FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 2014-05-1216
S. GRASKE, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
ASHTON, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
A. SCHAFER, JUDGE
Appellant-Defendant, Patrick Mullen, appeals the judgment of
the Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations
Division, granting a divorce decree. This court affirms in
part, reverses in part, and remands.
This is a divorce action between Mr. Patrick Mullen and Ms.
Bethanne Mullen after 27 years of marriage. Ms. Mullen filed
a complaint for divorce, together with a motion for temporary
orders and Mr. Mullen answered. Following a hearing on the
motion for temporary orders, the court ordered Mr. Mullen to
pay temporary spousal support in the amount of $1, 300.00 a
month. The parties stipulated during trial that Mr. Mullen
had a past due support arrearage of $3, 672.00.
At the time of trial, the parties had no unemancipated
children and the maj ority of their debt had been discharged
in bankruptcy. The parties had divided the bulk of their
personal property, but during trial Ms. Mullen identified a
number of additional items she would permit Mr. Mullen to
have. However, she also stated that Mr. Mullen had admitted
to taking her jewelry after they had separated. Mr. Mullen
denied having the jewelry, but the trial court resolved the
issue in Ms. Mullen's favor. The trial court ordered Mr.
Mullen to return the jewelry within thirty days or Ms. Mullen
could retain all of Mr. Mullen's personal property then
in her possession.
At the time of trial, Mr. Mullen was 52 and was employed
full-time. Ms. Mullen was 51 and employed part-time as a
nurse's aide for two separate employers. The trial court
found Ms. Mullen's health issues limited her ability to
work full-time. The trial court also determined that a Parent
Plus Loan executed in Mr. Mullen's name during the time
of the marriage was his sole responsibility. As a result of
these findings and other considerations, the trial court
awarded Ms. Mullen spousal support in the amount of $1,
800.00 per month. Additionally, the trial court ordered Mr.
Mullen to maintain life insurance naming Ms. Mullen as
beneficiary in an amount sufficient to satisfy his obligation
of spousal support, during the pendency of his support
Mr. Mullen now brings this timely appeal, raising three
assignments of error for our review.
of Error I
trial court erred in permitting [Ms. Mullen] to retain [Mr.
Mullen's] personal property, including his separate
property, unless he gave wife property which he did not have
in his possession.
In his first assignment of error, Mr. Mullen contends the
trial court erred when it found that Ms. Mullen may retain
all of his personal property already in her possession if he
did not return her personal property. However, at oral
argument, the parties agreed that Ms. Mullen had found the
missing jewelry and returned Mr. Mullen's personal
property to him. Therefore, Mr. Mullen's first assignment
of error is moot and we decline to address the merits.
See Bayview Loan Servicing, LLC v. Salem, 9th Dist.
Summit No. 27460, 2015-Ohio-2615, ¶ 7 quoting Aurora
Loan Servs v. Kahook, 9th Dist. Summit No. 24415,
2009-Ohio-2997, ¶ 6 ("Appellate courts will not
review questions that do not involve live
of Error II
trial court erred in awarding [Ms. Mullen] spousal support on
an equalization-of-income basis and without taking into
account [Mr. Mullen's] obligation to pay the Parent Plus
Loan and in the absence of expert ...