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Sandel v. Choma

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

October 25, 2017

LORI SANDEL Appellee
v.
DAVID CHOMA Appellant

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. DR-1998-06-1433

          JOHN M. DOHNER, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.

          KEVIN S. SANDEL, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          LYNNE S. CALLAHAN JUDGE.

         {¶1} David Choma ("Father") appeals from an order of the Summit County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division. This Court reverses.

         I.

         {¶2} Father and Lori Sandel ("Mother") are the divorced parents of two children. Initially, Father was ordered to pay child support to Mother. But, due to changing circumstances over the years, Mother was later ordered to pay child support to Father.

         {¶3} Support obligations for the oldest child terminated in September 2014 because she was 18 years old and no longer in high school. Consequently, Mother's monthly support obligation was reduced. The Summit County Child Support Enforcement Agency ("CSEA") calculated a child support overpayment of $12, 587.37 as of August 14, 2014.

         {¶4} In the meantime, Mother's salary had increased. On January 29, 2015, Father filed a motion seeking an increase in child support and reimbursement of medical expenses that he had paid for the children. Mother then filed a motion seeking repayment of the overpaid child support and reimbursement of medical expenses that she had paid for the children. Following a motion to consolidate hearing dates and multiple motions for continuances, the matter came on for a hearing before the magistrate on October 21, 2015.

         {¶5} At that hearing, evidence was presented regarding the parties' incomes and the medical expenses each had paid for the children. In addition, Mother presented a copy of the order terminating child support for the oldest child and listing the overpayment amount of $12, 587.37. Father presented a sheet on which he had calculated an amount owed to Mother, an amount owed to him, and a net amount that he claimed Mother owed him.

         {¶6} The magistrate issued a decision in May 2016 finding that Mother had previously overpaid child support to Father, creating a credit due to Mother. The magistrate further found that each party owed the other for medical expenses, but, after offsetting the amounts, the net result was that Mother owed Father for medical expenses. The magistrate also found that Mother's child support obligation should be increased effective January 29, 2015, creating an arrearage that she owed to Father. After offsetting the amounts each party owed the other, the magistrate concluded that Father owed Mother a net amount of $7, 320.61.

         {¶7} Both sides filed objections to the magistrate's decision. Among other things, the parties objected to the income amounts used by the magistrate, the child support calculations, and the net amount owed by Father to Mother.

         {¶8} Prior to receiving the objections, the trial court entered an order terminating the child support obligation for the second child because he was 18 years old and no longer in high school. The recommendation from CSEA accompanying the order noted that, as of March 31, 2016, there was a child support overpayment of $12, 409.31.

         {¶9} In December 2016, the trial court entered its order ruling on the parties' objections. The trial court corrected the income amounts for both parties and the resulting child support calculations. After calculating and applying various offsetting amounts, the ...


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