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Bohme v. Bohme

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District, Montgomery

March 31, 2017

MICHELLE HANLEY BOHME Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
RICHARD K. BOHME Defendant-Appellee

         Civil Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations T.C. NO. 2009-DR-01281

          DAVID M. McNAMEE, Atty. Commons Blvd., Suite A, Beavercreek, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellant

          KEITH R. KEARNEY, Atty. Reg. and AMY R. BLAIR, Attorneys for Defendant-Appellee

          OPINION

          FROELICH, J.

         {¶ 1} Michelle H. Bohme (now known as Michelle Hanley), appeals from a judgment of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, which granted the motion of her former husband, Richard K. Bohme, to reduce his monthly spousal support and child support obligations. For the following reasons, the judgment of the trial court will be affirmed.

         I. Procedural History

         {¶ 2} Hanley and Bohme were divorced in November 2013, after more than 20 years of marriage. They had two children, one of whom was still a minor at the time of the divorce. Bohme was ordered to pay spousal support in the amount of $9, 000 per month for seven years, and to pay child support of $956 per month.

         {¶ 3} In April 2014, while the parties' direct appeal from the divorce decree was pending, Bohme filed a request to modify his support orders based on a decrease in income. Pursuant to an agreed order filed on January 26, 2015, the parties agreed that Bohme would withdraw his request for modification, that he would temporarily pay a reduced amount of spousal support (although the amount imposed in the divorce decree would continue to accrue), and that, after the appeal was resolved, either party could seek a modification of spousal support retroactive to the date of Bohme's April 14, 2014 request for a modification. We decided the appeal shortly thereafter. Bohme v. Bohme, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 26021, 2015-Ohio-339.

         {¶ 4} On March 20, 2015, Bohme filed a motion to reduce his spousal support and child support obligations, due to reduced income from his dental practice. On March 30, 2015, Hanley filed a motion to find Bohme in contempt for failure to pay support as ordered in the decree. A magistrate held a hearing on both motions.

         {¶ 5} On October 8, 2015, the magistrate found that Bohme's income had decreased substantially; accordingly, it reduced Bohme's spousal support obligation to $7, 000 per month and reduced his child support obligation to $930 per month. The reduction in spousal support was made effective May 1, 2014; the reduction in child support was effective April 1, 2015. Although Bohme was current on his child support obligation at the time of the magistrate's decision, he was $97, 463.33 in arrears on his spousal support obligation as of July 31, 2015; even with the retroactive modification of spousal support, Bohme had an arrearage of over $60, 000. The magistrate found Bohme in contempt for failing to pay spousal support prior to the parties' agreed entry, sentenced him to ten days in jail, which was suspended on the condition that he pay spousal support as ordered, and ordered Bohme to pay $200 per month toward the arrearage, in addition to the new spousal support order of $7, 000 per month. The magistrate also ordered Bohme to pay $350 in attorney's fees to Hanley for the contempt action.

         {¶ 6} Hanley filed objections to the magistrate's decision. Specifically, she objected to the magistrate's finding that Bohme's income had decreased and to its order that the arrearage be repaid at a rate of only $200 per month. She noted that, at this rate, it would take 30 years for Bohme to pay the arrearage. Bohme did not file any objections.

         {¶ 7} On August 11, 2016, the trial court ruled on Hanley's objections and issued its judgment. The trial court adopted the magistrate's finding that Bohme's income had decreased and that he was therefore entitled to a reduction in his support payments; it incorporated the new spousal support and child support amounts suggested by the magistrate. However, the trial court ordered that Bohme repay the arrearage at a rate of $1, 500 per month. The court's judgment also adopted the magistrate's findings with respect to Bohme's contempt, his jail term (suspended on the condition that he pay his support obligations), and his payment of attorney fees to Hanley.

         {¶ 8} Hanley raises one assignment of error on appeal, which challenges the trial court's determination of Bohme's income.

         II. ...


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