Deborah H. Bowman [nka Hayden], Plaintiff-Appellee,
Louis L. Bowman, Defendant-Appellant.
from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of
Domestic Relations C.P.C. No. 04DR-1009
brief: Reash Law Offices, LLC, and Maryellen Corna Reash, for
brief: Robert C Hetterscheidt, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, Louis L. Bowman, appeals
from the January 19, 2017 judgment entry of the Franklin
County Court of Common Pleas, Division of Domestic Relations,
denying his motion to terminate or modify spousal support to
plaintiff-appellee, Deborah Hayden, aka Deborah H. Bowman.
For the following reasons, we affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2} The parties were married on September 30, 1977,
and there were five children born as issue of the marriage.
On March 15, 2004, appellee filed for divorce. The parties
were divorced on March 15, 2007, through an agreed judgment
entry and decree of divorce ("Agreed Divorce
Decree"). In the Agreed Divorce Decree, it was
stipulated that, in 2006 (the year prior to the divorce),
appellant earned $254, 441, and appellee earned $49, 505.
3} Pursuant to the agreement of the parties,
appellant was to pay the sum of $6, 000 per month to appellee
as spousal support. The Agreed Divorce Decree states that
"such support shall be indefinite and subject to the
continuing jurisdiction of the Court to modify the amount and
the term of such support upon motion of either plaintiff or
defendant and a showing of changed circumstances, pursuant to
R.C. 3105.18(E)." (Mar. 15, 2007 Agreed Divorce Decree
at 6.) On April 13, 2007, appellant remarried, and his new
wife had two daughters who were minors at that time.
4} On March 31, 2014, appellant filed a supplemental
motion to terminate or modify spousal support. On October 20,
2014, appellee filed a cross-motion to modify spousal
support. The matter proceeded to an evidentiary hearing
before a magistrate on September 15, 2015. The magistrate
issued a decision on September 27, 2016, denying both
motions. In regards to appellant's motion, the magistrate
found a substantial change of circumstances based on: (1)
appellant's decrease in hourly wage rate; (2)
appellant's increase in work hours; (3) appellant's
increase in income; and (4) appellee's decrease in
income. However, even with this finding, the magistrate
concluded that the "spousal support continues to be
appropriate, reasonable and equitable at the rate of $6,
000.00 per month." (Sept. 27, 2016 Mag. Decision at 24.)
5} Appellant filed objections to the
magistrate's decision on October 5, 2016, and
supplemental objections on January 3, 2017. Appellee filed
objections on October 17, 2016. In addition, oral arguments
were held on January 10, 2017 before the trial judge. On
January 19, 2017, the trial court issued its decision and
judgment entry finding that no substantial change in
circumstances had occurred and, as relevant to this appeal,
The Court acknowledges that the Magistrate found a
"substantial" change of circumstances and as such,
made further findings as to an appropriate amount. This Court
having found no substantial change does not need to review
the factors set forth in R.C. 3105.18(F). However, the Court
having previously reviewed the transcript and exhibits would
find no basis upon which to reach a different conclusion from
the Magistrate when applying R.C. 3105.18 as to an
appropriate ongoing Order.
The Court hereby OVERRULES the Plaintiffs and Defendant's
Objections. Rather than repeat the Findings of the
Magistrate, the Court approves and adopts the
Magistrate's Findings and Decision, except as modified
Therefore, the Magistrate's Decision issued on September
27, 2016 is ...