from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Division of
Domestic Relations (C.P.C. No. 15DR-450)
Petroff Law Offices, LLC, Ronald R. Petroff, and Michelle J.
Askins, for appellee.
and Atkins Attorneys at Law, Jacqueline Baumann, and Arianna
Atkins, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, Shanaka J. Fernando, appeals
the October 19, 2016 judgment entry and final decree of
divorce entered by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas,
Division of Domestic Relations. For the following reasons, we
affirm in part and reverse in part.
Facts and Procedural History
2} Appellant and plaintiff-appellee, Champa
Fernando, were married on January 6, 1996, and three children
were born as issue of the marriage. On February 10, 2015,
appellee filed a complaint for divorce. On January 22, 2016,
the parties submitted an agreed entry settling their personal
property issues. On March 4, 2016, the parties submitted and
the trial court accepted a document containing agreed joint
stipulations and a divorce settlement memorandum. As relevant
to the present appeal, the parties stipulated that, in
addition to the marital residence located in Dublin, Ohio,
they were joint owners of five properties located in Sri
Lanka: one located in Seeduwa ("the Seeduwa
property"), three located in Bollatha ("the
Bollatha properties"), and one located in Colombo
("the Colombo property"). The parties stipulated
appellee would retain the marital residence and appellant
would be entitled to a share of the equity of the marital
residence, as determined by the court. The parties also
entered stipulations regarding their automobiles, spousal
support, life insurance, retirement accounts, financial
accounts, and custody of their children.
3} A hearing was conducted in early March 2016, with
the final day of the hearing occurring on March 15, 2016.
Following the hearing, on October 19, 2016, the trial court
entered a judgment granting a final decree of divorce. With
respect to the Sri Lankan properties, the divorce decree
provided appellant would retain the Seeduwa property and the
Bollatha properties. The decree further provided that the
land portion of the Colombo property was appellee's
separate property, and appellee would retain it. The court
held the building located on the Colombo property was marital
property, and each of the parties was entitled to one-half of
the equity in that structure. The trial court also held
appellee was entitled to half of the profits from the sale of
another Sri Lankan property ("the Ja-Ela property")
the parties previously owned, which appellant sold in 2013.
The decree further provided for division of the parties'
automobiles and other assets and accounts, and for custody of
Assignments of Error
4} Appellant appeals and assigns the following six
assignments of error for our review:
[I.] The lower court in its Judgment Entry Decree of Divorce
erred and abused its discretion by determining the
parties' de facto termination of marriage date was after
the date of the final hearing.
[II.] The lower court in its Judgment Entry Decree of Divorce
erred and abused its discretion by failing to make an
equitable division of martial property when it excluded the
value of the cars in the property division.
[III.] The lower court in its Judgment Entry Decree of
Divorce erred and abused its discretion by failing to make an
equitable division of martial property when the court chose
an arbitrary amount in determining the value of the Colombo
[IV.] The lower court in its Judgment Entry Decree of Divorce
erred and abused its discretion in determining the amount of
rental income received by Appellee for purposes of property
[V.] The lower court in its Judgment Entry Decree of Divorce
erred and abused its discretion in including the proceeds of
the Ja-Ela property in the division of property which
resulted in an inequitable division of property.
[VI.] The lower court in its Judgment Entry Decree of Divorce
erred and abused its discretion in determining that the land
located on the Colombo property was Appellee's separate
Duration of the Marriage for Property Valuation
5} In his first assignment of error, appellant
asserts the trial court abused its discretion by holding that
the parties' marriage terminated as of the date of the
final judgment entry rather than the date of the final
hearing. Appellant argues the trial court effectively found a
de facto termination date that was contrary to the statutory