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Hanshaw v. Hanshaw

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull

September 3, 2019

DAVID M. HANSHAW, SR. Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
WENDY ANN HANSHAW, Defendant-Appellee.

          Civil Appeals from the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, Case No. 2008 DR 00195.

         Judgment: Affirmed.

          Michael A. Partlow, and Sarah Thomas Kovoor, Ford, Gold, Kovoor & Simon, LTD., (For Plaintiff-Appellant).

          Elise M. Burkey, Burkey, Burkey & Scher Co., L.P.A., and Daniel G. Keating, Keating Law Office, (For Defendant-Appellee).

          OPINION

          THOMAS R. WRIGHT, P.J.

         {¶1} Appellant, David Hanshaw, appeals the decision awarding custody of the parties' minor child to appellee, Wendy Zimmerman, formerly Wendy Hanshaw. We affirm.

         {¶2} The parties were married in 2006 and had one child in 2007. David filed for divorce in 2008. The trial court adopted the parties' agreed shared parenting plan in its final divorce decree in September of 2011. In July of 2012, Wendy moved to terminate the shared parenting plan and sought sole custody of the parties' daughter. In August of 2012, Wendy also moved to hold David in contempt for his continued failure to abide by the shared parenting plan. The guardian ad litem from the divorce proceedings was reappointed, and Wendy subsequently moved for emergency custody of the child based on David's recent guilty plea in a criminal case and his admission in that case that he suffers from drug dependency and mental health issues. She later withdrew her emergency motion, and the matter was heard on her original motion to terminate.

         {¶3} In July of 2014, the court terminated the shared parenting plan and named Wendy the child's legal custodian and residential parent. This decision, however, was subsequently vacated for reasons not relevant here. Therefore, the trial court held a custody hearing over several days from May through September of 2017. Throughout the proceedings, David argued for continuation of the original shared parenting plan in which he was designated residential parent.

         {¶4} Following hearing, the magistrate issued a decision recommending termination of the parties' shared parenting plan and that Wendy be designated the residential parent and legal custodian. David filed four objections. The trial court overruled his objections and adopted the magistrate's decision.

         {¶5} David's sole assignment of error asserts:

         {¶6} "The trial court's finding that appellee should be established as residential parent of the child is against the manifest weight of the evidence and constitutes an abuse of discretion."

         {¶7} David does not challenge the trial court's decision to terminate the shared parenting plan and as such, we do not address this aspect on appeal. Instead, he argues that he should have been named the residential parent, not Wendy, and that the trial court's decision in this regard is against the manifest weight of the evidence and an abuse of discretion.

         {¶8} We review custody issues with great deference and do not disturb a trial court's decision unless an abuse of discretion is evident. Bates-Brown v. Brown, 11th Dist. Trumbull No. 2006-T0089, 2007-Ohio-5203, ¶ 18, citing Miller v. Miller , 37 Ohio St.3d 71, 74, 523 N.E.2d 846 (1988). An abuse of discretion connotes judgment that comports with neither reason nor the record. Shendel v. Graham, 11th Dist. Lake No. 2016-L-100, 2017-Ohio-4236, 92 N.E.3d 43, ¶ 9.

         {¶9} "'Where an award of custody is supported by a substantial amount of credible and competent evidence, such an award will not be reversed as being against the weight ...


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