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Smith v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Sandusky

January 6, 2017

Tomi J. Smith Appellee
v.
Franklin D. Smith, Jr. Appellant

         Trial Court No. 12DR971

          Jon M. Ickes, for appellee.

          Laurel A. Kendall, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          OSOWIK, J.

         I. Introduction

         {¶ 1} In this case, Franklin D. Smith, the defendant-appellant and "husband" herein, appeals a final divorce decree decided by the Sandusky County Court of Common Pleas. Appellant claims six assignments of error, all of which pertain to the division of property recommended by a magistrate and adopted by the trial court. The plaintiff-appellee, and "wife" herein, is Tomi J. Smith.

         {¶ 2} For the reasons that follow, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

         II. Statement of Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 3} Husband and wife were married from January 7, 1995 until July 22, 2013. They had one child together, a daughter, who was emancipated as of the final divorce hearing.

         {¶ 4} Wife filed for divorce on August 10, 2012. Husband did not answer, or otherwise respond, to the complaint. Likewise, husband failed to file "G-1 and G-2 Affidavits of Income and Expenses and Property" required by local rule. (Sandusky County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division Loc. R. (A)(3)(a)).

         {¶ 5} The following facts were developed at the "final divorce hearing" hearing, held on July 22, 2013.

         {¶ 6} The parties separated in December of 2011 when wife left the marital home, taking with her some personal property. She claims to have left behind personal property valued at $30, 000, attributed mostly to the value of appliances.

         {¶ 7} Wife is a licensed massage therapist and cosmetologist. In 1998, while married, wife purchased a business, Hair Plus Salon, from her parents. Wife is the sole proprietor of the business. She also works on a contract basis for ProMedica. In 2012, wife reported $32, 916 in income.

         {¶ 8} Husband and wife own individual retirement accounts, each of which had a value of about $12, 000.

         {¶ 9} At the time of hearing, husband was still living at the marital home, located on Lynber Lane in Clyde, Ohio. Plaintiff estimated that the value of that property was $250, 000; husband estimated that it was $200, 000. The parties also owned a home located in Port Clinton, Ohio, which wife valued at $65, 000. Finally, the parties co-owned a time-share, which wife valued at $2, 000.

         {¶ 10} Husband is the sole proprietor of JES Leasing Services LLC, which is a holding company of Electrical Control Design ("ECD"). Husband operates ECD, which is an electrical contracting firm. He testified that he believed the assets of the business were worth about $64, 000.

         {¶ 11} Wife offered into evidence her individual tax returns for 2012, various medical and legal bills, a 2010 tax return and bank statement for ECD, another statement for the holding company, and the parties' joint 2012 tax return.

         {¶ 12} Husband put forth no evidence, excluding his testimony, at the hearing.

         III. The Magistrate's March 26, 2015 Decision

         {¶ 13} The magistrate recommended that that the trial court adopt and approve the following division of property:

Wife: Hair Salon Plus, two cars, wife's retirement plan; all personal property in her current ...

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