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Hall v. Hall

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Adams

November 30, 2017

ELISA M. HALL, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JOSHUA R. HALL, Defendant-Appellee.

          Tyler E. Cantrell, Young & Caldwell, LLC, West Union, Ohio for Appellant.

          Barbara A. Moore, West Union, Ohio for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          Marie Hoover, Judge

         {¶ 1} Plaintiff-Appellant, Elisa Hall ("Elisa"), appeals the judgment of the Adams County Common Pleas Court modifying an agreed shared parenting plan between her and her ex-husband, Defendant-Appellee, Joshua Hall ("Joshua").

         {¶ 2} Elisa contends that the trial court erred in giving Joshua more parenting time and establishing designated call times without evidence that there had been a change in circumstances or that the modifications were in the best interest of the children, as required under R.C. 3109.04(E)(1)(a). She also contends that the modifications are against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         {¶ 3} However, R.C. 3109.04(E)(1)(a) governs the modification of parental rights and responsibilities; and the modifications at issue here do not constitute modifications of parental rights and responsibilities. Rather, provisions allocating parenting time and designating call times constitute terms of a shared parenting plan; and a trial court may modify terms of a shared parenting plan without a showing of a change of circumstances so long as the modifications are in the best interest of the child. R.C. 3109.04(E)(2)(b). Thus, we need only decide whether the trial court abused its discretion in determining that it was in the children's best interest to modify the terms of the shared parenting plan and whether its determination was against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         {¶ 4} Upon review of the record, we conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining that it was in the best interests of the children to modify the terms of the agreed shared parenting plan; and its determination was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.

         {¶ 5} Accordingly, we overrule Elisa's assignments of error and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         I. Facts and Procedural History

         {¶ 6} Elisa and Joshua were married on August 5, 2011. Elisa filed a complaint for divorce on June 17, 2015, alleging incompatibility, gross neglect of duty, and extreme cruelty. Joshua filed an answer and a counterclaim for divorce on July 24, 2015.

         {¶ 7} The record shows that a final hearing was held on December 9, 2015; however, the journal entry from that date only shows an agreement for "temporary orders. " The parties apparently agreed to the following:

1. The Plaintiff, Elisa M. Hall shall be the residential parent and custodian of the parties' minor children Brody J. Hall, DOB 04-02-2011 and Brennan J. Hall DOB 06-03-2013.
2.The Defendant, Joshua R. Hall shall have visitation with the parties' minor children Brody J. Hall, DOB 04-02-2011 and Brennan J. Hall DOB 06-03-2013, every other weekend from Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Saturday at 6:00 P.M. and every Wednesday from 5:30 P.M. until 8:30 P.M.
3.The Defendant, Joshua R. Hall shall have the right of first refusal on Saturday mornings if the Plaintiff is working.
4.The Defendant, Joshua R. Hall shall pay child support to the Plaintiff, Elisa M. Hall per the attached child support worksheet.
5.The matter is set for mediation on December 18, 2015 at 9:00 A.M.
6.Neither party shall say or allow anyone else to say anything negative about the other party while in the presence of the parties' minor children Brody J. Hall, DOB 04-02-2011 and Brennan J. Hall DOB 06-03-2013.[1]

         {¶ 8} Although the parties had entered into the above listed agreements in December 2015, the divorce decree did not get filed until July 20, 2016. Prior to the divorce decree being filed, Elisa moved from West Union to the Eastgate area in May 2016. In June 2016, Joshua filed a "Motion Objecting to Plaintiff's Relocation." Joshua claimed that Elisa's relocation was not in the best interests of the children.[2] A motion hearing was scheduled for August 12, 2016.

         {¶ 9} The trial court issued the final decree of divorce on July 20, 2016. The decree allocated parental rights and responsibilities designating Mother as the residential parent for school purposes for the children and granting Father parenting time. The decree also set forth an agreed shared parenting plan concerning the care and custody of the children. Part of the agreement provided:

A. Mother shall be the residential parent for school purposes for their minor children.
B. Mother and Father agree to a parenting schedule to increase and enhance parenting time for each parent.
C. Father shall exercise parenting time alternating weekends from Friday at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday at 6:00 p.m. During the summer, Father shall exercise parenting time every Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. overnight to Wednesday morning when Father shall transport the children to daycare or Mother's residence., and every Thursday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. At all other times other than the summer, Father shall exercise parenting time every Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
D. Mother shall exercise routine parenting time at all other times not stated above.

         {¶ 10} On August 12, 2016, the hearing was held on Joshua's Motion Objecting to Relocation; and the following evidence was presented, in relevant part:

         {¶ 11} Joshua testified that Elisa moved from West Union to the Eastgate area in May 2016. He explained that since then, he had not seen his children according to the terms of the shared parenting plan. He stated that he had only been seeing his children from approximately 8:00 p.m. Thursday to 8:00 p.m. Friday and every other weekend (Thursday evening through Sunday evening). He testified, however, that before the move, he would see the children even more than provided for in their shared parenting plan. For instance, he stated that he would often pick the children up from day care and help bathe and feed them. He explained that he wanted to remain involved in his children's lives but it was going to be harder because he worked from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Butler, Kentucky and did not get back home to West Union until 6:00 p.m.

         {¶ 12} Joshua's mother testified that she had a wonderful relationship with her grandchildren. She stated that prior to the move, she would see the children a lot. For instance, she stated that she would pick them up from daycare and watch them until Elisa got home from work. She stated that since the move, however, she had not seen them as much. She stated that she could still help with the children but it would be more difficult since she lived in West Union. She also stated that the children had a lot of extended family in West Union that they enjoyed being around.

         {¶ 13} Elisa testified that she moved from West Union to the Eastgate area because she got a much better job. She stated that she talked with Joshua about the move prior to filing her notice; and although he was not happy about it, she believed that the move was in the best interest of the children. For instance, she stated that she was going to be able to provide more for the children because she was making more money and that there were more extracurricular ...


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