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Weaver v. Walsh

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 1, 2017

Jonathan Weaver, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
April Weaver n.k.a. Walsh, Defendant-Appellee.

         APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations (C.P.C. No. 10DR-4220)

         On brief:

          Joel R. Rovito, for appellant.

          April Weaver, pro se.

         Argued:

          April Weaver.

          DECISION

          LUPER SCHUSTER, J.

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-appellant, Jonathan Weaver, appeals from a judgment of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations, refusing a downward deviation from the guideline child support obligation he must pay defendant-appellee, April Weaver n.k.a. Walsh. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         {¶ 2} Jonathan and April married in July 2007 and had two children. In November 2010, the parties' marriage was dissolved by an Agreed Judgment Entry -Decree of Dissolution. In connection with the dissolution, the court adopted the parties agreed shared parenting plan.

         {¶ 3} In March 2014, the trial court approved and adopted the parties' first amended shared parenting plan. Pursuant to that parenting plan, Jonathan received parenting time with the children on Mondays and Tuesdays after school (approximately 3:00 p.m.) until 7:15 p.m. and alternating weekends from Friday after school until Monday morning when he dropped the children off at school (approximately 8:00 a.m.). Jonathan's overnight parenting time was conditioned on him not being away from the children for longer than six hours, in which case April was given the right of first refusal to keep the children during that time. During summers, Jonathan had parenting time Tuesdays at 3:00 p.m. until Thursdays at 8:00 a.m. and alternating weekends from Friday at 3:00 p.m. until Monday at 12:00 p.m. The plan also detailed the parties' parenting time for other occasions such as holidays and spring break. There was also a general clause granting "both parties the right of first refusal to care for the children if the possession parent was to be away from the children for more than six hours during their parenting time." (Jan. 27, 2016 Mag. Decision at 3.) Regarding child support, the court ordered Jonathan to pay the guideline amount of child support, as calculated pursuant to the statutory child support schedule and applicable worksheet.

         {¶ 4} In September 2014, April filed a motion to terminate the parenting plan in effect at that time, or in the alternative, to reallocate parental rights and responsibilities. April requested that the weekday schedule and their right of first refusal remain the same, but that Jonathan no longer have the children overnight on alternating Sundays. Jonathan requested that he not be required to pay child support. He also requested additional overnights with the children and that there be no right of first refusal in the shared parenting plan. The matter was heard before a magistrate in May and June 2015. After the trial, the magistrate denied Jonathan's request for additional overnights with the children. However, the magistrate limited April's right of first refusal to the portion of Jonathan's parenting time when he is working at the fire department. As to child support, the magistrate required Jonathan to continue to pay the guideline amount of child support. After the trial court filed an interim order adopting the magistrate's decision, Jonathan timely filed objections to the magistrate's decision. The objections challenged, among other things, the magistrate's parental time allocation and the magistrate's finding that Jonathan must continue to pay the guideline amount of child support.

         {¶ 5} As to Jonathan's objection regarding parental time allocation, the trial court determined that the addition of one overnight on alternate Mondays would maintain stability and consistency for the children's school schedule and, thus, ruled that Jonathan's parenting time would include alternate Fridays at 5:30 p.m. until drop off at school on Tuesday morning. The trial court also found that it is in the children's best interest for Jonathan to continue paying the guideline child support amount. Consequently, the trial court sustained in part Jonathan's objection to the magistrate's allocation of parenting time, and it otherwise overruled his objections to the magistrate's decision.

         {¶ 6} ...


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