Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jackson v. Jackson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

October 30, 2017

LAURA JACKSON, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DALEN JACKSON, Defendant-Appellant.

         APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION Case No. DR 1401 0075

          Kevin D. Hughes, 20 South Main Street, Springboro, Ohio 45066, for plaintiff-appellee

          Mark W. Raines, 246 High Street, Hamilton, Ohio 45011, for defendant-appellant

          OPINION

          PIPER, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Dalen Jackson ("Husband"), appeals a decision of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, ordering him to pay spousal support and arrearages to plaintiff-appellee, Laura Jackson ("Wife").

         {¶ 2} Husband and Wife were married in 1992 and divorced in 2015. At the time of the divorce, Husband was 62 years old, in good health, and planned on working until he was 70 years old in the same job in which he had been employed for the past 30 years. Wife was 64 years old, disabled, and unable to work. The trial court's divorce decree ordered Husband to pay Wife $900 in spousal support per month until 2020. The trial court also ordered Husband to pay Wife $24, 500 upon the sale of the marital home, which represented Wife's portion of the equity in the home.

         {¶ 3} A year later, and after Husband failed to make some of his spousal support payments as ordered, Husband moved the court to modify his spousal support arrears and to terminate or reduce the spousal support order. Husband asserted a change of circumstances since the time of the divorce decree, based on his termination from his job. After his termination, Husband decided to retire and not seek reemployment. As mentioned above, his original plan was to work until he was 70. Upon applying for social security retirement benefits, Husband began receiving monthly social security payments. Deducted from his monthly check was $1, 016 to pay his spousal support order and $100 per month toward his arrearages.

         {¶ 4} A magistrate held a hearing on Husband's request to modify, during which, Husband represented himself pro se. The magistrate reduced Husband's spousal support order to $600 per month. The magistrate did not modify or terminate the $100 per month arrearage order. Husband then filed objections to the magistrate's decision, this time represented by counsel. The trial court overruled Husband's objections, but modified the magistrate's decision to include an additional $20 per month toward arrearages, for a total arrearage amount of $120 per month. Husband now appeals the trial court's decision, raising the following assignment of error.

         {¶ 5} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF DEFENDANT-APPELLANT WHEN IT ONLY REDUCED THE SPOUSAL SUPPORT ORDER FROM $900.00 PER MONTH TO $600.00 PER MONTH AND $120.00 PER MONTH TOWARDS ARREARS DESPITE DEFENDANT-APPELLANT'S SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN INCOME DUE TO RETIREMENT AND HIS LOSS OF EQUITY IN THE MARITAL PROPERTY.

         {¶ 6} Husband argues in his assignment of error that the trial court erred in not further reducing or terminating his spousal support.

         {¶ 7} A trial court has broad discretion in determining a spousal support award, including whether or not to modify an existing award. Burns v. Burns, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2011-05-050, 2012-Ohio-2850, ¶ 17. Thus, a spousal support award will not be disturbed on appeal absent an abuse of discretion. Id. An abuse of discretion connotes more than an error of law or judgment; it implies that the court's attitude is unreasonable, arbitrary, or unconscionable. DiPasquale v. DiPasquale, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2016-04-024, 2016-Ohio-8457, ¶ 9.

         {¶ 8} "In exercising its discretion to modify a spousal support award, the trial court must determine: (1) that the divorce decree contained a provision specifically authorizing the court to modify the spousal support, and (2) that the circumstances of either party have changed." Bixler v. Bixler, 12th Dist. Clermont No. CA2016-12-081, 2017-Ohio-7022, ¶ 16. Furthermore, the change in circumstances must be substantial enough to make the existing award no longer reasonable and appropriate and the change in circumstances must not have been taken into account by the parties or the court at the time when the existing award was established or last modified. R.C. 3105.18(F)(1)(a) and (b).

         {¶ 9} According to R.C. 3105.18(F)(1), "a change in the circumstances of a party includes, but is not limited to, any increase or involuntary decrease in the party's wages, salary, bonuses, living expenses, or medical expenses, or other changed circumstances * * *."

In determining whether spousal support is appropriate and reasonable, and in determining the nature, amount, and terms of payment, and duration of spousal support, which is payable either in gross or in installments, the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.