO FATHER THAT IS LESS THAN THE COURT'S OWN GUIDELINE ORDER OF ...


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