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Jones v. Jones

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

August 15, 2013

HEATHER JONES Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
CARL JONES Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2011TC 02 0053

For Plaintiff-Appellant: DAN GUINN

For Defendant-Appellee: RICHARD FOX

JUDGES: Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Delaney, J.

(¶1} Plaintiff-Appellant Heather Jones appeals the March 26, 2013 judgment entry of the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

(¶2} Plaintiff-Appellant Heather Jones and Defendant-Appellee Carl Jones were married on July 18, 1992. Four children were born as issue of the marriage: K.J. born November 17, 1994; D.J. born May 12, 1998; P.J. born January 5, 2002; and E.J.D. (age of majority at the time of divorce).

(¶3} Wife and Husband originally resided in Kimball, Michigan. The extended family of Husband and Wife live in Michigan. Wife and Husband were both employed in Michigan, but Husband lost his job in 2008. At the time, Husband was earning $87, 000. Wife started working outside of the home in 2006. At her job in Michigan, Wife was earning $60, 000. Wife found new employment in Ohio in 2009 where she was hired as a human resources manager at Graphics Packaging in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. In 2012, Wife was on track to earn $90, 000 per year. Wife moved to Ohio, Husband stayed in Michigan with the children from May to August 2009, and then they moved to Ohio to be with Wife.

(¶4} Husband could not find employment in his field of mechanical engineering and took a job with Case Farms as a general laborer in June 2010. He earned $6.80 per hour.

(¶5} During the marriage, Husband and Wife entered into a debt consolidation loan. The loan was to pay off credit card debt for credit cards issued in Husband's name, but allegedly, due to Wife's spending.

(¶6} In December 2010, Husband and Wife separated. Wife obtained a civil protection order against Husband on January 7, 2011. The three minor children remained with Wife. In 2011, Wife began a romantic relationship with a coworker at Graphics Packaging.

(¶7} In May 2011, Husband found employment in Michigan as a mechanical engineer where he was on track to earn $80, 000 per year in 2012. Husband moved back to Michigan and resided in the marital home located in Kimball, Michigan. Husband's and Wife's adult daughter and her husband reside in the marital home with Husband.

(¶8} On February 9, 2011, Wife filed a complaint for divorce in the Tuscarawas County Court of Common Pleas. The magistrate held an in camera interview with the minor children on September 21, 2011. No record exists of the interview. Husband filed a proposed shared parenting plan naming Husband as the primary residential parent and legal custodian to D.J. and P.J. and Wife primary residential parent and legal custodian of K.J.

(¶9} A trial before the magistrate was held on March 14, 2012.

(¶10} On March 30, 2012, Husband placed flyers on the windshields of vehicles parked in the parking lot of Wife's place of employment. The flyers had photos of Wife and her boyfriend alleging their relationship destroyed families. The magistrate convened a hearing and admonished Husband.

(¶11} On June 12, 2012, the magistrate filed her decision. The parties filed objections to the magistrate's decision. Upon consideration of the parties' objections, the trial court rejected the magistrate's decision because it found the findings of fact and conclusions of law were insufficient to conduct a proper review. The trial court remanded the matter to the magistrate.

(¶12} On January 31, 2013, the magistrate issued her decision. Relevant to this appeal, the magistrate denied both parties' requests for spousal support; awarded Husband $6, 732.70 from Wife's 401(K) plan; awarded Husband certain personal property in possession of Wife; made Wife responsible for the debt consolidation loan; and adopted Husband's shared parenting plan naming Husband as the primary residential parent. The parties filed objections to the magistrate's decision. The trial court overruled the objections and adopted the recommendations of the magistrate's decision on March 26, 2013. It is from this decision Wife now appeals.

ASSIGNMENTS OF ERROR

(¶13} Wife raises six Assignments of Error:

(¶14} "I. THE COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN FAILING TO AWARD SPOUSAL SUPPORT TO WIFE.

(¶15} "II. THE COURT ERRED IN AWARDING THE AMOUNT OF $6, 732.70 TO THE HUSBAND FROM THE WIFE'S RETIREMENT.

(¶16} "III. THE COURT ERRED IN AWARDING PERSONAL PROPERTY THAT WAS IN THE WIFE'S POSSESSION SINCE THE PARTIES SEPARATION TO THE HUSBAND.

(¶17} "IV. THE COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN AWARDING ATTORNEY FEES TO BE PAID BY THE WIFE TO THE HUSBAND'S ATTORNEY.

(¶18} "V. THE COURT ERRED IN ORDERING THE WIFE TO BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PARTIES' DEBT CONSOLIDATION.

(¶19} "VI. THE COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN ADOPTING THE SHARED PARENTING PLAN OF THE FATHER, THUS NAMING HIM THE PRIMARY RESIDENTIAL PARENT AND LEGAL CUSTODIAN OF THE PARTIES' MINOR CHILDREN."

ANALYSIS

I. SPOUSAL SUPPORT

(¶20} Wife argues in her first Assignment of Error that the trial court abused its discretion in denying Wife spousal support. We disagree.

(¶21} A trial court's decision concerning spousal support may be altered only if it constitutes an abuse of discretion. Kunkle v. Kunkle, 51 Ohio St.3d 64, 67, 554 N.E.2d 83 (1990). An abuse of discretion connotes more than an error of law or judgment; it implies that the court's attitude is unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable. Blakemore v. Blakemore, 5 Ohio St.3d 217, 450 N.E.2d 1140 (1983). R.C.3105.18(C)(1)(a) through (n) sets forth the factors a trial court is to consider in determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and in determining the nature, amount, terms of payment, and duration of spousal support:

(C)(1) In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and in determining the nature, amount, and terms of payment, and duration of spousal support, which is payable either in gross or in installments, the court shall consider all of the following factors: (a) The income of the parties, from all sources, including, but not limited to, income derived from property divided, disbursed, or distributed under section 3105.171 of the Revised Code;
(b)The relative earning abilities of the parties;
(c) The ages and the physical, mental, and emotional ...

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