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McFarland v. McFarland

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

July 1, 2019

GRIFFIN MCFARLAND, Appellee,
v.
AMANDA MCFARLAND, Appellant.

          APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS DOMESTIC RELATIONS DIVISION Case No. DR2016-10-0987

          Law Office of Dennis L. Adams, Esq., LLC, Dennis Lee Adams, for appellant

          OPINION

          S. POWELL, J.

         {¶ 1} Appellant, Amanda McFarland ("Wife"), appeals from a decision of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, which imputed income to her in calculating her child support obligation, and declined to find appellee, Griffin McFarland ("Husband"), in contempt. For the reasons stated below, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} Husband and Wife were married in November 2008. They have one child born issue of the marriage. In June 2016, the parties separated. In October of that same year, Husband filed a complaint for divorce.

         {¶ 3} Shortly thereafter, Wife filed a motion to establish spousal support. In her motion, Wife requested that the trial court order Husband to pay her a sum of money on a weekly basis so that she could continue paying her personal and household expenses. After a hearing, the trial court granted Wife's motion, and ordered Husband to pay temporary spousal support in the amount of $473 a month, effective November 1, 2016.

         {¶ 4} In May 2017, Wife moved the trial court to assign payment of the mortgage debt of the parties. After another hearing, the trial court granted the motion, and ordered Husband to make the monthly mortgage payment, beginning with the May 2017 payment, and continuing for each monthly payment thereafter.

         {¶ 5} In August 2017, Wife filed a motion for contempt for non-payment of spousal support, arguing that Husband had failed to pay the temporary spousal support ordered by the trial court, and therefore, should be found in contempt. A few months later, in October 2017, Wife filed a second motion for contempt. In this motion, Wife argued Husband had failed to pay the mortgage as ordered, resulting in an action of foreclosure on the property. As such, Wife requested the trial court to find Husband in contempt of the trial court's May 2017 order.

         {¶ 6} The trial court addressed both of Wife's motions for contempt at the final contested hearing. After hearing testimony from Wife and Husband, the trial court declined to make a finding of contempt and denied Wife's motions. In addition, the trial court designated Husband the residential parent and legal custodian of the child, and ordered Wife to pay Husband child support in the amount of $203.79 per month.

         {¶ 7} Wife now appeals, raising three assignments of error.

         {¶ 8} Assignment of Error No. 1:

         {¶ 9} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED TO THE PREJUDICE OF THE APPELLANT IN THE CALCULATION OF HER INCOME FOR CHILD SUPPORT.

         {¶ 10} Wife argues the trial court erred by imputing additional income when calculating her child support obligation. Specifically, Wife claims the trial court failed to find that she was voluntarily underemployed or consider the criteria set forth in R.C. 3119.01. We disagree.

         {¶ 11} Whether a person is voluntarily underemployed and the amount of income to be imputed "are matters to be determined by the trial court based upon the facts and circumstances of each case." Rock v. Cabral, 67 Ohio St.3d 108 (1993), paragraph one of the syllabus. A determination with respect to these matters will only be reversed upon a showing of abuse of discretion. Id. More than an error of law or judgment, an abuse of discretion connotes that the trial ...


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