A.K. NKA A.H. Defendant-Appellant
from the Perry County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee: HOLLY P. REGOLI.
Defendant-Appellant: KYLE C. HENDERSON.
JUDGES: Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, P.J. Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J.
Hon. John W. Wise, J.
Defendant-Appellant A.K. nka A.H. appeals the March 10, 2017
judgment entry of the Perry County Court of Common Pleas.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff-Appellee M.K. ("Father") and
Defendant-Appellant A.K. nka A.H. ("Mother") were
granted a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage on March 23,
2010. Two children were born as issue of the marriage: N.K.,
born on October 1, 2004, and D.K., born on May 14, 2009.
The Decree named Mother as the residential parent and legal
custodian. Father had parenting time every other weekend and
On December 11, 2015, Father filed a Motion for Reallocation
of Parental Rights and Responsibilities. In the motion,
Father alleged he was concerned about Mother's care for
the children. He stated the children appeared dirty and when
Father picked up the children at Mother's home, Father
noticed the outside of the house was dirty and there was dog
feces inside the home. Father also claimed Mother was not
supervising the children's schoolwork because D.K.'s
reading log had not been signed by Mother for the month of
November. Father finally alleged Mother had not taken care of
the children's medical needs. Father claimed Mother had
never taken the children to the dentist.
The trial court appointed a Guardian ad Litem on December 23,
2015. The GAL report was filed on June 16, 2016.
Mother requested the trial court conduct an in camera
interview of the children. The magistrate conducted the
interview with the children on September 7, 2016.
A hearing on the Motion for Reallocation of Parental Rights
and Responsibilities was held before the magistrate on
September 9, 2016. The following evidence was adduced at the
Mother lives in Lancaster, Ohio with the two children, her
husband, and three dogs. At the time of the hearing, one of
the dogs had eight puppies. Mother's home was a two-story
home and each child had his own bedroom.
During the 2014-2015 school year, the children were late to
school approximately 30 times. Mother was responsible for
transporting the children to school and had difficulty
establishing a morning routine. In the 2015-2016 school year,
the children were not late to school because they took the
bus. The children were average students at school. The school
did not note any hygiene issues with the children. Father
reported that Mother neglected to sign D.K.'s reading log
for one month. Mother stated the reading log was not signed
because D.K. lost his reading log twice and it was replaced.
D.K. did lose recess time because he failed to keep up his
reading log. Father was not involved in the children's
school and rarely attended their school functions. The
children were happy at their school in Lancaster.
Mother was employed as a hair stylist. Her husband was a
forklift driver. The children cared for and got along with
Father resided in McArthur, Ohio with his girlfriend of four
years and her two children. His home was owned by his
girlfriend's stepfather and was located on a cattle farm
where Father was employed. There were four dogs in
Father's home. Father did not exercise his mid- week
visitation due to the distance between his home in Vinton
County and Mother's home in Lancaster. When the children
stayed with Father, the children shared a bedroom. During the
week, Father worked on the farm for most of the day. The
children were able to play outside and Father was available
Mother and Father's girlfriend did not get along. There
were text records showing an argument between Mother and
Father's girlfriend. At the hearing, Father's
girlfriend stated she no longer had issues with Mother and
regretted her behavior towards Mother. After Father filed the
motion for reallocation, Mother did not give Father extra
visitation time with the children.
Father brought the motion for reallocation of parental rights
due to his concerns for Mother's care for the children.
Father understood the children did not go to bed at
Mother's until 1:00 a.m. He observed that when he picked
up the children for visitation, the children's clothes
were often dirty, torn, and/or improperly fitting. The
youngest child often had soiled underpants. Father stated the
children went to school wearing those clothes. He also
observed when he picked up the children, the outside of
Mother's home and front porch were cluttered with
rubbish. Father discovered that Mother had never taken the
children to a dentist or a well-child physical. Father took
the children to the dentist and the youngest child required
two crowns. Father caught the children up on their
vaccination schedule. Mother stated because the children did
not have adult teeth, the children's pediatrician checked
the children's teeth and did not observe any issues.
Mother also took the children to the doctor as needed. The
GAL recommended to Mother that she take the children to see a
The GAL conducted home visits with Father and Mother.
Father's home was located on a farm in a rural area.
During the GAL's announced visit, Father's home
appeared neat and tidy. The children of Father's
girlfriend shared a bedroom, while D.K. and N.K. shared a
bedroom. D.K. and N.K. were present with Father's