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Lehman v. Lehman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District

August 20, 2013

JANIE J. LEHMAN Petitioner - Appellee
v.
DAVID M. LEHMAN Petitioner - Appellant

Appeal from the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, Case No. 1998 DS 98

For Plaintiff-Appellee: DAVID K. GREER

For Defendant-Appellant LEE S. ROSENTHAL

Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. Sheila G. Farmer, J. Hon. Craig R. Baldwin, J.

OPINION

Baldwin, J.

(¶1} Appellant David M. Lehman appeals a judgment of the Fairfield County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division, rendering an amount due on his obligation to pay one-half of the college expenses for the parties' two children and ordering him to pay one-half of the amounts paid by appellee Janie J. Lehman toward ongoing student loan payments.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CASE

(¶2} Appellant and appellee were married in August of 1991. Two sons were born to the parties, R.L. (born in 1982) and K.L. (born in 1984). In May of 1998, the parties filed a petition for dissolution of their marriage in the Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. The court issued a decree of dissolution on June 10, 1998.

(¶3} The dissolution decree incorporated the parties' separation agreement, Article II(g), which provided for splitting the cost of the sons' post-high school education. Said article reads in pertinent part:

(¶4} "Husband shall pay and be responsible for and Husband shall hold the Wife and children safe and harmless with regard to one-half of the college education or continuing education expenses of the children after high school, including colleges, trade schools, and other such educational facilities, and said obligation of the Husband shall include one-half of tuition, book expenses, room and board expenses, and other such expenses. * * * Husband's obligations under this paragraph shall terminated (sic) at the time each child reaches the age of twenty-four."

(¶5} A separate provision of the separation agreement, Article II(h), provided for splitting the cost of general expenses of the sons, such as, car insurance, car repair, car payments, extracurricular activities, music expenses, tutoring, and "other similar expenses."

(¶6} In 2004 and 2005, appellee filed two contempt motions against appellant, alleging non-compliance with the aforesaid provisions. On August 1, 2005, the trial court rendered a contempt finding against appellant and imposed a 30-day jail term, subject to being purged by appellant paying $100 per month toward an established liquidated amount of $3, 200 to cover all past expenses, plus $1, 000 in attorney fees.

(¶7} Appellee was further ordered in the August 1, 2005 judgment entry to establish a checking account at Lanfair Federal Credit Union as a designated college expense account for the monthly payments, and to provide appellant with deposit slips. The entry also provided that appellant would be responsible for one-half of the deferred loans.

(ΒΆ8} Appellee thereafter filed motions to impose the jail sentence. Appellant responded by filing a motion to vacate the August 1, 2005 judgment entry which had found him in contempt and ordered the establishment of the Lanfair escrow account. These motions were resolved by an agreed judgment entry on April 16, 2007, which, among other things, (1) acknowledged a $4, 000 payment to appellee by appellant and declared him "current on all ongoing monthly expenses" concerning R.L. and K.L. through March 31, 2007; (2) vacated the 2005 contempt ...


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