APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DR-2010-04-1053.
RICHARD A. RABB and KAITLYN D. ARTHURS, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.
LESLIE S. GRASKE, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
BETH WHITMORE, J.
(¶1} Appellant, John A. Kasper, Jr. ("Husband"), appeals from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, denying his motion to modify the order of spousal support. This Court affirms.
(¶2} Husband and Rebecca Taylor Kasper ("Wife") were married on November 25, 1989, and have three children from the marriage. Wife filed for divorce on April 13, 2010. At that time, the eldest child was already emancipated.
(¶3} On April 14, 2011, the court entered a final divorce decree. The decree awarded Wife spousal support in the amount of $4, 500 a month, which would terminate "upon Husband's or Wife's death, Wife's remarriage or seventy-four (74) months whichever first occurs." The court retained jurisdiction to modify the amount or term of the spousal support "upon the change of circumstances of a party, which includes, but is not limited to, any increase or involuntary decrease in the parties' wages, salary, bonuses, living expenses or medical expenses."
(¶4} On October 26, 2011, Husband filed a motion to modify his spousal support obligation. Subsequently, on March 1, 2012, Wife filed a motion to modify both the spousal and child support orders. After a hearing, the magistrate recommended the court deny both parties' motions. Husband filed objections, which were overruled by the court. The court held that "there has been no change of circumstance warranting a decrease in Husband's spousal support obligation." Husband now appeals and raises two assignments of error for our review. To facilitate our analysis, we rearrange his assignments of error.
Assignment of Error Number Two
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION BY FAILING TO TERMINATE APPELLANT-HUSBAND'S SPOUSAL SUPPORT OBLIGATION ON THE BASIS OF APPELLEE-WIFE'S COHABITATION WITH HER FIANCÉ WHERE OHIO LAW SUPPORTS THE DOWNWARD MODIFICATION OF SPOUSAL SUPPORT TO ZERO REGARDLESS OF DEFINED TERMINATING-EVENT LANGUAGE SUCH AS "COHABITATION" IN THE DIVORCE DECREE.
(¶5} In his second assignment of error, Husband argues that the court erred in refusing to terminate his spousal support obligation in light of Wife's cohabitation. We disagree.
(¶6} "Generally, absent an error of law, 'the decision to adopt, reject, or modify a magistrate's decision lies within the discretion of the trial court and should not be reversed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion.'" Cirino v. Cirino, 9th Dist. Lorain No. 11CA009959, 2011-Ohio-6332, ¶ 7, quoting Barlow v. Barlow, 9th Dist. Wayne No. 08CA0055, 2009-Ohio-3788, ¶ 5. In our review, "we consider the trial court's action with reference to the nature of the underlying matter." Tabatabai v. Tabatabai, 9th Dist. Medina No. 08CA0049-M, 2009-Ohio-3139, ¶ 18. A trial court's decision regarding the termination of spousal support is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Riley v. Riley, 9th Dist. Summit No. 22777, 2006-Ohio-656, ¶ 9, quoting Mottice v. Mottice, 118 Ohio App.3d 731, 735 (9th ...