Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Hancock
JENNIFER L. STOCKER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
HANS S. STOCKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
from Hancock County Common Pleas Court Domestic Relations
Division Trial Court No. 2014-DR-340
M. Lopez for Appellant.
A. Spaeth for Appellee.
Defendant-appellant, Hans S. Stocker, appeals the April 19,
2017 Amended Judgment Entry/Decree of Divorce issued by the
Hancock County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations
Division, granting him a divorce from plaintiff-appellee,
Jennifer L. Stocker. On appeal, Hans argues that the trial
court erred in accepting an appraisal of the marital
residence submitted by Jennifer, in accepting the value his
expert assigned to the parties' business, and in failing
to apply the $150, 000 combined income level cap in
determining his child support obligation.
and Procedural History
The parties were married on May 31, 1997. Three children were
born during the marriage in 1998, 2001, and 2004.
In 2010, the parties created Norville Enterprises, LLC
("Norville Enterprises"), an entity which owns a
franchised operation of Adam and Eve, an adult novelty retail
store. Even though the parties owned the business together,
it is undisputed that Jennifer operated the business on a
On October 9, 2014, Jennifer filed a complaint for divorce
alleging the parties to be incompatible. Hans timely filed an
answer and a counterclaim for divorce on the same ground.
The case proceeded to a final evidentiary hearing before the
magistrate on October 22 and 23, 2015. At issue between the
parties was the allocation of parenting time and child
support, the division of certain personal property, the value
and allocation of the marital residence, and the value of
Norville Enterprises, of which the parties agreed that
Jennifer would retain sole ownership after the divorce.
On February 17, 2016, the magistrate issued a decision.
Relative to the issues raised on appeal, the magistrate
recommended that Jennifer be designated the residential
parent of the children with Hans paying $1, 276.71 per month
in child support, plus processing and with provision for cash
medical support. In reaching his recommendation regarding
child support, the magistrate found that it was just and
appropriate not to deviate from the child support worksheets,
despite the fact that the parties' combined annual income
exceeded $150, 000. See R.C. 3119.04(B).
At the final divorce hearing, both Jennifer and Hans
submitted professional appraisals of the marital home. The
magistrate chose to accept the appraisal submitted by
Jennifer which valued the home at $290, 000. The magistrate
recommended that Jennifer retain possession of the marital
home, subject to the $180, 521.70 mortgage. With respect to
the value of Norville Enterprises, the magistrate heard
testimony from a CPA, with a certified specialization in
business valuation, who calculated the value of Norville
Enterprises to be $337, 757 using an "income
approach" to valuation. After allocating the remaining
marital property, the magistrate recommended that Jennifer
pay Hans $57, 589.13 to equalize the division of property
between the parties.
Hans timely filed objections to the magistrate's
decision, raising the issues of the magistrate's
recommendation not to apply the $150, 000 combined income cap
on the child support obligation and the values assigned to
the marital home and the business.
On March 2, 2017, the trial court overruled Hans'
objections to the magistrate's decision, and on April 19,
2017, the trial court issued an Amended Judgment Entry/Decree
of Divorce issuing orders consistent with the recommendations
in the magistrate's decision.
Hans filed this appeal, asserting the following assignments
OF ERROR NO. 1
TRIAL COURT ERRED AND ACTED CONTRARY TO LAW WHEN IT
DETERMINED THE VALUE OF THE ...