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T.M. v. W.B.

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Lorain

November 20, 2017

T.M. Appellant
v.
W.B. Appellee

         APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF LORAIN, OHIO CASE No. 11DU074617

          JOSEPH G. STAFFORD and NICOLE A. CRUZ, Attorneys at Law, for Appellant.

          BRENT L. ENGLISH, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          JENNIFER HENSAL, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         {¶1} T.M. appeals from the judgment of the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. We reverse and remand.

         I.

         {¶2} T.M. ("Mother") and W.B. ("Father") divorced in 2013. Mother and Father have two biological children, both of whom are minors. The divorce decree included a shared parenting plan, which designated both parties as residential parents and legal custodians, but designated Father as the residential parent for school purposes. The shared parenting plan indicated that Mother would have possession of the children on alternating weekends, and every Wednesday after school until the following morning. During the summers, the children were to alternate between Mother and Father's houses on a weekly basis.

         {¶3} Although this case has a lengthy post-decree procedural history, this Court will limit its recitation of the facts to the motion practice and hearing that precipitated this appeal. Relevantly, Mother filed a motion to modify the shared parenting plan. The trial court considered that motion, among others, during hearings that occurred between July 2015 and April 2016. The parties reached an in-court agreement relative to certain issues in April 2016. The parties, however, did not reach an agreement with respect to a school year possession schedule for their children. Instead, they agreed that they would defer to the trial court, and would accept the schedule it set forth.

         {¶4} Subsequent to the in-court agreement, Father filed a summary of the agreement and Mother moved the trial court to adopt the in-court agreement. Thereafter, Father sent a proposed judgment entry to the trial court, the guardian ad litem, and Mother's counsel. He then sent them an amended proposed judgment entry. The trial court adopted the amended proposed judgment entry in full. Mother moved for relief from the trial court's judgment, and - with that motion still pending - filed a notice of appeal with this Court. Mother's merit brief raises two assignments of error for our review.

         II.

         ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I

         THE TRIAL COURT ERRED AND ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN ADOPTING A PROPOSED JUDGMENT ENTRY WHICH DOES NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE TERMS OF THE PARTIES' APRIL 1, 2016 IN-COURT AGREEMENT.

         {¶5} In her first assignment of error, Mother argues that the trial court abused its discretion by adopting the proposed judgment entry because it did not accurately reflect the parties' in-court agreement. Mother argues that the judgment entry conflicts with the in-court agreement as it relates to a number of issues, including which parent is the residential and custodial parent, Father's relocation, the summer possession schedule, and the school year possession schedule.

         {¶6} Regarding Father's relocation, Mother asserts that the in-court agreement reflects that Father was permitted to relocate once within the Elyria or Midview school districts without prior approval from the court. Subsequent relocations, however, would require the court's approval. Mother argues that, contrary to the ...


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