APPEAL FROM WARREN COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION Case No. 11DR35141.
Fred Miller, for plaintiff-appellee.
Manisha Kotian, for plaintiff-appellee.
Charleston C.K. Wang, for defendant-appellant.
(¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Davneet Kaur Wadhwa (Wife), appeals from a judgment entry and final decree of divorce entered by the Warren County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, which ordered plaintiff-appellee, Kulwinder Singh (Husband), to pay $1, 500 a month in spousal support for two years to Wife. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
(¶ 2} Husband and Wife were married on April 28, 2002 in New Delhi, India. Two children were born of the marriage in India. In 2008, the family moved to the United States in conjunction with Husband's employment with Siemens PLM Software Company. Husband has an L-1A nonimmigrant classification, which allows an intracompany transfer of an executive or manager from a company's affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the United States. Wife and the couple's two children have an L-2 derivative nonimmigrant status, which allows them to live in the United States while Husband is employed as an L-1A employee.
(¶ 3} Husband's salary from his position with Siemens is $96, 599.88. Wife, a stay-at-home mother, has no income. Furthermore, under Wife's current immigration status, she is unable to work as she has not received work authorization from the government.
(¶ 4} Husband and Wife separated in August 2010. Husband filed a complaint for divorce on November 23, 2011, and temporary orders for spousal support and child support were ordered. Pursuant to these orders, Husband was to pay Wife $475 a month for spousal support and $1, 304.92 a month for child support.
(¶ 5} A final divorce hearing was held on August 3, 2012 and September 20, 2012 before a magistrate. On October 10, 2012, the magistrate issued a decision recommending, in relevant part, that a divorce be granted, that Wife retain the children's passports, and that Husband be ordered to pay spousal support in the amount of $1, 500 a month for a period of 24 months, effective November 1, 2012. In ordering spousal support, the trial court specifically held that it would "retain jurisdiction over the amount and the term of spousal support due to the uncertain immigration circumstances of the parties and Wife's uncertain employment status."
(¶ 6} On October 24, 2012, Husband filed an objection to the magistrate's decision, arguing that the magistrate erred in recommending that Wife retain the children's passports. On November 5, 2012, Wife also filed objections to the magistrate's decision, arguing that the recommended amount and duration of spousal support was insufficient to meet her needs and, therefore, was an abuse of discretion. On November 16, 2012, Wife filed a request with the trial court asking that the court require Husband to order the transcript of the final divorce hearing or, alternatively, grant her additional time to obtain the transcript and waive the fee necessary to obtain the transcript.
(¶ 7} On November 21, 2012, the trial court issued a decision on the parties' objections. At this time, neither party had requested or filed a transcript of the final divorce hearing. In its decision overruling the parties' objections, the court stated, "[w]ithout a transcript, this Court is unable to make a factual determination pertaining to either party's objections. This Court finds that both [Husband] and [Wife] failed to file a transcript of the hearing before the Magistrate, and this Court adopts the Magistrate's Decision without further consideration." On January 7, 2013, the trial court filed its judgment entry and final decree of divorce.
(¶ 8} Wife now appeals, raising two assignments of error for ...