KATHRYN M. O'HARA Appellee
FREDERICK J. EPHRAIM Appellant
FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS COUNTY OF
SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 2013-08-2158
KENNETH M. CRISLIP, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
A. KOPEC, Attorney at Law, for Appellant.
S. HOOVER, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.
DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY
Appellant Frederick Ephraim ("Husband") appeals
from the judgment of the Summit County Court of Common Pleas,
Domestic Relations Division. This Court affirms.
Husband married Kathryn O'Hara ("Wife") on
August 22, 2008. Husband and Wife were married in Maryland
but moved multiple times based upon Husband's employment.
Two children were born of the marriage, J.E. (d.o.b. August
24, 2010) and A.E. (d.o.b. January 9, 2013). In August 2013,
Wife filed a complaint for divorce. Husband answered and
filed a counterclaim, also seeking a divorce. At the time of
the filing of the complaint, Wife had been living in Ohio
since late 2012 and Husband was living in Maryland. At the
time of the hearing, Husband and Wife had been living
separate and apart for a year without cohabitation.
Ultimately, the matter proceeded to a hearing before a
magistrate. On December 16, 2015, the magistrate issued a
lengthy decision, granting the parties a divorce, which was
adopted by the trial court the same day. The magistrate noted
that both children suffered from health issues. J.E. was
diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, cognitive delays,
physical delays, failure to thrive, seizures, severe
expressive disorder, mild to severe receptive disorder,
eating issues, and sleep disturbances. There was also
testimony that J.E. was autistic and had severe behavioral
problems. A.E. experienced gastrointestinal issues, failure
to thrive, and delayed milestones. The entry stated that Wife
was unable to work due to the disabilities of the two
children and the around-the-clock care that they required.
Additionally, the court found that the children were
"unable to support themselves because of mental and
physical disabilities to the extent of being incapable of
maintaining themselves." See Castle v. Castle,
15 Ohio St.3d 279 (1984); Ulery v. Ulery, 86 Ohio
App.3d 290 (9th Dist.1993). Wife was named the residential
parent and legal custodian of the children and Husband was
granted parenting time with the children.
Husband's income was found to be $103, 190.58 and
Wife's was $0 for purposes of child support and spousal
support. Husband was ordered to pay respite care and was
ordered to pay child support in the amount of $2, 497.33 per
month, plus a processing charge. The trial court found that
the amount of child support was in the best interests of the
children based upon several factors in R.C. 3119.23. The
entry also included a finding that child support would extend
beyond the children's eighteenth birthdays. Wife was
required to pay the first $100 per year towards each
child's uninsured or unreimbursed health care costs.
Costs above that amount were apportioned equally between
Husband and Wife, with credit to Husband for any cash medical
support ordered for any month the children were not Medicaid
The trial court found, after considering the factors in R.C.
3105.18(C)(1), that continuing spousal support was
appropriate and reasonable, and awarded Wife $615.33 in
spousal support per month. However, the trial court also
found that spousal support would be subject to further order
of the court and reserved jurisdiction to make modifications
under certain circumstances.
Husband filed three brief, general objections to the
magistrate's decision and indicated that he would
supplement them following the filing of the transcript.
Several months later, Wife filed a motion to dismiss
Husband's objections. In the motion, Wife noted that,
since the filing of objections, Husband had switched
attorneys a couple of times, and that, as of the filing of
her motion, the transcript had still not been filed.
Additionally, Wife pointed to issues with the timing of the
filing of the praecipe and the deposit. From the record, it
appears that there may have been a hearing on the motion,
although that is unclear because there is no ruling on the
motion in our record, nor is there a transcript of that
hearing. Nonetheless, on December 15, 2016, the trial court
issued an entry stating that the matter was before it on the
objections of Husband filed December 22, 2015. The court
stated that it had "reviewed the docket, the pleadings
and transcript[, ]" adopted the decision of the
magistrate, and overruled the objections.
Husband has appealed, raising three assignments of ...