Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Portage
KRESNT D. HUTH, Plaintiff-Appellee,
ROBERT J. HUTH, Defendant-Appellant.
Appeal from the Portage County Court of Common Pleas,
Domestic Relations Division, Case No. 2007 DR 00548.
R. Fink, (For Plaintiff-Appellee).
M. Leneghan and K. Scott Carter, (For Defendant-Appellant).
TIMOTHY P. CANNON, J.
Appellant, Robert J. Huth, appeals from a judgment entered by
the Portage County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations
Division, on October 10, 2018. The judgment is affirmed in
part and reversed in part, and the matter is remanded for
further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
This matter originated in the trial court as a divorce action
between appellant ("Father") and appellee, Kresnt
D. Huth ("Mother), in 2007. The parties were granted a
divorce on June 3, 2008, and the trial court implemented a
Shared Parenting Plan for the three minor children born
during the marriage. With regard to child support, the Shared
Parenting Plan provided:
Father shall pay to Mother for support of the minor children
the sum of $300.00 per month, plus 2% processing charge
commencing April 25, 2008. An upward deviation in child
support is warranted because of the time the children spend
with each parent and to equalize the parties' income. If
not for the upward deviation in child support, Father shall
pay to Mother for the support of the minor children the sum
of $78.87 per month plus 2% processing charge for a total of
$80.45 per month pursuant to the attached Child Support
Shared Parenting Plan additionally provided that "all
cost [sic] of school lunches, school fees, extracurricular
activities, sports equipment, lessons, school supplies,
yearbooks, school clothes, etc. shall be split equally
between the parties."
Father failed to pay child support to Mother, which resulted
in contempt proceedings. In 2010, Father filed a Motion for
Modification of Child Support "based upon a change in
the parties' financial conditions." The parties
entered into an Agreed Judgment Entry on July 14, 2010, in
which Mother agreed to waive the past due child support, and
Father's current child support obligation was deviated to
zero. Father remained obligated to pay an amount towards the
children's medical care.
On July 21, 2014, Father filed a Motion for Reallocation of
Parental Rights and Responsibilities, in which he requested
to be named residential parent of two of the parties'
three children. In a Motion for In-Camera Interview, Father
stated that "time is of the essence in this matter as
[Father] will be relocating to the State of Florida and
desires to enroll the children in school in a timely fashion
if possible for the upcoming school year[.]"
On August 28, 2015, Mother filed a Motion to Modify Child
Support based upon a change in circumstances.
"Specifically," she stated, "Father has
changed addresses, is no longer evenly dividing any expenses,
and therefore has not paid any child support in over six (6)
A hearing was held February 3, 2016, a transcript of which
has not been provided on appeal. It appears undisputed,
however, that Father did not attend the hearing. Father's
counsel appeared, as did Mother and her counsel.
On February 24, 2016, the trial court issued a Judgment
Entry, in which it declared the parties had agreed to be
bound by the attached Amended Shared Parenting Plan and had
agreed to dismiss all outstanding motions. According to the
Amended Shared Parenting Plan, Father was to pay Mother
$600.00 to settle her claim for prior child support and a
deviated amount of $625.00 per month, commencing
retroactively on November 1, 2015.
Father again failed to pay child support, and contempt
proceedings were initiated in 2017.
On February 12, 2018, Father filed a Motion to Modify Child
Support, alleging a change of circumstances: "Before
[the February 24, 2016] Order the parties had equal parenting
time, but Defendant moved to Florida. Defendant has returned
from Florida and the parties are back implementing equal
The trial court held an evidentiary hearing on April 9, 2018,
a transcript of which has not been provided on appeal. It is
apparent from the record, however, that Father disputed that
the February 24, 2016 order was valid because he had not
agreed to the Amended Shared Parenting Plan.
By judgment entry issued June 13, 2018, the trial court
vacated its February 24, 2016 order and the Amended Shared
Parenting Plan. The court explained as follows:
[At the hearing on April 9, 2018, ] the parties stipulated as
to the calculations and accounting performed by CSEA
regarding payments and arrearages subject to and conditioned
upon a finding that the order of February 24, 2016, is a
valid and binding order. [Father] disputed that the February
order is valid.
The first witness, Ms. Judy Rice from CSEA, testified that
[Father] contacted CSEA on July 26, 2016; August 19, 2016;
October 20, 2016; and December 5, 2016. On each occasion